If, like me, you’re a fan of fast cars – and given your current browser location, I’m guessing you are – then you’ll already know that right now is a pretty good time to be alive.
There’s barely a month that passes when news of a new and exciting and/or exotic new product reaches our ears and eyes. Yesterday we were eyeing up the new Lotus Evija, now we’re debating whether the new Corvette C8 is a good thing or not. And it’s not only the big, established brands that are churning them out, but also smaller, independent low-volume manufacturers too.
See, design and manufacture is more accessible than ever, to all of us. Take 3D printing, for example.
Now I’m not saying that Steve with his £1,000 3D printer can start knocking out a run of hypercars from his garden shed, but it’s a perfect example of both technology and approach to manufacturing trickling down to the consumer.
My issue with the plethora of fast and exciting cars that get unleashed at Geneva each year, or inevitably leaked across the glossy pages of your chosen automotive publication, is that yes, they often boast mind-boggling performance statistics, and yes, they’re comprised of expensive and coveted composite materials, but they’re rarely what I’d call really good-looking cars.
I’ve said this before when speaking of the McLaren Senna – it’s a tremendously impressive car on paper, and a fantastic feat of engineering, but would you ever call it ‘gorgeous’? I’m not sure anyone would hold their hand up to that.
The De Tomaso P72 GT, on the other hand. Well, she’s a looker, in my eyes.
Unveiled at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, from a brand that you’d probably all but forgotten existed, the P72 took me, and a lot of others by surprise.
So this is what De Tomaso have been doing for the last 26 years since the Pantera, aside from getting really good at going bankrupt.
I jest – the P72 has been made a reality by the same masterminds (and investment firm) behind the crazy Apollo Intensa Emozione, and it’s built upon the same platform too.
I have to say, I’m a fan of their work. Where the Apollo is full of batshit-crazy with harsh angles, big wings and deep bumpers, the P72 is like a more streamlined cousin.
It reminds me of sports cars of old mixed with some tasteful modern influences. There’s definitely large doses of Ferrari P3/4 in there, mixed with a sprinkling of Alfa and the obvious inspiration drawn from the original De Tomaso Sport 5000 / P70 race car.
Although not everyone is happy with the P72’s sources of inspiration. I’m not sure if Mr Glickenhaus is missing the irony in complaining that the P72 looks-a-bit-like-the-P4/5-if-you-squint when they’re both clearly inspired by the same car. If the P72 is guilty of plagiarism, then the P4/5 is too, and it sounds to me like someone’s one-of-one Ferrari might have just been upstaged?
And before you say it, I could’ve photographed it clean before this year’s FoS, but you can see photos like that everywhere else. Here, caked in mud, grass and three days’ wear from running up the Goodwood hillclimb, it feels a bit more ‘real world’.
The bonnet vent, bonnet emblem and rear quarter vents are all P70-inspired. It’s a car that somehow manages to look classic and modern at the same time.
There’s a few somewhat less tasteful additions too, in my opinion. The wheels are a hard pass, the instrument cluster is a bit much, and although I’m a huge fan of that exposed gear linkage I can’t help but imagine how sexy it’d look in raw billet as opposed to the somewhat chintzy rose gold/copper.
At the back the upswept tail looks fantastic in profile form, and through the gaping rear mesh you can see lashings of carbon fibre along with yet more bling in the form of gold heat-reflective coatings and that intricate exhaust.
Of course, the addition of a rear number plate is going to spoil all of that slightly, but let’s not worry about that just now…
I could go through all the same blurb you’ll have already seen on the press release and various ‘hype’ articles already, but Google will probably do a better job than I of informing you. I’m just here to share my appreciation of a manufacturer remembering that cars should look as good as they drive, too.
More of this please.