What is a Registry?
A Registry of Automobiles is a list of cars manufactured usually organized in order of production year or VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). It may include only a few details regarding production variations, or it may include substantial details of production and of owner modifications in the years following.
What is the ProvaMo Registry?
The ProvaMo Registry of De Tomaso Automobiles is an online image, video and detailed database of the cars manufactured by De Tomaso Automobili, Modena, Italy, SpA. From the beginning of production in the late 1950's until the Factory closed in 2003 some 9,000 cars were produced.
Models included are the race cars, Vallelunga, Deauville, Longchamp, Mangusta, Pantera, and the Guara as well as tangents such as the "Mini" De Tomaso by Innocenti.
Information on each model is available and cars are listed by chassis number, and photos and video clips are included where available. Certain information designated as private by the submitting owner is not available to the public. We strive to have as many cars included in the Registry as possible.
What is the History of this Registry?
The Labor of Love and Passion started more than a decade and a half ago by Chuck Melton:
I started collecting details and photos on cars back in the early 1980's. I attended a couple of the meetings of the local De Tomaso club chapter back then, but my research led me to believe I would have to wait. I watched the prices soar in the mid and late 1980's and I was concerned that I missed my chance. Like many marques, I watched the prices of De Tomaso cars fall after the peak of the market, and I became active (again) soon thereafter, continuing to record data as available. I anticipated the release of the first edition of the Van Ess Registry with excitement.
Later I hoped the 2nd edition (2nd printing) would include more details, color photos, and many more cars. Having personally collected data similar to this work, I realized just how difficult it is to locate, obtain, and organize this kind of every-changing information.
Then a new person, Bill Milburn, took charge of the Registry effort as advertised in the POCA publications. A new round of forms appeared in various places, energized by someone new and with experience producing a Marque Registry. Bill Milburn was involved in the Shelby Registry and brought his experience to this challenge. It seemed to me that an electronic version was the way to the future. With my years of experience in the computer field, I offered my assistance but I didn't receive a reply. So I continued to collect information on my own.
The completion of a updated edition with all the past, and more recent effort of Bill Van Ess and later Bill Milburn didn't happen. I feared that critical data and history would be lost. This motivated me to start fresh, and produce a Registry with internet (World Wide Web) access seeded with all the information I collected over the years (more than 1,000 cars) as a starting point. This De Tomaso Registry is a relational database with searchable fields, and includes the feature of an image or photo page including video clips, for each car to document each car's history.
I was aware I was not the only individual personally collecting data on De Tomaso automobiles. Some people specialized in their niche' of interest, such as push-button Panteras (early 1971 models), while others collected only post-9000 series cars, while others have information on another specific model such as the Mangusta. I have contacted people that I am aware of that have collections of photographs or data and asked if they would like to contribute their data to this database Registry.
I have been very happy with the response so far, although I know there must be others that have something they can contribute. A number of vendors have been willing to supply data also (in a way that protects their customer's privacy).
Are there other De Tomaso Registries?
Yes. There was a paper notebook developed by Bill Van Ess around 1994, with a second printing around 1998. Copies of the work have not been available for some time, except on the used book market, and even then only a handful have been advertised. There has not been an update to this book since 1998.
There are a few businesses that have tried to create an online Registry for various Marques, including De Tomaso, the largest effort as of 2007 had less than 300 cars entered, with less information on each car available. To help the family of De Tomaso owners, a few individual owners of De Tomaso automobiles have put their personal effort into such a daunting task, with naturally limited results. In one case the owner of a "Push-Button" model Pantera has collected quite a number of the push-button variants, but not of all De Tomaso vehicles.
This is also true of an owner of a late model "Wide-Body" variant, who has collected information on the Wide-Body models, and it is also true for the Mangusta. It is our goal to assemble a complete collection encompassing all the vehicles produced by De Tomaso Automobili. We currently have information, images, or video for over five thousand automobiles.
No where else can one find a searchable database, which includes images and video, of De Tomaso automobiles. It is not surprising that this is the largest, and fastest growing resource of it's kind.