Alejandro De Tomaso

The founder of the De Tomaso marque died recently in Italy, aged 75, having suffered ill health for the last 10 years.

Although Argentinian by birth, De Tomaso spent much of his life in Italy, where he raced after the war before setting up his Modena-based company.

The firm made Formula Juniors and even grand prix cars, although the latter, which appeared from 1961-65, were poor. A fresh push in F2 in ’69 spawned a partnership with Frank Williams that took De Tomaso back to F1 in ’70. But the project dissipated soon after Piers Courage’s fatal accident.

De Tomaso’s legacy in road cars is stronger: the 1962 Vallelunga was the first-ever production mid-engined road car, the Mangusta was an icon of the 1960s and the Pantera lasted 20 years.