- Chassis # THPNMA02924
- A Desirable Pre-L Pantera
- Cosmetically Restored & Upgrade With Sensible Driving Modifications
- Includes Original Books And Tools
The De Tomaso Automobile group was founded in 1959 by Argentine-born Alejandro de Tomaso. They set up shop in Modena Italy where they would produce various prototypes and racing cars including a Formula One car, the 505/38, raced by Frank Williams Racing Cars during the 1970 season. De Tomaso’s first production road car, the Vallelunga, was introduced in 1963. The new car had many issues, ultimately leading to only 50 being produced before the newly redesigned Mangusta was introduced in 1967. The Mangusta, which was developed out of a failed can-am car project with Carroll Shelby, proved to be much more of a success for De Tomaso with around 401 cars being built from 1967 to 1971. It would be with the release of their new model in 1971 though, the Pantera, that De Tomaso would hit home and finally put out a car to sell in good numbers.
The Pantera (Italian for Panther) was designed by Tom Tjaarda of Ghia and debuted in Modena in March of 1970. About a year later the first production cars were sold and the new Pantera was being produced at approximately 3 units per day. Power for the car would come from the 5.8 liter Ford Cleveland V8 engine which was mated to a ZF transaxle. The chassis was a steel monocoque design and power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes, as well as rack and pinion steering, were standard equipment on all Pantera’s produced. As the Pantera was always meant to be delivered to the United States it also included many standard features that were rare in Europe such as electronic windows and air conditioning. The Pantera really took hold when in late 1971 Ford began importing the cars for the American market and sold them through its Lincoln-Mercury dealers. Ford continued to import Panteras through 1975, bringing approximately 5500 cars into the U.S. market before ending their importation. Although the halt on importation by Ford slowed De Tomaso down, the company would continue producing the Pantera for foreign markets all the way through 1992 with the release of the final edition Pantera Si, before the fabled model was replaced by the new, radical De Tomaso Guara in 1994. The Pantera would be the car that made the De Tomaso name famous and would remain in production for just over 20 years with approximately 7260 Panteras produced worldwide. To this day, the Pantera remains an excellent way to experience Italian design with the ease of maintenance that comes with an American built power-plant.
The example on offer here is a 1972 De Tomaso Pantera finished in red exterior with a black interior. It is a desirable Pre-L (Lusso) model meaning it features the more visually appealing chrome bumpers amongst a host of other features that were changed out in later cars. This Pantera benefits from a well kept cosmetic restoration as well as a mechanical refreshing and remains in great useable condition. Not much is known about the history of this vehicle but according to a few period photos which are included, the car used to wear a yellow color before it received a full cosmetic restoration (likely) in the mid-’90s. It appears the car was stripped to bare metal and redone very nicely both exterior and interior. This Pantera remains in great condition both cosmetically and mechanically and shows little to no needs as of today. There were a few modernization and drivability features added to the car such as MSD electronic ignition, Momo prototipo steering wheel, Recaro bucket seats, larger aftermarket radiator, and a hydraulic parking brake amongst a few others. The current owner and consignor, located in New York state, acquired the car approximately 5 years ago and has since used it sparingly and maintained it appropriately. Given its thorough restoration and proper upkeep, this 1972 Pantera makes for the perfect example to drive and enjoy without worry.
Included with the sale of this vehicle are factory books, tools, and available service history and restoration documentation.
body and paint
The red exterior paint remains in excellent condition, showing excellent color and consistency all the way around the car. Blemishes are relegated to a few small stone chips in the front section of the vehicle as well as some very minor paint chips in high wear areas like the edge of the driver's side door. The body itself is smooth and straight with no signs of underlying metal issues. Gaps and body panel fitment are consistent and appropriate all around the vehicle.
glass and trim
The chrome trim throughout the car remains in nice serviceable condition, showing some minor scratching here and there but overall retaining a nice smooth finish with excellent shine. Rubber trim appears well looked after and contains good color and suppleness. Headlights, taillights, as well as turn signals, are all clean, clear and free of cracks. Window glass appears to be original throughout as each piece still retains “Sicursiv” branding and remains in respectable condition, showing only very minor signs of its originality.
The unique “Campagnolo” wheels are fairly clean and tidy, with smooth painted surfaces showing only minor signs of use. All of the mounting hardware contains De Tomaso branding and the center caps retain bright colorful branding.
seats and surfaces
The original seats were swapped out for a nice set of cloth Recaro bucket seats that remain in good condition with deep and solid bolsters. The black carpeting in the car retains good fitment and shows a bit of fading in certain areas but no major wear. The leather on the door cards and the dash remains well-fitting and in good condition. The momo prototipo steering wheel is in great condition and a nice addition to the driving experience. The headliner remains clean and well-fitting. Gauge faces are clean with easily readable numbers and lettering.
functionality and accessories
The doors open and close as they should and the power windows move up and down with ease. The gated 5-speed shifter moves easily through its range of motion and the hydraulic parking brake while taking a bit to get used too the operation, holds the car firmly in place. It appears that during our brief testing all the gauges read their requisite functions as they should. Switches and knobs appear to be in good cosmetic and mechanical order. Additionally, there is a newer aftermarket radio mounted in the dash center stack as well as newer aftermarket speakers in the doors.
engine bay and trunk
The engine bay appears well looked after and despite the addition of some newer aftermarket components, shows no signs of any outward issues either cosmetic or mechanical. Tubes, Wires, and hoses all appear in good order and there are no signs of any leaks or issues.
The rear trunk area is comprised of of the standard removable black carpet trimmed fiberglass piece that sits towards the rear of the engine bay. It fits well and shows no signs of any issues. The front trunk shows some fraying of the carpeting but nice proper fitment and no signs of any issues from the mechanical components located within. There is an aftermarket amp for the sound system bolted to the floor and the aftermarket, larger radiator is visible.
The underside of this Pantera remains clean and tidy, showing a car that appears well taken care of throughout its life. Floors appear solid with no signs of issue past or present. Suspension and braking components appear newer and well looked after. The rockers are straight with nice smooth paint. The underside of the engine and trans are clean and dry, showing no signs of leaks or issues with the exception of some blue paint chipping off of the oil pan. There is some minor paint chipping on the lower edge of the front black radiator grille.
The big Ford V8 engine fires to life with a few turns of the starter and settles in a smooth and consistent idle. Out on the road, it makes good power and during our brief testing, we did not experience any stumbles or hesitation in the powerband. The car appears to hold temperature nicely, thanks in part to its larger aftermarket radiator.
The clutch engagement is smooth and appropriate while holding power well. The trans shifts easily between gears and revs freely.
brakes and suspension
During our brief testing of the vehicle, the brakes felt adequate, possibly a bit on the firm side but they did bring the car to a smooth and controlled stop. The suspension felt compliant and responsive with no odd road manners or noises to report.
The car wears a fairly new set of Pirelli Cinturato P7 tires on all four corners, with solid sidewalls and plenty of tread life left to them.
The Pantera is a bit of a curious beast in that visually everything screams Italian design but the driving experience itself is very American. Power builds in a nice linear manner from the 351 cubic inch V8 but the front end is still light, providing quick turn-in and good feedback, thanks to the engine being mounted in the middle of the car. While not blisteringly fast, the Pantera provides ample speed as well as serenading the driver with a cacophony of mechanical noise from the engine located inches behind your head. This particular Pantera remains in excellent cosmetic and mechanical condition, showing little to no needs other than a new custodian who will drive and enjoy it.