15. De Tomaso Vallelunga
Even before the De Tomaso company become famous as the producer of the Pantera and Mangusta supercars, this Italian outfit presented an interesting compact model they called the Vallelunga. They presented the Vallelunga in 1964, and by the current standards, it was advanced. It came with a mid-engine layout, independent suspension all around and four-wheel disc brakes.
However, the Vallelunga used a 1.5-liter Ford Kent engine they tuned to 104 HP. It also had a Volkswagen transaxle gearbox, Triumph suspension bits and lots of other components from regular production cars. The result was a dynamic, fast and lightweight car that won many races in Italy. The success of Vallelunga inspired Alejandro De Tomaso to invest more in car production and that’s how the history of this company started.