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De Tomaso Pantera

De Tomaso Pantera

De Tomaso Pantera

One of the more prominent American-Italian hybrids is the Detomaso Pantera. With a mix of Italian styling a cast-iron American V8, the car had appeal on both sides of the pond. It was unlikely result of Lee Iacocca and Alessandro de Tomaso coming together to produce a version of the AMX/3 that would put Ford back in the exotic car market.

The design that de Tomaso envisioned was worked out by Dallara with a possible production of 5000 cars a year. The car included all the right ingredients including a double wishbone suspension, disc brakes, rack & pinion steering and most importantly a 351 Cleveland V8.

Body Designer Tom Tjaarda describes his choice for the car’s lines: “When I was working on this car, I wanted to make sure that when you saw the design, you were certain where the engine was placed and where the power was coming from. That’s why I gave it a powerful haunch look, an animal with strong shoulders.” Inside he increased overall space over the Mangusta: “with a much larger seating position, the roof was raised and the windshield given a less steep angle.”

Once the design was finalized, production of the bodies actually commenced from at Vignale and when completed they were shipped to de Tomaso in Modena for installation of the suspension and drive line.

The first cars were presented to the press in March of 1970 and the car was available from Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the states in May of 1971. Not long afterward, a recall was issued for strengthened rear sub frames, updated air conditioning and fiberglass fuel tanks. In 1971 Road and Track described the car as “Exciting-but not a finished product.” De Tomaso himself argued that an exotic car couldn’t be delivered to corporate engineering standards, at least not for $10,000 USD a unit.

In 1973 the model was replaced the Pantera L which had less power and larger rubber bumpers.

In Detail

type Series Production Car
production years 1971 – 1973
built at Modena, Italy
body stylist Tom Tjaarda
coachbuilder Carrozzeria Ghia
price $ $ 9,995
engine Cleveland V8
position Mid, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
block material Cast Iron
valvetrain Pushrod OHV
displacement 5763 cc / 351.7 in³
bore 102.0 mm / 4.02 in
stroke 89.0 mm / 3.5 in
compression 10.7:1
power 231.2 kw / 310.0 bhp @ 5400 rpm
specific output 53.79 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 216.63 bhp per tonne
torque 515.2 nm / 380.0 ft lbs @ 3400 rpm
body / frame Unitary Steel Monocoque
driven wheels RWD
front tires 185/70-15
rear tires 215/70-15
front wheels F 38.1 x 17.8 cm / 15.0 x 7.0 in
rear wheels R 38.1 x 20.3 cm / 15.0 x 8.0 in
steering Rack & Pinion
curb weight 1431 kg / 3155 lbs
wheelbase 2499 mm / 98.4 in
front track 1448 mm / 57.0 in
rear track 1461 mm / 57.5 in
length 4252 mm / 167.4 in
width 1811 mm / 71.3 in
height 1120 mm / 44.1 in
transmission ZF 5-Speed Manual
gear ratios 2.42:1, 1.47:1, 1.09:1, 0.958:1, 0.846:1
final drive 4.22:1
top speed ~225.26 kph / 140 mph
0 – 60 mph ~6.8 seconds



Auction Sales History


1973 De Tomaso Pantera Rally Car THPNNP05538 – sold for €56,000 This example was expressly prepared in accordance with FIA rules for historic rallying, and in fact, it has participated in the Monte Carlo Historic Rallye. The transformation of the car included tuning the Cleveland V-8 for superb reliability, mating it to a five-speed transmission and surrounding it with a full roll cage.
Auction Source: 2014 Monaco by RM Auctions


1972 DeTomaso Pantera THPNMG03300 – sold for $46,000 Very nice 1972 Pantera. 351/330 HP 4V Ford engine. 5-speed manual. Power steering. Power brakes. Power windows. Jack and jack bag. Yellow with Black interior. Believed to be 22,394 original miles.
Auction Source: 2012 Daytime Auction by Mecum


1972 DeTomaso Pantera THPNMA02993 – sold for $60,000
Original and Unrestored with 18,916 Miles. Original, Unrestored Pre-L Pantera. Blue with Black interior. Original paint. Original interior. Original Cleveland 351 CI engine. Original 5-speed transmission. Power windows. Power brakes. Original space saver spare. Tool kit
18,916 actual miles. The original owner, Larry Seyfarth, owned the car until September 2011. This is virtually a one owner car. Documented with the original bill of sale and car invoice
Auction Source: 2012 Daytime Auction by Mecum


1973 DE TOMASO PANTERA – sold for €53,611
The car in the sale was prepared and improved in the US, where the current owner bought it approximately five years ago, from a racing driver of a certain age, who had stopped competing. It conforms to FIA regulations, for homologation, apart from the brakes, which can easily be changed (an estimate of €4,000 has been given). It is fitted with a roll-cage, FIA fuel tank, and has a Group4 homologation certificate. The cockpit has been stripped out and equipped for racing. According to the owner, who has competed in it, the engine is torquey and the car very agile. It is a great car to drive, with a wonderful sound that attracts spectators’ applause. Beautifully presented, it provides a perfect opportunity to buy a powerful period machine that has been race-prepared to a high standard.
Auction Source: 2012 Sport & GTs au Mans Classic by Artcurial


1972 Detomaso Pantera – sold for $40,000
With just 33,953 miles on the clock and a single repaint in rich Dark Blue, this 1972 DeTomaso Pantera is in as-original condition, with the added benefit of an upgrade to the engine cooling system. Powered by Ford’s 351 Cleveland with a ZF gearbox, the car has been with its present owner, the third in its history, since 1983, when he purchased it at 26,000 miles. Custom De Tomaso logos decorate both the spare tire cover and the inside hood, where it is sealed under clearcoat for a finish that matches the overall high quality seen throughout, and which has earned this Pantera several Concours awards in the San Francisco area.
Auction Source: 2010 Mecum at Monterey



1972 De Tomaso Pantera 351/400 HP, 5-Speed – sold for $40,000
The Pantera was the perfect combination of Italian beauty from the Ghia design studios in Turin, with one of the finest American V8s built, the 351 CI Ford Cleveland. It offered enthusiasts the best of both worlds: a beautiful Italian mid-engine exotic sports car with the reliability and low maintenance costs of the Ford V8. This specific Pantera chassis #3107 was the recipient of a spare-no-expense restoration by the Gary Hall Pantera specialists, who also added their Super Pantera package. An exceptionally nice low mileage original to begin with, it was completely disassembled and brought to as new condition, during which its few factory shortcomings were corrected. It was then finished in 30 coats of sparkling White acrylic that perfectly enhances its muscular lines; the car looks as nice underneath as it does from the top. Maximum estimated mileage driven since the Hall restoration is in the 2000 mile range.
Auction Source: 2010 Mecum at Monterey