- Exceptionally well preserved
- Comprehensive history
- No.008 of 244 built
- May be the earliest example in existence
- Iconic 5.8-litre V8 drivetrain
When Iacocca saw Jaguar’s XJ, he realised it was a game-changer for the luxury sedan market, and wanted Ford to produce an equivalent. Hand-in-hand with De Tomaso and Italian Carrozzeria Ghia, the Deauville was put into production, its wonderful design flowing from the skilled hands of Tom Tjaarda. The idea was that De Tomaso would benefit from the supply of Ford’s mighty Cleveland V8 and C6 transmission, while Ford would take bare shells from Ghia and rebadge them for the domestic market.
Sadly, with the oil crisis kicking into effect in the early 70s and other factors in the US market, it remained a limited run, De Tomaso only product. Just 244 are thought to have been built – although the real number may be significantly less as there are significant gaps in the VIN records. Eventually, production petered out and, what was once officially the fastest four-door production saloon in the world, ceased production in 1985.
With all that in mind, it’s even more incredible that this fabulous sports saloon has survived, and done so in such fine fashion. It’s been beautifully preserved and maintained by its owners, coming with an extensive and comprehensive servicing and maintenance history. With the latest owner telling us they have spent more than €20,000 making sure the car is in top condition, we think this must be one of the finest examples anywhere in the world.
The History and Paperwork
- First registered in 1972
- No.008 of 244 believed to have been built – it may be the oldest example in existence
- Just four owners from new
- Bought new by an industrialist from the Veneto region
- The second owner had the car from 1985, with the vehicle passing to his heir when he died
- Latterly purchased by the vendor in June 2021
- 2,865Km indicated (five figure odometer)
- Well maintained, with an extensive file of servicing invoices
- Very well preserved, never fully restored as far as the vendor is aware
- Italian registration and Revisione documentation
- Leather and cloth upholstery
- Original wood veneer trim
- Electric windows
- Air conditioning
- New sound system
Peering into the interior of this Deauville is truly remarkable – having been refinished a while ago with new carpets, retrimmed seats and door cards, it really is like a time warp. It has gently weathered in and now presents in excellent condition with a charismatic patina.
The upholstery itself is a mix of tan leather and cream fabric, with what appears to be black suede adorning the top of the dash. All the materials are in excellent condition, with an appealing, light level of natural wear. The design is excellent too – we particularly admire the integrated headrests, which are very stylish.
Cream carpet and floor mats are fitted throughout and show well, with no staining or damage we could identify. Similarly, the light coloured headlining looks to be secure, undamaged and free from marks. It all contributes to a relaxing, airy and decidedly suave atmosphere in the cabin.
We’re told by the vendor that they believe all the switchgear and controls to be original. They certainly look to be period, with some light wear and a few natural blemishes. All the controls wear their age very well and it’s all the better for it. The wood-rimmed wheel is light and delicate in the hand, while the polished and branded sill plates and swathes of original wood veneer add luxurious accents.
Clustered before the driver are a collection of six gauges, the tachometer and speedometer taking centre stage, with gauges for oil pressure, fuel, amps and water temperature sitting in the wings. It’s a pleasing arrangement that gives the driver all the information they need and is exceedingly legible and well-finished.
We’re told by the vendor that everything in the cabin works just as it should, with no faults to report.
- Silver paintwork, largely original
- Original cast magnesium wheels
- All steel monocoque construction
- Superb overall condition
- Professionally undersealed in 1992
Shimmering in that delicious shade of silver, the paintwork really does highlight the car’s fine proportions and gentle, graceful curves. The nose dips just enough to hint at the car’s sporting ability, while the rise of the rear haunches and the crisp horizontal swage line is judged to perfection. You can see the influence of the XJ, but it is still very much its own thing.
The paintwork is in fine fettle. The paperwork file shows that some paintwork was professionally refreshed in 1992, by Italian performance car specialists Terry Hale Ltd. Largely, the paint appears to be original though. It presents nicely, with only a handful of minor blemishes and small blisters in a few places.
All of the body panels look to be in excellent order, with no dents, damage or notable corrosion we could discern. There are one or two minor spots of surface corrosion, but they’re fairly insignificant. Likewise, the trim, badging, light lenses and glass elements all look to be in a fine state, with no cracking, chipping, corrosion or damage we could see. The brightwork is particularly good, with some very light weathering adding a soupçon of personality to the exterior.
It’s great to see the car riding on the correct cart magnesium wheels too. These 15-inch items are apparently the original items and have been well refreshed. They’re shod with a new matched set of Nankang Toursport NS tyres, which with a 225/70 profile, offer plenty of sidewall to ensure a delightfully compliant ride.
- Ford ‘Cleveland’ 5,763cc V8
- Ford C6 three-speed automatic transmission
- Engine and transmission rebuilt
- Fully independent suspension
- Anti-roll bars front and rear
- Disc brakes to all four wheels
- Rear wheel drive with Salisbury differential
- Twin fuel tanks and fuel pumps
That hearty, naturally aspirated V8 delivers a very welcome 275hp and 314lb-ft to the rear wheels, ensuring the Deauville lives up to its billing as a proper performance saloon. This example has been mechanically overhauled quite significantly, with the work carried out including:
- Engine and transmission rebuild
- New flywheel
- Overhaul of the rack-and-pinion, power-assisted steering system
- New radiator
- New air-conditioning compressor
- Repairs to the exhaust manifolds (which are incredibly rare)
To carry this work out, the engine and gearbox was completely removed from the car. While it was out, the engine bay itself was restored – and it shows. The bay is very clean and tidy, with fine finishes to the ancillaries, polished rocker covers and air cleaner, as well as a blue painted block.
We’re assured by the vendor that the car runs and drives very well, with no issues or faults to report.
Even when they were still in production, the Deauville was an outstandingly rare vehicle. Now, nearly 40 years after production ceased, they are vanishingly rare. To be presented with such an early example, in fantastically well preserved condition is almost unprecedented – this must surely be one of the world’s most collectible performance saloons and the opportunity to acquire it should not be missed.
Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.
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Shipping and transfer
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