De Tomaso Guara, A Forgotten Italian Supercar

There is no nation on Earth that is better known for making supercars more than Italy. This relatively small nation is home to Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Pagani.

It is also the home of De Tomaso, which is one of the most interesting car company’s to ever exist.

Today’s generation is not much aware of this brand, but there was a time De Tomaso was quite well known, because of cars like the Mangusta and especially the Pantera.

However, there was another model, which actually succeeded the Pantera, and while was a great performance car, is sadly not as well known. I am talking about the Guara.

The Guara first showed its pretty lines back in 1993. It came out at a time when Alejandro De Tomaso (founder and CEO) actually owned Maserati, and hence the Guara was based on the space frame of the extremely limited edition Maserati Barchetta.

The Guara however was a bit longer, to accommodate a bigger V8 motor. Depending on the production year you come across, it could have either the 4.0-liter, V8 from the BMW 840Ci, which produced 282-hp. Or it would have a 4.6-liter, V8 taken from the Ford Mustang Cobra. This latter unit was good for 320-hp.

Both motors came with a 6-speed manual gearbox, which sent power to only the rear-wheels. Since the whole car weighed just 1400 kg., it was quite fast. 0-100 km/h was dealt with in about 5-seconds, and top speed was approximately 275 km/h. So while it might not be among the fastest cars ever made, it certainly is fast enough for most of us.

It is also pretty enough to stop traffic. It has elegant, simple lines that flow from nose to tail. Not fussy, just pretty. At first, three body-styles were offered, a Barchetta (fully open), a Spider (convertible) and the Coupe (hardtop). However, all the Ford-engined Guara’s were made as Coupes.

In total, around 50 to 65 Guara’s were built (exact number not known). The last Coupe was built in 2004. Sadly the company soon went bust, but thankfully gave the world this amazing supercar.

But the story is not over yet. The rights to the De Tomaso name was bought by Gian Mario Rossignolo, an Italian businessman and a former executive at Fiat, showed a new crossover at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, called the DeAuville (a name from De Tomaso’s past). This vehicle was not very warmly received by the press, but word is, a new Pantera is on the way, which is good news for any car enthusiast. Let’s hope a new Guara is also in the product pipeline. Here’s hoping.

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