The De Tomaso Mangusta will be sold in the United States at five factory-owned stores beginning early next year.
The first store will open in Los Angeles in time for the Los Angeles Auto Show on Jan. 2, said Cynthia Claes, spokeswoman for De Tomaso Automobiles Ltd.
Four other stores - in San Francisco, Baltimore, Miami and Detroit - should open soon after, Claes said.
The ambitious plan hinges on the Mangusta hewing to its production schedule. In the past, the company has not met projected schedules.
For example, Bruce Qvale, president of De Tomaso Automobiles, said in March that production would begin this summer. Now, though, the first car is to roll off the assembly line at the Qvale Automotive Group's assembly plant in Modena, Italy, by the end of September.
The first cars will be shipped to Europe, where a traditional retail dealer base is being set up, Claes said.
The new Mangusta resurrects the De Tomaso marque. The first Mangusta, built in 1967, appeared as De Tomaso Automobili S.p.A. was beginning to make a name for itself among exotic-auto aficionados.
De Tomaso introduced the Pantera in 1970 and marketed it for several years in the United States through Mercury dealerships. Since the Pantera ended its European production schedule in the early 1990s, De Tomaso has stayed alive by producing around 30 Guara sports cars per year.
The current Mangusta is a result of the partnership between De Tomaso and the Qvale Automotive Group, a San Francisco distributor of European sports cars.
Work on the new factory outlets in the United States is moving at varied rates. In Los Angeles, workers are putting the finishing touches on the store, Claes said. In Miami, the company is still shopping for a location, she said.
The Detroit location, which has not been selected, will feature De Tomaso Automobile's administrative offices and a service area for the company's press fleet, Claes said.
After the first stores are up and running, De Tomaso plans two more stores, possibly in the New York City area and in Dallas or Houston.
Between 50 and 80 Mangustas are expected to be built this year, with most of those going to Europe. Claes said subsequent production of about 800 cars per year is expected to be divided evenly between Europe and the United States.