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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The forgotten Zonda concept

~Forgotten ONE~ The wheels of the automotive world truely continue to spin by continuously producing new vehicles. Of course, as a logical consequence there will be many previous vehicles that were eliminated and then forgotten, regardless of whether of those who were scrapted had the title of great vehicles before, infact they all had to step aside and be dismantled.
The De Tomaso Zonda Concept is designed by Tom Tjaarda of Carrozzeria Ghia (although the first sketch was done by Giullia Moselli ex. Italdesign). (Picture from: LotusEspritTurbo)
But there are also some that we think are interesting and worthied to get a second chance even if only in the form of a series of words in an article. Well, one of them is a concept car made by Ghia that briefly appeared in the early 1970s under the De Tomaso badge before it disappeared for good.
The De Tomaso Zonda Concept was made its first debut at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. (Picture from: Zwischengas)
The mentioned car above is the De Tomaso Zonda Concept which is the result of designer Tom Tjaarda of Carrozzeria Ghia (although the first sketch was done by Giullia Moselli ex. Italdesign) which was made its first debut at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. And due to its unique name that's then attracted our attention to lift the car's figure to the surface once again. In addition, its unique name immediately reminds us to one of the Pagani Automobili sports cars launched at the end of 1990s.
The De Tomaso Zonda Concept is built on the De Tomaso Deauville fancy coupe platform with a short wheelbase. (Picture from: LotusEspritTurbo)
Regarding to the car' name of Zonda known came from Argentina, which is used to describe a regional term for a hot air current above the Andes Mountains in the country. Clearly from its appearances, the De Tomaso Zonda Concept carries GT (GranTurismo) typical styles, besides intended to complement the De Tomaso Pantera and to be sold together at the Lincoln Mercury showrooms in the US.
The De Tomaso Zonda Concept featured with a 'fast' roofline ending in a neat, sloping tail and also had lots of glass, and neat chrome bumpers and detailings. (Picture from: CurbSideClassic)
Well, maybe those of you are wondering why this De Tomaso concept car seems to have a close relationship with the Ford Motor Company, one of the American automotive giants. As quoted from Wikipedia, in 1971, the Ford Motor Company acquired an 84% stake in De Tomaso from Rowan Industries with Alejandro de Tomaso himself holding the balance.
The De Tomaso Zonda Concept appears to be a pure two-seater, although it might have had some very tiny 2+2 seats in back. (Picture from: Carrozzieri-Italiani)
The De Tomaso Zonda is built on the De Tomaso Deauville fancy coupe platform with a short wheelbase, and is powered by a 350hp 351ci V8 front-mounted engine taken from Ford Cleveland. At that time, other renowned competitor automakers also had such car models, for example, Ferrari had a variety of them, the star in the early ‘70s being the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 'Daytona', Lamborghini had the Jarama and Islero, while Maserati with its gorgeous Ghibli.
The De Tomaso Zonda Concept is powered by a 350hp 351ci V8 front-mounted engine taken from Ford Cleveland. (Picture from: PerformanceFord)
It's pretty clear that the latter seems like to be source of inspiration for the Zonda, even though they were designed by two different gentlemen in a time span of about five years apart. Well, the Zonda's size, packaging and overall shape are very reminiscent of this incredible Maserati Ghibli model.

Furthermore, the Zonda is applied pop-up headlights were very much in vogue at the time, thus both cars had them, plus a 'fast' roofline ending in a neat, sloping tail. Both had lots of glass, and neat chrome bumpers and detailing as well. The Zonda rode on a 99.5-inch wheelbase, and was 176 inches long. The rear deck was a hatchback, and the car appears to be a pure two-seater like the Daytona, although it might have had some very tiny 2+2 seats in back.
The De Tomaso Zonda Concept rode on a 99.5-inch wheelbase, and was 176 inches long. (Picture from: LotusEspritTurbo)
Unfortunately, after being shown in Geneva, De Tomaso run out of money and was unable to develop the Zonda further into production version, even though it has great potential to become a worthy competitor for the Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati models mentioned above.
The De Tomaso Zonda Concept carries GT (GranTurismo) typical styles with rear deck was a hatchback. (Picture from: PerformanceFord)
As mentioned above, initially the De Tomaso Zonda would be produced and sold for the American market with an estimated retail prices of $14,000, Ford assumed those price numbers was not profitable, and declined to import it to the US. Since that the car project is ceased, so then they abandoned the one-off De Tomaso Zonda as prototype only.
The last appearance of De Tomaso Zonda Concept was repainted in red by Ford before it dissappeared. (Picture from: LotusEspritTurbo)
Reportedly, the car had once repainted in red before dissappeared, and its existence remains a mystery until today neither in De Tomaso and Ford Motor Company storage facilities. No one knows what the hell happened to this De Tomaso Zonda? Was it crushed? If it happened that's a kind of tragic ending for such unique coupe creation. 👉We apologize, due to the Zonda video not exist, so what's shown below is the De Tomaso P72 video.🙏
What we could be done now? Nothing, at least now you aware that the Pagani Zonda supercar, which, apart from being one of the best V12 engined sports cars of the 1990s is actually the second use of the name Zonda on a car.😎 *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | PERFORMANCE.FORD | DRIVR.BE | OLDCONCEPTCARS | CLASSICCARS.FANDOM | LOTUSESPRITTURBO ]
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