The name Zonda comes from Argentina, where it is used to describe a strong wind in the Andres. Obviously, you're aware of the Pagani Zonda supercar, which, apart from being a bad-ass car is actually the second use of the name Zonda on a car.
At the Geneva Motor Show in 1971, another Zonda blew threw the automotive industry…but mostly in Detroit. Designed by Ghia, under Tom Tjaarda's pen, this elegant 2+2 grand touring coupe was intended to be the second car in DeTomaso's model range in the U.S. after the Pantera.
Why Ford? Why DeTomaso? At the time, Carrozzeria Ghia was in rough financial shape and despite being owned by the well-heeled Argentinian enthusiast Alejandro de Tomaso was sold to Ford in 1970. Over the next few years, the styling house would become Ford's at-arm's-length styling house…and later used as the name for higher-end trim levels on cars like the Ford Focus.
At that time, de Tomaso worked to get the Pantera offered in the U.S. at select Lincoln-Mercury dealers…and it was only natural that the partnership extended to a second model less involved than that low-slung, mid-engined car.
Powered by a Pantera-sourced 5.75-litre Ford V8, the Zonda would have been a quick car, but considering its larger size and greater weight would have been aimed and priced to compete with the mid-range GTs of the day. It's clearly a DeTomaso, with its long and low shape similar, as Car Design News notes, to the first Maserati Ghibli—which was also named after a wind.
With at least 330 horsepower on tap, the sight of a Zonda hurtling down California's Pacific Coast Highway in the mid-'70s would have been quite dramatic, but Ford management wasn't convinced they'd make any money from the venture. A single prototype was made.