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De Tomaso Pantera

De Tomaso Pantera Published: 10th May 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

De Tomaso Pantera
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£20,000-£60,000+ - Affordable classic supercar - Rarity (especially GT5) - Simplistic mechanics

With possible exception of the Iso Lele, De Tomaso’s Pantera must be the cheapest 70’s Italian supercar around with price at leat half what you’d expect to pay for an equivalent Ferrari and Lamborghini with arguably better looks and certainly more rarity. Plus, unlike the famous, par, old school running gear ensures they are quite easy to keep, too.

  • Driving
  • Argentinian racing driver Alejandro de Tomaso, after moving to Italy, started to make his own production car fifty years ago. Ford, who was looking for a supercar to sell into States supported the Pantera project with its engines and certain running gear. With its rear-engined bias, it’s not unlike a big-engined 911 in terms of handling traits although was commended by Motor in 1971 for its ease of driving and touring prowess while Fast Lane added 15 years later that car was “a machine of towering ability and stature”. With over 300bhp from a 5.7-litre V8, a Pantera still embarrasses many exotic and moderns (0-60 in six seconds); the GT5 and GTS is even quicker and a fair number came in RHD form.

     

  • Best models
  • There’s two, the original made from 1970 to ’85 and the later GT5 made up to 1991 but such is their rarity that it’s more a case of what you can get.

    The GT5 is the more muscular looking and in tune with the late 80’s power dressing theme; a tad too showy we reckon even if it’s a matter of taste but the revised chassis and fatter tyres under those extended wheel arches certainly gave it sublime grip. The Si model of 1991 features a further revised chassis and brakes plus fuel injection.

     

  • Prices
  • We’re not joking when we say that this car is a cut price Countach; even the best examples can be bought for not much more than £65,000 and half this for fairly tidy examples with the GT5 models slightly cheaper. It can’t stay this way for long even though over 7000 were made…

     

  • Buying advice
  • The good news is that there’s surprisingly strong presence in the UK but it’s in the US where their popularity (and parts supply) lies (not least engines). But while bargains to buy, this supercar is as pricey as any similar aged Ferrari to run and repair.

    They rust – of course – with the main structural areas being floor, inner sills, chassis legs, bulkheads and so on and while certain body panels are obtainable, some will have to be handmade.

    The OHV Ford V8 is as easy to maintain as a Morris Minor. Many have been tuned as parts are cheap – less so the GT40-derived transmission that’s a £3000 rebuild. The rest of the running gear is fairly orthodox (some parts also found on other Italian cars so cross-reference) but check for worn wheel bearings and seized brakes, the latter more due to infrequent use plus RHD steering racks are costly at some £500. There’s plenty of US cars to import and although specs were lower than UK models, many have been further tuned and uprated.

    UK specialists of note include McGrath (classicmaseratis.co.uk), Johnny Woods and Roger Brotton, GTB Restorations – while overseas there’s Pantera Parts and Panteras by Wilkinson. Also go to pantera.net and the UK club, detomasodc.co.uk.

     



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