DeTomaso Marque Returns With Huffake/Quale MS

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—The fabled Italian marque DeTomaso will return to the auto racing arena in 2000 as the Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports team, with sponsor Tommy Bahama, field the newly-relaunched DeTomaso Mangusta in the BFGoodrich Tires...

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—The fabled Italian marque DeTomaso will return to the auto racing arena in 2000 as the Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports team, with sponsor Tommy Bahama, field the newly-relaunched DeTomaso Mangusta in the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series. The Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports DeTomaso Mangusta program is led by Bruce Qvale, Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports President, and Joe Huffaker, Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports Vice President and Technical Director. Drivers for the Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports DeTomaso Mangusta team will be announced soon. "There is so much history here, this is a really proud moment for all of us," said Qvale. The Qvale Automotive Group reached agreement with DeTomaso Modena S.p.A. in 1998 to be the worldwide licensee for the manufacture, distribution and marketing of all current and future DeTomaso products. The redesigned Mangusta is the first vehicle produced under this arrangement. Qvale's father, Kjell, and Alejandro DeTomaso first joined forces for the U.S. distribution of the original DeTomaso Mangusta in 1967. The Qvale family has been a fixture in the U.S. automotive business, involved in the manufacturing, importing, distributing and retailing of niche luxury brands as well as mass-marketed marques for over 52 years. The association between the Qvale and Huffaker families is also a long and distinguished one, dating back to the 1950s. That association began when Kjell Qvale, who had also been instrumental in establishing the West Coast Sports Car Club of America, joined forces with Joe Huffaker's father, Joe Huffaker Sr.. In 1960, the two established the BMC Competition Department, which designed and developed competition engines and race cars like the Huffaker Genie. BMC Competition's success was highlighted by entries in the Indianapolis 500 in 1963-1965, with the MG-Liquid Suspension Offenhauser Special. The pinnacle of the team's achievements was the qualifying of three cars for the famed Memorial Day race in 1964, with drivers Bob Veith, Walt Hangsten, and Pedro Rodriguez. The elder Huffaker's later successes include 12 national championships during the 1970s, and 20 victories in Trans-Am Series and IMSA competition during the 1980s. That included the 1982 Trans-Am Series title and historic double win at the 1988 12 hours of Sebring. The two families reunited again in 1998 in Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports, which has contested the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series for the past two years. In mid 1999, it became a part of the Qvale Automotive Group, and began preparations to lead the Mangusta back into the racing arena. The Huffaker-designed tube framed, front-engined, rear-drive chassis underneath the Mustang Cobra bodywork became a front-runner last year, scoring the pole at Long Beach, the win at Road Atlanta and taking 1999 driver Chris Neville to third in season points. Now, with Mangusta bodywork, it will be gunning for the 2000 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am championship. "There has always been a tremendous pride in craftsmanship in this organization," said Huffaker. “We are thrilled to be bringing the Mangusta and DeTomaso names into the Trans-Am Series, which has so much history itself. And with the good folks at Tommy Bahama, we're obviously going to be noticed, on and off the track." Tommy Bahama, an upscale lifestyle apparel company, began their association with Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports at last year's Road Atlanta Trans-Am Series race, just in time to score a victory in their first outing together. They quickly inked a contract through the 2000 season to remain associated with the team, and have meshed their “life is one long weekend” philosophy well with the team.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Pedro Rodriguez , Joe Huffaker