The De Tomaso Pantera is the mid-engine supercar that three out of four American manufacturers were trying to build in the early 1970s. Chevrolet had always been toying with the idea of a mid-engined Corvette, and AMC dropped jaws with the AMX/2 and AMX/3 concept cars. Ford came to the conclusion that if they didn’t get to the market first that they would miss out on an opportunity. Meanwhile, Alejandro De Tomaso was putting the finishing touches on the replacement for the Mangusta, and knew that Ford was looking for an image car to sell in lieu of the GT40. He proposed a deal where Ford would receive cars to sell, and if things went well, a potential stake in De Tomaso Automobili and Ghia. Ford bit, and between 1971 and 1974, over 5,000 and potentially up to 6,000 were sold in the United States. De Tomaso sold the remaining cars in Europe all the way through 1992.
This black GTS is a later build, with the fender flares and the rear wing that is identical to the Lamborghini Countach, but it’s far from an Italian poseur. Once that 351 Cleveland fires off, there’s no mistaking what is going on. Running at Franciacorta during a track day, this Italian-American hybrid makes the kinds of noise that, if you close your eyes, could be confused for LeMans in the late 1960s. Crank your speakers up and enjoy!
noice…hows this for an annoying Pantera moment? I was at an all Ford Day on Sunday and there was a beautiful Pantera sitting there… two dudes in front of me are looking at it and saying `why is that here? Its a kit car isn’t it?’ I let them know what ignorant gits they were…
Finally ! Something good to put a smile on this rather cynical face this morning . Hell … did I say good ? More like .. great … seeing as how I haven\’t even had my second cup of coffee yet .
But Bryan … I have to say .. looking at this car methinks its more a Resto Mod than anything approaching original … which .. in light of the Panteres many inherit problems …. only makes this one even better
PS; @ John T … i hope you gave them both a good smack around the ears … what a couple of morons ! Kit car indeed !
I own a 71 and the kit car comments happen frequently. Or is it real is the other one.
I love the Pantera but it has always been a little above my income range until recently. And now I can’t get in or out of one.
Can’t get enough of the 4V Clevelands! My worst addiction yet.
I’ve had my Cleveland since Christmas Day of 1984….. Had it longer than I’ve been married. There’s nothing like one of these beasts between 6,500- 8,000 RPM……… it’s sheer ear porn.
Seen one not long ago. I bet parts are fun to get.
In that Pan lies the heart and sound of all of us….
Bryan: Thank you for posting this photo & video. By the way, this Pantera model is a GT5, not a GTS (DeTomaso used the same badge for both). It was produced primarily between 1980 and 1985. The GT5 was an upgrade to the that used a lot of Gr3 race car parts including larger brakes. It also used the much wider Gr4 race car tire size, which gave the car a much wider stance than the GTS, and necessitated the wheel arch flares. The GT5 also featured a much more luxurious interior with leather throughout and much better seats.
ColoradoKid: This is not a restomod. It is how all GT5s looked from the factory. The only obvious change is the exhaust, otherwise the car is stock in appearance.
Time: You would be surprised at how easy parts are to get for a Pantera. Because they came with either a 351C or (in later cars) with a 351W, engine parts are not problem. The transaxle is a German ZF for which parts and aftermarket support are readily available, if expensive. Virtually every other part on the car is also available from a dozen or so vendors, most of them located in the U.S.. A dedicated network of incredibly friendly and welcoming enthusiasts linked across the world makes answering any maintenance, repair of upgrade question a snap. The Pantera is the single least expensive and easiest to maintain exotic I know of.