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Wednesday 19th September 2012


SPOTTED: DE TOMASO PANTERA GTS

If the BMW takeover goes ahead, original De Tomasos like this could well appreciate


Whilst there was certainly some positive reaction to the possible acquisition of De Tomaso by BMW, some eyebrows were raised also. Some of you were of the opinion that De Tomaso lacks the brand appeal it once had. Others argued that the iconic Italian firm shouldn't have its reputation tarnished by being resurrected as a badge adornment for rebodied BMWs.

Fair comment - but what if the acquisition does go ahead, and BMW makes a success of it? What if they make another Pantera? And what if it looks anything like this gorgeous example?

Cabin design has dated quite well
Cabin design has dated quite well
Like the Countach, the Pantera fell victim to the worst excesses of supercar flamboyance, with ever-larger spoilers, scoops and slats for dramatic effect. But, as with very early variants of the Countach, simplicity brings out the inherent rightness in the basic design. This Pantera shows that off (nearly) perfectly.

Though this is a late Pantera GTS (it hails from 1989, with the last cars built in 1991), and so has the more aggressive front bumper and flared arches, it foregoes the wild rear wing of many '80s cars. It isn't quite as pure as the early '70s originals, but it still looks stunning.

Of course, the concept of an off-the-shelf engine installed in a low-slung body is by no means new. Look at early TVRs and Marcoses, and even now marques like Ginetta and Wiesmann. But the Pantera, with its exquisite design, still seems a cut above all the pretenders. There's something exotic about it, despite its blue-collar drivetrain.

351 Cleveland motor looks fresh
351 Cleveland motor looks fresh
This particular Pantera looks like an almost flawless example. The photos show stacks of history and an entirely unblemished interior. The asking price is in the upper echelons for road-going Panteras, but its condition probably justifies the money. For an Italian supercar (with a muscle car heart), the colour scheme of dark blue with cream leather is a sober and interesting alternative to the more usual reds.

If the BMW-De Tomaso coalition does go ahead, values of old De Tomaso models like this could rise as the brand becomes more widely recognised. Or, if nobody likes the new cars, they will all be clamouring after an original - a beautiful, fast, iconic supercar with uncomplicated running gear and the potential to appreciate in value.

One of the best rear ends in motoring
One of the best rear ends in motoring
See the original advert here

De Tomaso Pantera GTS (1989)
Engine: 5766cc, V8
Transmission: Five-speed manual, rear-wheel-drive
Power (hp): 330hp@5,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 325@3500rpm
MPG: 15 (hopefully)
C02: N/A
First Registered: 1989
Recorded mileage: 29,000
Price new:
Yours for: £64,995

Author: Matt Bird
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