By Dean Larson

Since its hay day in the 1970s building exciting American V8-powered sport cars, the De Tomaso firm has been on a rocky road. But now in 2018, the De Tomaso trademark has been renewed for use with automobiles and related products. Could a De Tomaso comeback on the horizon?

The original firm went into liquidation in 2004, 45 years after its birth as prototyping and race shop in 1959. Finally in 2009, De Tomaso’s intellectual property was purchased and the new firm De Tomaso Automobili SpA was formed. With criminal allegations surrounding the firm’s owner and a lack of financial backing, the new firm folded in 2012. It wasn’t until April of 2015 that the De Tomaso name changed hands again, this time going to Chinese buyer Consolidated Ideal TeamVenture for $1.1 million.

So without a doubt, the De Tomaso name has been troubled the past couple decades, and there hasn’t been any production vehicles to show for it. Surmising at whether or not this recent activity will spawn reborn Mangustas and Panteras, we looked into the new trademark information on the UK Intellectual Property Office website. Filed on July 18, 2018 and registered on October 19, the trademark covers six classes covering the following items:

  • Motor vehicles; Automobiles; Cars; Sports cars; Racing cars; Vehicles for locomotion by land, air, water or rail; Buses; Trucks; Vans; Motorcycles; Scooters; Land vehicles; Engines for land vehicles; Motors for land vehicles; Remote controlled vehicles; Parts and fittings for water vehicles; Parts and fittings for land vehicles; Parts and fittings for vehicles; Remote controlled rail vehicles.
  • Leather and imitation leather; Animal skins; Hides; Trunks [luggage]; Briefcases; Suitcases; Traveling bags; Duffle bags; Sports bags; Umbrellas; Parasols; Walking sticks; Whips; Harnesses; Saddlery; Unfitted vanity cases; Leather key cases; Wallets; Purses; Coin holder
  • Clothing; Footwear; Headgear; Sports clothing; Sports shoes; Scarves; Gloves; Swimming suits; Visors; Ear muffs
  • Games; Playthings; Gymnastic and sporting articles; Gymnastic articles not included in other classes; Sports equipment; Decorations for Christmas trees; Scale model cars [toys]; Remote controlled scale model vehicles; Electric action toys; Toy model vehicles.
  • Business management; Business administration; Office functions; Advertising; Promotion services; Planning and conducting of trade fairs, exhibitions and presentations for commercial or advertising purposes; Event marketing; Sales promotion for others; Arranging of exhibitions for advertising purposes; Arranging of exhibitions for commercial purposes; Commercial consultancy; Business information services; Promotional sponsorship; Public relations services.
  • Repair and maintenance of motor vehicles and parts thereof and of engines for motor vehicles and parts thereof; Providing information relating to safe maintenance and repair; Installation of parts for vehicles; Fitting of replacement vehicle parts; Tuning of engines; Overhaul of vehicles; Advisory services relating to vehicle repair; Garage services for vehicle repair; Vehicle tyre fitting and repair; Information and consultancy services relating to vehicle repair; Maintenance, servicing and repair of vehicles; Advisory services relating to vehicle maintenance.
De Tomaso Mangusta

The owner, still De Tomaso Automobili Limted, also owns several other trademarks of interest, including, Guara’, Mangusta, and De Tomaso Mangusta.

While De Tomaso’s trademarks cover automobiles, parts and a whole ’lotta other nonsense, I’m just not seeing De Tomaso continuation cars on the horizon for a few reasons. For one, De Tomaso entities for the last couple decades have focused on modern crossovers and hatchbacks, not old sports car recreations, and I’d guess the latest effort will follow suit. Secondly, I’m not certain De Tomaso’s cars are ripe for replicating at the moment. At the moment, Panteras are listed between $70,000 and $140,000, and they can be found fairly easily. New De Tomasos would have to sell for more than that, so why wouldn’t you just buy an original? The Mangusta is a lot harder to come by, and good examples can fetch $300,000, but I’m still not sold.

So as exciting as new a reborn Ford-powered, mid-engine sports car might be, I’m not sure we’re there yet. But with all that being said, I sure hope I’m wrong.

Photo by Di © Jörgens.mi /, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/..