It is kind of weird to see just how parallel the De Tomaso Pantera and the Lamborghini Countach were in their evolution. Both debuted in the early 1970s with a clean wedge shape and by the end of the run there were gigantic wings, monster flares, and bodykits that made them caricatures of their former selves. With the Pantera, we tend to prefer the early cars that still had Ford involved in the process (they imported Panteras to sell in Lincoln-Mercury dealerships from 1971-1975, bringing in about 5,500 cars.) The whole Pantera layout shouldn’t be a mystery: a four-bolt main 351 Cleveland fitted with the Cobra Jet camshaft made the noise, a ZF five-speed transaxle shifted the gears, and four-wheel disc brakes stopped the car. So long as you were shorter than six feet tall, a Pantera was a very viable alternative to a purebred Italian.
This GTS is claimed to be one of 133 sent to the United States, but here’s exactly where our interest in figures ends. Just look at the Ghia-bodied thing. Look at it. Tell me that you don’t want to go find out the benefits of a rear-mid mounted engine are in the corners. Hell, tell me you wouldn’t want to just hear this thing running at a decent RPM, the 351 barking away behind your head as you run the gears throught hat gated shifter sent from heaven. The lines are smooth, the spoilers don’t exist, the flares look just right and the Campagnolo mags are perfect. The fact that this example has 781 miles on the clock is nothing short of a travesty. Treat it well, yes, but enjoy the car…we’re thinking Highway 1 all the way up the Californian coastline would be ideal!