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.
The 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.