1974 DeTomaso Pantera: When Alejandro DeTomaso retired from race car driving he turned to car manufacturing, and by the late 1960s had given the world the bug-like 4-cylinder Vallelunga and the radical V8 Mangusta coupes—aesthetically interesting and competent road cars. In the meantime, Ford had been seeking to acquire an exotic car company, and they landed on DeTomaso’s doorstep. The radical Mangusta was interesting in concept but not quite right for the American market, but the car DeTomaso had in the works was—the Pantera. A deal was struck. The car debuted at the New York Auto Show in 1970, and with Ford’s backing, the plan was to import 10,000, to be sold at Lincoln-Mercury dealerships around the country. Styling for the Pantera came courtesy of the young Tom Tjaarda at Ghia, and the crisp lines and long snout sat atop a pressed-steel unit chassis, while its off-the-shelf 310-hp, 351-ci “Cleveland” V8 was situated midship and paired with a 5-speed ZF transaxle. Weight distribution was predictably biased toward the rear, 150 mph was not out of the question, and the car came with amenities like air conditioning, which American buyers demanded. A luxury model, the Pantera L (for Lusso), arrived for 1972 with unique bumpers, a finned panel over the fuel filler, and several other cosmetic upgrades. Quality control improved, though the V8 was revised ahead of the 1973 model year with a power-stifling lower compression ratio aimed at meeting emissions standards. Pointy black bumpers arrived as well. DeTomaso also built a Euro-spec GTS model in 1973, which featured special badging and a high-compression V8, boasting 350 hp and a top speed of over 170 mph. Ford pulled the plug on the program after 1974, when fewer than 6,000 Panteras had been sold. DeTomaso continued to produce the car in Europe up until 1991, though the cars of the Ford years are generally the most sought after.
To be specific, only 5,262 Panteras rolled off the assembly line and headed to the US between 1971 and 1974. Because of their “supercar” status some have been preserved in collections around the US. What is almost impossible to find is an example such as this DeTomaso that has been nicely restored (late 2017), drives excellent, retained 1 owner from 1978 to 2017, and boasts under 18k miles from new! If that wasn’t enough, it has been upgraded with a Wilwood Brake Kit and a Performance Exhaust. A quick search of current values from the experts at Hagerty ($120,000), NADA ($109,800), and CPI Black Book ($109,800) should erradicate any argument that this is an amazing deal at only $84,900! There are few opportunities in life to make an investment which produces both a good return and great experiences at the same time. A Pantera of this caliber for under $100k is one such opportunity. Contact me any time via cell, text, or email to become an owner.