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accompany him and made it clear that

Brock would be on his own and should

not expect any assistance from him.

If there was animosity from

DeTomaso, there was absolutely none

from Medardo Fantuzzi. In broken

English, he explained how his fabrica-

tors would build the body. They would

not need blueprints, which Brock had

supplied in quarter-scale, in inches.

They worked in the metric system and

could not convert each measurement

from inches. Instead, they would work

by eye. “


” as Fantuzzi said.

Rather than building an elaborate

plywood buck over which the body

would be formed – as American and

British builders did – the Italians con-

structed a “maquette.” Brock had no

idea what that was but he would

quickly find out. One of Fantuzzi’s

younger apprentices was sent on a bi-

cycle to a local construction site to get

a coil of spring steel wire. Construction

companies used the wire to reinforce

concrete but it was perfect for the fab-

ricators to use in constructing a wire

frame which would reveal the body

concours. It only took them a couple of

days to form it into a perfect represen-

tation of the body Brock had designed.


Once the maquette was com-

pleted, the fabricators hand-formed

pieces of aluminum into the body

shapes using an old stump. They

pounded the metal into a rough form,

leaving dimples the size of golf balls.

Then, using flat hammers and hand

anvils, they worked the dimples out

and before long the panels fit exactly

the contours of the maquette. Brock

was amazed that such a crude process

could yield such perfect results.

After a couple of weeks, as the

body was nearing completion,

DeTomaso finally showed up to in-

spect “his” project. He was thrilled

with what he saw. A short time later

Brock received a late night phone call

from Shelby, telling him the project

had been terminated and to leave im-

mediately for home. It turned out that

DeTomaso had called Shelby to tell

him that the new lightweight 427 en-

gine he had been developing would not

be ready on time. Shelby knew that

without it the car would simply not be

competitive. He quickly moved on. He

would have his hands full with the

new GT40 project and Brock would be

busy designing a 427-powered Day-

tona “Super” Coupe.

Both Shelby and De Tomaso re-

mained irritated at each other. Nei-

ther Shelby or Brock would ever get

credit for the P70 from DeTomaso. The

car was completed and shown at the

1965 Turin Auto Show as the “Ghia

DeTomaso 5 Liter.” DeTomaso had, by

then, acquired Ghia, the Turin coach-

builder, and the car was touted as the

product of a DeTomaso-Ghia collabo-

ration. The fact that the body had been

designed in California by Peter Brock

and built by Fantuzzi in Modena was

never mentioned.

Two bodies had actually been built

by Fantuzzi, based on Brock’s design.

Both the P70 and the Sport 5000

looked very similar and both had been

painted blood red, so they were often

confused with each other. In order to

complete the P70, DeTomaso installed

a 5-liter Ford V8 with Gurney-Weslake

heads and Weber carburetors when it

went to Turin because he had never

completed the 7-liter small block. After

the show it was placed in storage in

DeTomaso’s shop, where it remained

until his death in 2004.

The Sport 5000 was modified by

DeTomaso and, powered by a 475

horsepower small block Ford, was en-

tered in the 1966 Mugello 500km race.

It jumped ahead of a Ferrari 250LM at

the start, due to its significantly

lighter weight (1,760 lbs) and in-

creased downforce due to the Brock-

designed adjustable rear wing.

However, after the opening lap an elec-

trical short retired the car and it never

raced again. In 1967 it was listed as an

entry for the 12 Hours of Sebring and

the 1,000km race in Monza but it did

not appear at either event. It re-

mained at DeTomaso’s shop, occasion-

ally being displayed in his museum.

After 40 years the car resurfaced after

DeTomaso’s death when his estate

sold it to a Belgian collector.


Spring 2016 32