Qvale (pronounced "kuh-vaal-ee") was an independent Italian car manufacturer founded in 2000 by the American Kjell Qvale. Qvale's sole product was the Mangusta, originally the De Tomaso Bigue.
Alejandro de Tomaso, the slick Italian car manufacturer with Argentinean roots, had chosen the Bigu? to revive his brand.
Marcello Gandini, a respected designer for the likes of Lamborghini and Maserati, draw a bit a controversial coupe-convertible? a friendly turn as he states since De Tamaso had paid an insignificant amount, if at all. The Bigu? was shown for the first time in 1996, in Geneva.
Financial troubles forced De Tomaso to look for a business partner whom he found in the American Kjell Qvale, an importer and distributor of a number of exclusive cars in the USA. The De Tomaso Bigue was renamed the Mangusta, a historic name (see De Tomaso Mangusta) with market appeal.
As the first cars were about to be delivered Qvale and De Tomaso "divorced" after one of their countless disputes. Qvale took over the factory, the car and - he thought - the rights to the name. De Tomaso, however, refused to allow the use of his name. The first Mangustas were delivered to their customers with De Tomaso badges which subsequently had to be exchanged at the dealers for the now-official Qvale logos.
Between 2000 and 2002 Qvale built 270 cars (or 272, depending on which source is to be believed), the majority of which were exported to the USA. The lack of a well-known brand name such as De Tomaso, the slowing economy, and the unusual design made marketing the car difficult. In 2003 Qvale sold up; the factory and the rights to Mangusta were acquired by Britain's MG Rover Group.
In 2004, MG launched the MG SV and SVR. Designed by MSGR, the racing division of the MG Rover Group, the SV was based on the structure, suspension, engine and gearbox of the Mangusta. The car was built largely in Italy, with some fitting and customisation pre-delivery in the UK.
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