De Tomaso Pantera: Spotted

The chequered history of De Tomaso is littered with some gorgeous cars.

Though to drive and to own some of its products were as unstable as the firm's financial affairs, to look at they were nearly always a pleasure. Consider the Giugiario-designed Vallelunga and Mangusta - both stunning, by the standards of their times - and even the later Deauville and Longchamp were not without their charms.

Pretty and Italian on top...
Pretty and Italian on top...
Consider most of all, though, this Pantera - it's divine. Look at its little Campagnolo wheels and its bits of chrome glinting in the sun. Look at that rump, too - so pert. The overall look is dainty but aggressive, and how perfectly that suits what it is; a delicate Italian-made supercar with some butch bits of Ford muscle underneath.

It was designed by Tom Tjaarda, then at Ghia, and the body surmounted a Dallara-designed monocoque that featured double wishbones and all-independent suspension. There was a five-speed ZF transaxle in there, too, and, mid-mounted, a 330hp all-iron 5.8-litre Ford Cleveland pushrod V8, similar to what you might have found in a tarted-up Mustang or a Torino. Think 0 to 60mph in 5.5 seconds, and 170mph flat out.

This is a relatively early 1974 example from the US, where Panteras were sold through Ford's Lincoln Mercury dealers, the American giant at that time owning a considerable stake in De Tomaso. Refurbished and refreshed, with a full service and a health check, you might think it worth a punt.

... all-American underneath!
... all-American underneath!
What you'd probably get is a car as temperamental and as difficult to drive and own as any other 1970s supercar, with its heavy steering, awkward driving position and compromised visibility, not to mention its complete lack of ventilation.

All this might be worth it, though, when the sun is high and the blood is bubbling and you find the right road snaking ahead of you - those that have driven Panteras certainly seem to like them. Be warned, though - Elvis had one, and he was so frustrated with his he shot it.


Engine: 5,752cc, V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 330@N/A rpm
Torque (lb ft): 325@N/A rpm
MPG: Good one
CO2: Excessive
First registered: 1974
Mileage: 21,000
Price new: N/A
Price now: £109,900

See the full ad here.

Mark Pearson

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (51) Join the discussion on the forum

  • galaxie500 15 Jan 2018

    A good friend of a good friend in the US Midwest has a similarly early Pantera bought in the late 70’s from the original owner and its tricky reputation is born out by a mere 60K miles from new. It is exercised from time to time and the beautiful body combined with the simple Ford motor makes for a compelling experience. I hope to drive it on my next visit if the owner lets me!

  • Puddenchucker 15 Jan 2018

    I've always liked Panteras.
    If nothing else, they look fantastic (IMHO) from the back:

  • BrettMRC 15 Jan 2018

    I *need* one!

    Love these so much biggrin

  • irocfan 15 Jan 2018


  • samoht 15 Jan 2018

    Thread seems to have become detached from its original article.

    I enjoyed Jay's piece on the Pantera here -

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