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What’s Cool About The de Tomaso Pantera

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  • What’s Cool About The de Tomaso Pantera

    # The sleek smooth profile from any angle
    # A car that is so low that your view of other cars is at the door handle level
    # A car that is so low that it’s almost invisible to other drivers
    # It only has two seats and you’re sitting in the left one
    # A 351 Cleveland V8 engine that can be as big and bad as you want it to be
    # The engine high performance parts can be ordered from Jeg’s
    # All five speeds in perfect close ratio
    # The gated five speed shifter
    # The Pantera sound and the Pantera sound
    # The sound of driving at 2000rpm, in any gear
    # The Pantera sound setting off car alarms as you pass by
    # The Pantera sound causes the floorboards of cars following you to vibrate
    # The Pantera radio that is only usable with the engine off
    # The 351 Cleveland at 6000 rpm, and you're sitting in front of it
    # Merging on the on-ramp with the 351 at 6000 rpm in third gear (That’s 108mph for you non-owners)
    # Zero to sixty in 4.5 seconds
    # The fading image of a Ferrari in the rearview mirror
    # The view from the back, big wheels, A arms, ANSA exhaust and the ZF hanging out
    # The coil-over suspension with two A arms
    # Power assisted four-wheel disk brakes
    # Manual rack and pinion steering
    # Red paint
    # People that think it's some type of brand new Italian import
    # People that know it’s a de Tomaso Pantera but haven’t seen one in decades (these folks are the best or perhaps they don't get around very much)
    # People that don’t have a clue what it is but know it’s got to be something special
    # People who think it’s a Ferrari, Lambo or Lotus, before you bring them up to speed
    # People hanging around waiting for you to fire it up
    # People looking for the rumble before they see it
    # Pre-teens riding with their parents, pointing wildly at a prowling cat
    # Cars slowing down to grab a look
    # Cars speeding up to grab a look and maybe you let them catch up and maybe you don’t
    # Cars changing lanes to get a different look
    # Guys (or gals) in NSXs, Porsches, Mustangs, Ferraris, etc., doing "double takes"
    # Pulling away from a stoplight with no burnout and leaving everyone else behind
    # Yellow paint (the best Pantera color is always a big discussion topic among owners)
    # If you can turn a wrench you can probably fix most Pantera maintenance problems yourself
    # People casually cracking their car windows open to listen to the Pantera sound
    # Blowing the doors off the guy (or gal) in the brand-new car that thought he could out run you
    # The very finest example of art and machine meant to be driven and enjoyed on a paved surface
    # It's Italian, It's Italian, It's Italian
    Attached Files
    Last edited by OneidaDreamer; 06-26-2007, 07:33 AM.

  • #2
    To most car lovers, De Tomaso and Pantera were equivalent terms. Among the 8500 or so cars ever produced by De Tomaso, about 85% of which were Panteras. The car was introduced in 1971 and survived until 1994, spanning across a quarter of a century. In the supercar field, no one else could match this record.

    Compare with contemporary Lamborghini Countach, Pantera was neither an engineering masterpiece nor a trend setter. However, it was the first affordable supercar ever appeared. When it went on sale in the United States in 1971, it was priced at just US$10,000, even cheaper than Ferrari's entry level Dino 246GT. Never before a 160 mph mid-engined supercar could be that bargain. It was therefore referred to "the poor man's Lamborghini".

    The birth of Pantera was driven by Ford. In the late 60s, Ford wanted to have a supercar to be sold in its showrooms to attract customers. Having refused by Enzo Ferrari for acquiring Ferrari, Ford teamed up with the more flexible Alejandro De Tomaso. The American giant provided funding to the Pantera project and was responsible for selling it in the America, while De Tomaso reserved the distribution right for Europe and the rest of the world. They set a very ambitious target of selling 4000 cars a year, and that was merely in the United States !

    The early Pantera

    Ford was (and still is) a dependable brand, so it requested De Tomaso to make the car reliable and easily serviceable, unlike the other Italian exotics. Therefore G. Dallara gave up the backbone chassis employed by the previous Vallelunga and Mangusta and designed a conventional steel monocoque for the Pantera. It was much stiffer than the Mangusta thus solved the chassis flexing problem. The weight distribution (at 41:59) was also much better than its predecessor. The car was designed by Tom Tjaarda of Ghia (Alejandro De Tomaso bought Ghia a few years back). Although it didn't look as innovative as the Giugario-designed Mangusta, it was still a striking design. To play safe, it had conventional doors and engine lid. To please American buyers, it was equipped with air conditioning and power windows as standard, plus a big boot behind the engine compartment. As a result, Pantera was far easier to live with compare with Lamborghini, Ferrari and Lotus.

    Naturally, the engine came from Ford - 351 cubic inches (5.7 litres) Cleverland V8, transplanted from Mustang Boss 351. Although the push-rod Detroit iron lacked the sophistication of those four-cam V12s from Ferrari and Lamborghini, it produced 330 horsepower (gross) and, at least in the first test by Car & Driver, capable of 159 mph and 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds. That matched Ferrari Daytona and eclipsed Lamborghini Countach LP400. The use of Ford V8 had another advantage: it was cheap and easy to be serviced.

    Comment about the early Pantera was: strong and torquey engine, slick ZF transaxle, sharp steering, taut handling, decent brakes, cramped cabin and bad driving position. Unfortunately, the typical poor build quality of De Tomaso did not match the rest of the car, nor the expectation of Ford. Sales never met the original target. And then it was hit by oil crisis and the tightening of emission regulations. After 5,500 cars delivered to the USA, Ford decided to pull the plug in 1974. Since then Pantera had never officially exported to the North America.

    However, it continued to survive in Europe. From 1971 to 1990, Pantera was updated many times: in 1972, Pantera L was introduced as the luxurious model. In 1973, Pantera GTS introduced a high-compression version of the V8, good for 350 horsepower and a claimed 174 mph top speed. In 1980, Pantera GT5 added a set of "ground effect" aerodynamic kits - spectacular spoilers and rear wing, extended wheel fenders to house the super-wide tires. It finally got an exotic look to match Lamborghini Countach ! In 1984, the body kits melted smoothly into the body and the car became GT5-S.

    Throughout those years, the engine remained the same 5.7-litre Cleverland V8, but power output changed many times due to tightened emission regulations and the attempt to claw back by modifications. As these changes appeared frequently, and De Tomaso was always reluctant to revise the specifications (e.g. top speed was always 174mph / 280kph), it is not easy to find the exact specifications for each model. However, for most of the time the power output varied between 300 and 350hp, except in the last years dropped to 247hp.

    The evacuation from the America hit the sales of Pantera very much. After the Ford era, De Tomaso itself managed to sell only one thousand cars in the following 20 years. As a result, Pantera was changed from a mass production supercar to an exclusive supercar selling at a price nearer to its Italian rivals. After the mid-80s, the car felt really outdated. As Alejandro De Tomaso was concentrating on his newly acquired Maserati (which was a bigger business), he left the car bearing his name unchanged.

    Series II

    The situation was not changed until the 1990 revision. By the time, Pantera was already 20 years old. In many ways, the new Pantera could be said as a new car. Its bodywork was thoroughly redesigned by styling maestro Marcello Gandini. It looked more modern and refined, if not as striking as the original car. The most special feature was a spoiler located at the bottom of the windscreen (same as Maserati Shamal, another Gandini design). Another feature was the Ferrari F40-style rear spoiler.

    The Series II did not gain weight because it got a lighter chassis and a lighter engine. Its monocoque chassis became a hybrid between monocoque center section and tubular sub-frames. It suspensions were heavily modified. The ancient Cleverland V8 was replaced by the contemporary Ford Mustang's 302 cid (5-litre) V8 with electronic fuel injection, which complied with newer emission regulations. De Tomaso fitted new cylinder heads, intake manifolds, camshafts, valves and pistons to improve its output to 305 horsepower. Later cars were detuned to 248 hp due to stricter emission compliance.

    In 1991, an even more spectacular version was announced: Pantera 200. This car added twin-turbo to the V8, boosting output to 450 horsepower and top speed to 200 mph, hence the name of the car.

    Pantera 200 was introduced at a time when everybody built supercars. Unfortunately, the supercar boom went burst soon thus I believe De Tomaso had never delivered the car. In fact, the burst also killed the Series II Pantera. Only 41 cars were built until 1994.

    The golden era of De Tomaso also ended together with Pantera. Alejandro De Tomaso could no longer build another car as great since he got a stroke in 1993. He survived, but never fully recovered until his death 10 years later.
    Last edited by OneidaDreamer; 06-26-2007, 07:36 AM.


    • #3
      I used to have an off brand Transformer that was a Pantera. It was the coolest, although at the time I confused it with a Lamborghini.



      • #4
        I saw one of these cars the other day on the freeway. Looked pretty cool. At that time, it was doing 'stop and go'. That's how you do it on a Cali freeway during rush hour!LOL

        Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?

        "When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

        Mr. Rossie Freeman


        • #5
          Freakin right on Joe's Dad!


          • #6
            i used to work for a guy back in chicago who had a '74 pantera 'special ordered' with a blown 429 super cobra jet. i dont know if he got it from the factory like that, but between the paxton and the gear drive its a scary sounding car

            The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets


            • #7
              Originally posted by FluteMaker View Post
              i used to work for a guy back in chicago who had a '74 pantera 'special ordered' with a blown 429 super cobra jet. i dont know if he got it from the factory like that, but between the paxton and the gear drive its a scary sounding car
              Kick @$$ Dude!


              • #8
                those cars you talked about are pretty to look at and all.

                but i love my Honda Accord Wagon. friend nicknamed it the snaggin wagon!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bahnisiain View Post
                  those cars you talked about are pretty to look at and all.

                  but i love my Honda Accord Wagon. friend nicknamed it the snaggin wagon!
                  I respect your perception.


                  • #10
                    i had a 'snaggin wagon' was '63 rambler wagon with a 327 in it

                    The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets


                    • #11


                      • #12
                        would it count since i bought it off the guy whit the 74 pantera?

                        The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bahnisiain View Post
                          those cars you talked about are pretty to look at and all.

                          but i love my Honda Accord Wagon. friend nicknamed it the snaggin wagon!
                          lol, right on! I love my Dodge Caravan Sport, it runs my tribe
                          His name is Goerge, the van that is.


                          • #14
                            i can speak for most women when i say that yeah a sports car looks pretty and yeah its fast and all that guy stuff. us gals want a car that can get us from point a to point b, if it stays in one peice, that is power!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by OneidaDreamer View Post

                              yah think we got a little off topic~


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