BMW is one of several potential buyers of the now defunct Italian sports car marque De Tomaso according to a member of the Unione Italiana Lavoratori Metalmeccanici (Italian Trade Union).

The union’s Giuseppe Anfuso told reporters at the conclusion of a recent meeting in Rome: “We had confirmation that talks with possible Italian partners [who would buy the structural assets] and with BMW continue.”

BMW has not officially confirmed its interest in the De Tomaso marque, and in a statement earlier this year the Munich-based luxury car maker said it had no such interest in the De Tomaso brand.

There have been several attempts at re-establishing the once exotic sports car marque, but all have failed including the most recent effort, which ended with the company filing for bankruptcy after selling the rights to build the Deauville sedan (below) to a Chinese manufacturer to raise funds.

Should BMW go ahead with the purchase of De Tomaso, it could be seen as a similar scenario to Audi’s purchase of Lamborghini, which gave the Italian supercar manufacturer a new lease on life.

De Tomaso Automobili was founded in Modena in 1959 by Alejandro de Tomaso of Argentina.

It had some early luck when in 1969 Ford bought a large chunk of the company based on some design sketches of the De Tomaso Pantera – the company’s most celebrated model.

Ford supplied the 351-C engines for the Pantera and continued to import them into the US for four years until quality issues that plagued the car caused Ford to stop selling it.

De Tomaso continued to build various editions of the Pantera (and other models) including the superbly styled Pantera GT-5 and GT5-S models – proper Italian muscle cars of the day for the European market.

Interestingly, in 1993 De Tomaso released the BMW-powered Guara. It was sold in Europe with a BMW V8, albeit in very limited numbers. It also made it to the US, but only as a race car

Alejandro de Tomaso passed away in 1993 and effectively, so did his company, despite the best intentions of those that still believed in the brand.

De Tomaso Automobili was eventually wound up in 2006.




  • tiddy

    I remember reading somewhere that the Pantera was originally designed to be the Mach 2 Mustang, however that never eventuated or so the story went, not sure if that was true or not, but it certainly sounded interesting. But at one stage it did use transmissions made in Albury at the old Borg Warner factory.

    In my opinion it was a fabulous looking 70′s car, especially the John Player version in Black & Gold.

    • Jober As A Sudge

      Some of the 351 engines used in the Pantera were from OZ as well

      • Igomi Watabi

        And when Paul Halstead was the Australian de Tomaso distributor, word was he tried to broker a deal to power them with HDT-modified Holden 308s when production of Australian 351s dried up.

  • Able

    Well considering the recent De Tomaso Deauville was pretty much a 5-series GT, BMW do have the right to at least be interested…

  • Noddy of Toyland

    I love De Tomaso! I can’t see how BMW fits in the picture but oh well.

  • Zaccy16

    It wouldn’t be very expensive to buy!

  • Wile E Coyote

    Might give BMW the chance to do something radical in styling rather than stick to the Corporate look

  • Guest

    I think this might be a poisoned chalice. BMW would be better to do its own supercar. It’s own brand is good enough for that, and it does have the legendary M1 in its portfolio, even though that car has Lamborghini DNA.

  • gt86.com.au

    seriously doubt BMW would touch this. it has been dead in the water for too long..

    • Igomi Watabi

      remember, BMW kept the rights to nameplates like Triumph and Riley when it flogged off Rover, so you never know!

  • Basil Exposition

    De Tomaso… Is that not Italian for a kit car? The appeal of this was the unbreakable Ford drivetrain and low maintenance costs…. I dont see that with BMW.

  • Chaukeeh

    go ahead bimmer…… audi been bragging a lot about lambo and R8!!