"The Perfect American Exotic car"

"In 1969, Ford Motor Company in Dearborn happened to be looking for an Italian exotic car company to buy. His merger proposal having been rebuffed by Enzo Ferrari several years earlier, Henry Ford II, grandson of the first Henry Ford, sent emissaries to De Tomaso after looking at the Mangusta. His men decided that the Mangusta wasnít quite right for Ford, but very close in concept. Fortunately, De Tomaso gave Ford an advance peek at models for his next car, the unitized body Pantera. Ford decided that this new design--built more like a Detroit car-- was right for them and in 1969 Ford bought a good piece of DeTomasoís firm, along with the Ghia and Vignale coachbuilding firms that DeTomaso had bought earlier. 1971 was the first year of the Pantera and it was priced at $10,000 which at the time was twice the price of a muscle car, half the price of a Ferrari.

Today Panteras are among the most bulletproof of exotic Italian cars on the road and, as a result, they are far cheaper to run and own than Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis due to De Tomaso and Fordís fortuitous choice of an off-the-shelf Mustang engine, the robust 310-hp. Ford 351-C, as the powerplant.  The design has aged gracefully, and looks very fresh given its 35 year old body.  Weighing just 3123 lbs, and 98.4 wheelbase, 59.1 percent of the cars weight is at the rear tires.  5 speed ZF transmission in the Pantera was also used on Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis and is a bullet proof transmission.

Even though Ford canceled importation of the Pantera to the U.S. in 1974, the story didnít end there. No--not by a long shot. De Tomaso had retained the right to market the car in the rest of the world and he built several thousand more Panteras in the next two decades, including the exciting GT-5, with its "running boards," deep front spoiler and tall Countach-style rear wing-on-stilts. Following that, in the late ?0ís, was the GT5-S, with not just flared rear wheelwells but with the entire rear fenders flared!"---courtesy of Pantera International / Automobile Magazine

The Pantera is currently celebrating its 35th year anniversary, and there was a nice write up of the Pantera in the current issue of Automobile Magazine. 

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1973 DeTomaso Pantera

1973 DE TOMASO PANTERA, #4201 1973 Pre-L, Matching numbers, no rust, CA car-total restoration in 2000 including engine rebuild and taken down to bare metal, driven 18K miles since. This is a one of a kind White Pantera with painted Blue Stripe accents on the top and bottom of the car with aftermarket Lamborghini Wing--looks like Ford GT40. Please note that this Pantera came from the factory as a White car.

For those who do not know, the Pantera is an Italian Body by Ghia Exotic car with a Ford 351 Cleveland Engine that was sold thru Lincoln/Mercury dealers in 1971 thru 1974 and roughly 5,500 cars were built during this time. Italian looks with Ford muscle was the motto then and now.

This car is updated with a 750 Holley Carb, Aluminum Intake, Headers, and MSD Ignition. Everything works including A/C and Power Windows. Includes original parts taken off of car. Previous owner in North Carolina has owned since 2001 and has put on roughly 18,000 miles since the restoration.  North Carolina requires yearly inspections on all cars including classics that are registered.  This means all cars have to go thru a 27 point inspection which includes such things as lights, brakes, exhaust, tires, etc.  The last inspection was done March 2006 and everything passed.  This inspection document along with owners manual, PI Motorsports Parts catalog, Chassis and Body Master Parts Catalog, Pantera Technical Information Binder, ZF Transmission Assembly/Maintenance/Operating Instruction booklet, and Ford Service Bulletin Book all go with the car. 

Regarding classics/muscle cars/exotic cars, most people think they need to find a low mileage, original unrestored car.  Besides spending TOP Dollar, would you want to drive that car more than a few miles from home fearing you might break down.  Also, be prepared to eventually end up replacing a lot of parts. 

All in all, my 1973 Pantera is a nice show quality example that can be driven anywhere, is going up in value and getting harder to find. Adult/collector owned. Located in Orlando, FL. 

(click on pics to enlarge)

Please email:  jvmax@msn.com with any questions

Produced by Ford with an Italian Ghia body and is powered by a 351 cu. in. Cleveland engine, ZF five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 98.4"

Alejandro deTomasoís automobiles were built with passion ?a passion that also inspired his partners. Born in Argentina, deTomaso was a successful racer who in time proved to be an even more successful promoter, first with his own chassis powered by engines from the Maserati brothers?OSCA concern and later with Ford-based production engines. The first Ford-powered deTomaso, Vallelunga, introduced at the Turin show in 1963, used a 1.5-liter Cortina engine in a mid-engined roadster chassis.

The Vallelunga was followed by Mangusta, of which some 400 examples were built from 1968 to 1972. Executed by Ghia from a design by its chief stylist Giorgio Giugiaro, the Mangusta was a dramatically sculptured shape with characteristic center-hinged engine covers. Powered by a 302 cubic inch Boss Mustang engine, the Mangusta was essentially a prototype race car with street pretensions.

The Mangusta was quickly recognized by the Ford Motor Company, with help from Alejandro deTomasoís salesmanship, as an opportunity for Ford to build upon its international endurance racing success.

The deTomaso Pantera, powered by the 351 cubic inch Cleveland V8 and sharing its mid-engine layout with Fordís successful GT40 race cars, translated the race-bred concept of deTomasoís Mangusta into a tooled steel-bodied super car with amenities, like reasonable luggage space, air conditioning and the power assists that American buyers expected. Introduced at the New York Auto Show in 1970, Panteras were sold by select Lincoln-Mercury dealers from 1971 to 1974.

The Pantera was, and is, one of the great performance values of all time, combining a world-class chassis with the explosive thrust of one of the best of the big Detroit V8s. The beat of the Cleveland V8 behind the driverís ears is one of performance motoringís all-time best experiences.