Just imagine sitting at a bar, and a smoking hot girl asks you what you drive and you answer in a suave voice “DeTomaso Pantera”. Boom! Instant interest. I mean have you ever heard a sexier name for a car.
The Pantera, while being instantly appealing, is quite unbeknownst to many people and if you mention the name on the street or over show someone a photo; they probably never knew it existed until that very moment. Well, prepare to be enlightened, as it’s quite an amazing car.
The Pantera, which in Italian means Panther, is a mid-engined sports car produced by the DeTomaso car company which was based in Italy from 1971 to 1991. The car was designed by an American designer, named Tom Tjaarda. It used a steel monocoque design making the car quite strong and rigid. The Pantera logo included a version of Argentina's flag turned on its side with a T-shaped symbol that was the brand used by DeTomaso's Argentinian cattle ranching ancestors. This Pantera, a 1972 model, is powered by a Ford 351 Cleveland V8 engine that produced a severely underrated 330hp, but when tested they produced closer to the 380hp mark. The high torque provided by the Ford engine reduced the need for excessive gear changing at low speeds, which in turn made the car much less demanding to drive in urban conditions. The car was advanced for its time as well, featuring power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes and rack and pinion steering. The Pantera could accelerate to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, which is quite impressive indeed.
On the inside it was also very modern for it’s time, with plush leather sport seats, electric windows and even air conditioning. The car has very little headroom though which makes it quite difficult for tall people to drive and the strangest thing must be the pedals that were offset, instead of being straight in front on the driver.
Today the Pantera is a very rare car and they’ve really become investment opportunities for car collectors. With only 7260 ever produced, you can think that only a handful of those remain today. Special editions like the Pantera GT5-S have fetched prices of above $200 000 with ease. Even Jay Leno owns a pristine 1971 Pantera in midnight blue, so that tells you it’s a pretty special car.
Even with that all said, it’s still a pretty weird combination to make up such a cool car. It’s a mash up of a Ford Cleveland V8 right behind the driver, a ZF transaxle, a gated manual shifter and proper exotic Italian good looks. It shouldn’t really work, but strangely enough it just does, beautifully!
Model: 1972 DeTomaso Pantera
Engine: 5.8 L Ford 351 Cleveland V8
CHECK OUT THE PHOTO-SHOOT OF KIRSTEN WITH THE PANTERA HERE: