Between 1963 and 1966 the De Tomaso factory built a number of racing cars prototypes but none of them were raced. During the 1966 winter several projects were considered among which the famous P70 which allowed the development of the future Mangusta engine. The P70 – code named King Cobra – was intended to be raced in the USA with different engines ranging from a 4200cc to a 6789cc block. This superb automobile clothed by Fantuzzi (like the 5000 Sport) was sold in 2004 by the factory to an Italian collector. There were also the 2000 Competizione with a Ghia body and the car we offer here, the not so well-known Sport 1000 Spyder also bodied by Fantuzzi but fitted with an unusual BRM 998cc engine designed at first for F2 racing cars. This is a barchetta designed on the basis of a partially modified Vallelunga chassis.
VL1609 was unveiled at the Turin racing car show on February 26, 1966 and probably without its engine. Rumours in the Italian motoring press in March had it that a Ford engine was to equip the car. In the end ” VL1609 ” was taken back to the factory and fitted with the BRM 998cc engine. According to the specialists, this block could be roughly a half P56 used in the P578 1.5 litre with a P56 head and a five speed gearbox of Volkswagen origin with internals supplied by Hewland. The engine #8011 should be considered as the only one ever fitted to ” VL1609 “. Some modifications were made on the car itself like the wider Campagnolo mag wheels and the widening of the rear wing extensions.
”VL1609” was kept at the factory until the clearance sale which took place in 2004 when it was sold to an English collector who sold it again to another British collector in 2007.
This car is a unique prototype fitted with a powerful BRM engine developing more than 100bhp to the litre and clothed with one of the most handsome body ever made by Fantuzzi. A true milestone in this exclusive marque’s history.
Images: Mario Buonocunto