The Qvale (pronounced "kah-vah-lee")
family has been involved in specialty cars since the late 1940s, when
Kjell Qvale was an early importer of MGs to the American West Coast.
They went on to become the single largest distributor of British marques
such as Jaguar, Austin Healey, Triumph, Lotus and Rolls-Royce, before
branching off into automotive enterprises as diverse as the importing of
vast numbers of VW Beetles into the U.S., purchasing the distinguished
English marque Jensen, and competing in the Indianapolis 500.
Kjell Qvale was also an American importer of
automobiles from the early DeTomaso concern. Prior to achieving
success and worldwide recognition for the Pantera, DeTomaso's earlier
automobiles were the mid-engined Ford-powered, 4-cylinder Vallelunga, of
which less than 60 were made over the course of 4 years; and the much
better-known Mangusta, powered by a Ford 302 V-8. The Mangusta was
not only one of the very first high-performance, mid-engined sports cars
built for the street, it was regarded then and now as one of the most
beautiful cars of its era.
contemporary Mangusta shown here, originally named the Bigua, started
off as something of a joint venture between DeTomaso and Qvale, and was
introduced to the press as a future DeTomaso car. The partnership
later dissolved, and the Marcello Gandini-designed sports car was badged
as a Qvale.
The Mangusta is built
in coupe, convertible and targa configurations.