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.
Early production issues plagued the $10,000 Pantera, Car & Driver said in August 1971: "As you skim over the pavement in the Pantera you can’t help feeling smug. You hear the engine rumbling along from its station back by your shoulder blades—a mechanical arrangement even novitiate automotive visionaries will recognize as a little piece of tomorrow today. And the looks. Oh wow—like something that just rolled out of the Turin Show."
Ford pulled the plug on the program after 1974, when around 5.500 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.
This rare pre-L model has a fully documented history with only two previous owners in the USA. The first from 1972 to 1983 and the second one bought the car with only 4.000 miles on the clock! He put the car into a dry storage in 1988, where the car spent the next 17 years. In 2005, the car was put back into operation by specialists from Pantera Performance, Denver (new Holley carburettor, new fuel tank). This second owner then sold the car in 2014 to Germany and in 2017 the car was imported to the Czech Republic, where it is currently registered. The condition of the tachometer seems to be correct and with the documented history it is very probable, the car has really only 16.000 miles original miles on clock!
The original Ford Cleveland engine (blue-labelled) was resealed in 2019, when the car got also a new radiator and pipes.
|First registration date||01.07.1972|
|Engine||5.766 ccm, 335 PS, V8|
|Steering||Left Hand Drive|
|Layout||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Color - exterior||Red|
|Color - interior||Black|
|Miles/Kilometers shown||16.066 mls|
|Chassis / VIN||THPNMD04154|
|Location - Country||Czechia|
|Location - City||Hradec Kralove|
• 2-door coupe body type; • RWD (rear-wheel drive), manual 5-speed gearbox; • gasoline (petrol) engine with displacement: 5766 cm3, advertised power: 246 kW / 330 hp / 335 PS, torque: 515 Nm; • characteristic dimensions: outside length: 4242 mm, width: 1702 mm, wheelbase: 2500 mm; • reference weights: base curb weight: 1297 kg; • top speed: 260 km/h (162 mph) (declared by factory); • accelerations: 0-60 mph 4.9 s; 0-100 km/h 5.2 s