The Italian Art and Design of the De Tomaso Mangusta
by Dick Ruzzin. Book review by Gary Smith
His book, Bella Mangusta, chronicles the unique beginning of his particular car, the only Mangusta with a factory installed Chevrolet engine ordered by none other than Bill Mitchell. During his over 40 years of being the car’s passionate caretaker, he has corrected a number of engineering deficiencies to make his car reliable and more road worthy.
Dick spent his career as a designer for GM, with many years as the studio head of several production studios. Bella Mangusta contains an extremely thorough analysis of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s design masterpiece.
Be sure to go to Dean’s Garage post The Story Behind Dick Ruzzin’s Mangusta for an interview with Dick Ruzzin and more about his Mangusta.
Karl Ludvigsen’s review of Bella Mangusta
Reading about Dick Ruzzin’s Mangusta reminds me of two of the most unforgettable characters I ever met. They are, of course, Alejandro de Tomaso and William L. Mitchell.
Once known as Europe’s most profligate creator of exotic sports and racing prototypes, Argentinean emigre de Tomaso had a phase of fondness for backbone-framed cars that gave birth to the Mangusta, magnificently styled by the young Giorgetto Giugiaro. The mercurial Alejandro finally made good as a car manufacturer—with a little help from the Italian government.
A car enthusiast from his bald dome to his Bond Street shoes, Bill Mitchell arranged for GM Styling to buy the latest sports cars to help him persuade GM’s often hidebound management that more exciting cars might be good for business. His Chevy-engined Mangusta was a perfect example. Ironically its successor in de Tomaso oeuvre was the Pantera, launched by Ford like an arrow at the heart of GM.
Now Dick Ruzzin brings his own enthusiasm for great automobiles to this presentation of an esoteric example from the golden age of Italian sports cars, deeply informed on all aspects of the Mangusta as only a passionate owner can be.