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Report - De Tomaso Modena Factory - June 2015

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by battersea, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. battersea

    battersea 28DL Full Member
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    My first report on this forum and by no means anything exceptional. Just a few quick snaps taken from an old camera phone last year, so apologies up front for the poor quality of the photos. This was my first attempt at urban exploration and it was quite an easy target. I have been a car guy for as long as I can remember and have enjoyed reading reports on this forum about Longbridge and Detroit. So when I first visited the European Motor City of Modena last year, I decided to lookup and pay a visit to an old address.

    A brief history of De Tomaso SpA

    De Tomaso was founded in Modena in 1959 by Alejandro de Tomaso. The company, having changed trading name on several occasions, remained under full control of the founder until his death following a stroke, in 2003. Several iconic cars were to leave the Modena factory gates, but the company is perhaps best known for its Mangusta (1966-1971) and Pantera (1970-1993) models, which used strong and reliable power in the form of Ford sourced V8s. The last car to be built was the Guarà, which was built until 2004 when the company went into liquidation. It is said that approximately 50 units of this model were built, with the last one finally being delivered several years after the factory closed shop, in 2011.

    In the early 2000s DeTomaso was to receive EU state funding to build Russian UAZ 4x4 "Simbir" off roaders. After the death of Alejandro de Tomaso in 2003, the company was handed over to his widow and son, who disagreed with the plans. The company was put into liquidation in 2004. Since then, several attempts to revive the company have taken place, but the old factory in Modena has remained dormant ever since.

    The factory as I visited it

    Being my first explore I was unsure what to expect and how to deal with eventualities. The complex is all on one floor but is located on a busy main road and next to what is probably Modena's largest shopping centre. Being a casual visit in broad day light I therefore had reservations about being sighted. After finding an easy entry point I made my way through long grass and behind several obscure out buildings that were used for the likes of engine testing.

    The main assembly lines have sadly been gutted by the local variety of { noun [paɪki] }, and the floor is peppered with old De Tomaso labelled parts bags, glass and excrement from the Columba (genus) species of bird, commonly knows as pigeon. Fortunately, with the exception of a cat that gave me a bit of a fright, I was not interrupted during my stay.

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    Several old components moulds for roofs and dashboard modules were scattered around.

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  2. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Nice one mate, thanks. Didn't there used to be bodyshells in this place?
     
  3. battersea

    battersea 28DL Full Member
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    Yes, there used to be some mock-ups and engineering models of the new Pantera 2000 and Guara, but these were purchased by a local collector after an article in the local papers appeared showing the cars in the abandoned factory.

    All the same, it is in a sad state and some of the paperwork scattered across the offices will probably be of great interest to some historian one day.
     
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