1976 De Tomaso Longchamp

Known best for the Pantera sports car with Ford's 351 Cleveland V8 mounted amidship, De Tomaso was also in the business of producing luxury cars in the 1970s and 1980s. Relegated to automotive obscurity these days, the Longchamp was a personal luxury coupe based off the Deauville, a sedan which carried the appearance of a squared off Jaguar XJ sedan. The Longchamp featured the same Ford 351 Cleveland motor as the Pantera and most of the 409 examples built had a Ford 3 speed automatic transmission. De Tomaso happened to own Maserati during most of the Longchamp's production run, and the Maserati Kyalami, built from 1977 through 1983, was based on this coupe. Named after the South African Grand Prix track, the Kyalami eschewed Ford's 351 Cleveland in favor of the 4.2 liter or 4.9 liter Maserati quad cam V8 engines. This example for sale has had the same owner for 15 years and looks sharp in red over tan leather.

1976 DeTomaso Longchamp

1976 De Tomaso Longchamp Red with tan interior 81,000 kilometers, or about 50,000 miles. The engine is a Ford 351 Cleveland engine that produces 330 horse power fitted with an automatic transmission. The Top speed is 149 miles per hour. Suspension is independent front and rear with coil spring and wishbone suspension. Steering is power assisted rack and pinion with vented disc brakes all around, the rear discs being positioned inboard. The interior of the car is quite luxurious and is almost fully covered with leather and this car has the original Nardi wood steering wheel.

Handsome exterior designed by Tom Tjaarda of Ghia. Only 409 examples of this car were made making this car very rare. This example has had the same owner for 15 years, he carefully cared for it doing such things as rebuilding the power steering rack and having the wheels redone. Except for some minor cosmetic flaws, the car is in very nice condition. The great thing about these cars is that you can own what is truly an exotic and rare grand touring car but because they used an American engine in the car, you don't have to worry about expensive service or engine rebuilt costs. These cars are a great value, especially at $32,500.

The first time I laid eyes on a Longchamp, it struck me as a scaled up version of a Mercedes-Benz R107 SL with the European market headlights. Coincidentally, these cars had similar production runs; both cars were produced from 1972 through 1989. While I wouldn't file this car under cheap thrills, $32,500 is a lot less coin than one would pay for a similar vintage Ferrari or Lamborghini. With its Ford engine, drivetrain maintenance would clearly be more reasonable than those aforementioned Italian exotics.

-Paul

Posted under: Uncategorized
Dated: Feb 01 2012

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