Page 1 of 2 Next >> A racer himself, Alejandro De Tomaso turned to building single seater racing cars late in 1959. The 'DeTomasos' competed in most classes including Formula 1. They were not particularly successful and De Tomaso switched to building road cars. Once his second road car, the Mangusta, proved to be a success, he commissioned the construction of a brand new single seater. Instead of designing the car himself, De Tomaso called in the help of Gianpaolo Dallara, who had previously worked for Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini where he helped develop the Miura.
Dallara's first DeTomaso was a Formula 2 car built for the 1969 season. It combined a boxy aluminium monocoque with the latest Cosworth FVA engine. It was raced early in the season with little success by Jonathan Williams and Jacky Ickx. For the Rome Grand Prix at Vallelunga the car was handed to Frank Williams. He entered the car for the young and talented gentleman driver Piers Courage. The Englishman qualified the DeTomaso on the front row and finished the first heat in third. These encouraging results conviced De Tomaso that it was time to step up to Formula 1 in 1970.
In addition to designing the Pantera road car, Dallara also received the task of penning the company's new Formula 1 racer. Like most of the contemporary machines, the 'DeTomaso 505' was built around the readily available and competitive Cosworth DFV engines. The aluminium monocoque tub and all-round independent suspension also did not break new ground. Although compared to the competition the first 505 was a little bulky and considerably overweight. Williams saw his dream of running his own Formula 1 team become reality as he was asked to run the car for Piers Courage. Page 1 of 2 Next >>