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Reborn Italian exotic automaker closes down before Deauville crossover and neo-Pantera supercar ever see the light of day.
Not every carmaker can stick around forever, especially if it's not part of a major auto group. Just ask the guys at Artega, which declared bankruptcy last week. And now De Tomaso is following suit. De Tomaso, for those unfamiliar, was a sportscar company started, like today's Pagani, by an Argentinian in Italy. Founded in the late 1950s, it briefly owned Maserati and motorcycle company Moto Guzzi, but was best known for mid-engined exotics like the 1966 Mangusta and 1971 Pantera.
Having fallen into obscurity, the name was acquired by former Fiat group executive Gian Mario Rossignolo, who relaunched the company in Geneva last year with the Deauville. The crossover concept was anything but a big hit, but when a Chinese investment group pulled out of the deal, Rossignolo was left without the funds to finance its development - never mind the new Pantera supercar his company was also seen developing. Now De Tomaso has officially declared bankruptcy, putting what could prove to be the final nail in the coffin of an ambitious initiative.
Of course the government administrators could still find new investors to buy the company's assets - including the plans and rights for the Deauville and Pantera prototypes - but failing that, De Tomaso looks to be down for the count.