Spotted: De Tomaso Pantera GTS

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

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (102) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Asterix 07 Oct 2012

    Not many cars can get away with Maroon.

  • RichardAJB 06 Oct 2012

    I saw this one at Le Mans in 2006; I honestly don't think I've seen a nicer example.

    The driver was a hottie too, as you can see:

  • f1ten 24 Sep 2012

    Hi Tom Im 100m from Bromtpon Road, I will need to look out for your beast then.
    tch911 said:

    That looks very nice with the 180's.

    I live 50m from the Brompton Road so when you come through central London I'm sure I'll hear you:-)

    My car has a 408ci stroker motor but I went for a mild cam for maximum torque due to the car being no lightweight, 412 BHP % 425 lb/ft and have converted my car from it's original 3-sp auto to a 5-sp stick shift.

    Hi Phil,

    I am actually going to, all being well, be bringing the beast into central london on Saturday. Staying up in St James but will no doubt trundle in through the west end.....

    Mike Huddart racing engines built this as a street engine. 471 bhp and 466 lb/ft on a 393 stoker, Iron head conversion to Boss heads and a Holley street dominator. God I cannot wait. Have only ever driven 15 miles in this car since I bought it a year ago (I live abroad at present!).

  • HIS LM 22 Sep 2012

    Back in the 80's I remember being in the Bob Dawes golf shop in Uxbridge, where Mahjacks roundabout was, and an Orange Pantera GT5 pulls up outside on the pavement. Guy gets out of said vehicle goes up to the counter and asks "If I buy a dozen golf balls will I get a discount" having his request politely denied he storms out of the shop and zooms off. He looked a bit like Bernhard Langer it wasn't him but a very memorable experience all the same.

  • will261058 21 Sep 2012

    That is a beautiful car. I cannot understand the thought process that leads some to believe that they would prefer there were no more De Tomaso cars, rather than some under BMW ownership which if they can emulate the style will be fabulous cars!

  • View all comments in the forums Make a comment