Low Mileage Reference Car:
1972 DeTomaso Pantera pre-L

Of all the Italo-American hybrids ever conceived, Alejandro DeTomaso's Pantera should be considered the most successful. One of Ford's first "halo" cars, it not only had the U.S. giant's engineering support, but also was sold through FoMoCo's Lincoln-Mercury dealerships.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 629 pixels)

Successor of the equally exotic, Giugiaro-designed Mangusta, reportedly 5,629 units of the Pantera were sold in the U.S. during four short years, from 1971 to 1974. With an original MSRP of $9,800.00, it was the most affordable super-exotic on the market. They say Ford lost money on every Pantera ever made--but what a car it was!

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 638 pixels)

Its Tom Tjaarda-penned Carrozzeria Ghia design combined sexiness with the look of brute force. With its hunkered-down stance and mid-engine layout, to many enthusiasts it seemed like a Le Mans racer for the street. Definitely in one league with the finest mediterranean supercars of the era, such as Lamborghini Countach, Maserati Bora, and Ferrari Daytona, the Pantera's price of admission and service was--and still is--markedly lower.

copyright by californiaclassix.com copyright by californiaclassix.com

Click on any of the above images for a full-size view

The 1972 DeTomaso Pantera shown here, VIN *THPNMD04170* is such an exceptionally well-preserved original, we'd like to call it of reference quality.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 606 pixels)

Born in Modena, Italy and raised in sunny California, the Pantera still wears its original, 1972-issue, blue-and-gold license plates, front and back. It was always properly garaged and has never been subject to rain, snow, hail, or any kind of inclement weather, explaining its almost unreal state of preservation.

copyright by californiaclassix.com

It's a true low-mileage vehicle, too! Its Pantera-enthusiast owners travelled less than 1,300 miles annually, on average, for a total of only 44,418 actual miles in 35 years.
To call this car a cherished toy, driven on sunny Sundays only, would almost be an understatement!

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 622 pixels)

This survivor comes with its original owner's manual and a full shop manual.
Let's have a closer look now, beginning with the DeTomaso's voluptuous body.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (950 x 622 pixels)

Rust-and accident free, the ultra-glossy Pantera's all-steel coachwork is arrow-straight and still features its original bright red finish, never having suffered a color change like so many of its brethren. There's a small paint blemish here and there, and some age-induced crazing, especially on the roof, which is near impossible to detect in these photos. All rubber trim, including glass and door weatherstripping, is original and in excellent condition.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 597 pixels)

Paint close-up.

copyright by californiaclassix.com copyright by californiaclassix.com

Click on any of the above images for a full-size view

Road wheels are the original, super attractive CAMPAGNOLO cast magnesium units, 7x15s up front and 8x15s in the rear. Tires are genuine and long obsolete PIRELLI P7s, the front ones, size 225/50/15, with less than 5,000 miles, the rear ones of the size 275/55/15.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 543 pixels)

A 100% factory original looking Pantera is a rare sight, indeed. From the collector's standpoint, a "stock" car will always be worth more than a modified one--and we all know that most Panteras have been heavily modified. Not so this one!

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 597 pixels)

Absolutely clean and unmolested front trunk compartment looks ready for show competition.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 597 pixels)

Enter the cozy cockpit and you could think that you were taken back in time to 1972. The interior has not seen any moisture or smoke and presents itself in a pristinely preserved state. All the equipment--gauges, switches, heating, fans, power windows, headlight motors, and electrical--works very well. The steering and turn signals feel almost as new. At some time in the 1980s, a KENWOOD cassette radio and new speakers were added in the original factory locations.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 597 pixels)

All the original upholstery, seats, carpets, and headliner are in excellent condition. Door panels are original and in superb condition as well. Sun visors and dash are perfect, free of any cracks or stains. Glove box is top notch. The interior sports the original, wonderfully preserved seat belts.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 618 pixels)

Note the original, chromed steel bumperettes front and aft and the muy macho four tip exhaust. Also visible above is the dealer-installed, quickly removable chrome luggage rack, a very desirable option.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 597 pixels)

Immaculate rear trunk pan contains original, unused space saver spare and complete tool roll. Factory spare wheel hold-down clamp and tire jack are included as well.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 597 pixels)

Equally clean is the engine compartment. Drivetrain is a delight to see, feel, and hear.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 597 pixels)

Itís the original, 351 cubic inch Ford Cleveland V8, fitted with a Holley 700cfm carburetor, sending 330 lively horses to a stout German ZF five-speed transaxle. The dealer-installed headers and exhaust sound incredible. Kept in superior tune with a couple of sensible (and easily reversible) upgrades such as a breakerless ignition, the big V8 starts instantly and revs smoothly from idle all the way to its 6,000 rpm redline. You're free to run around town all day; she'll never get hot, even during a 100-degree heat wave, as the cooling fans have been recalibrated. Coolant hoses are expensive Gates Green Stripes.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (850 x 638 pixels)

There are no leaks of any kind to report--driveline is as clean underneath as it is on top. Picture above nicely shows the race car derived, independent rear suspension with aluminum A-arms, coil-over shocks, and rear sway bar. A front sway bar, rack-and-pinion steering, and 4-wheel disc brakes were part of the factory package, too.

copyright by californiaclassix.com copyright by californiaclassix.com

Click on any of the above images for a full-size view

Here's a view that's of utmost importance to every Pantera aficionado. It shows the pristine original unibody chassis, floors, and rocker panels. This is definitely not one of the many Panteras suffering corrosion from the inside out, due to improper care or storage. There is no rust or acid damage to the battery box area whatsoever, which is another amazing feat. Furthermore, the car's body, front trunk, rockers, and firewall are all rust free. We guarantee it!

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 610 pixels)

Fully satisfied with the car's many exceptional static traits, let's embark on our long-awaited test drive!

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 597 pixels)

We started bright and early on Thurday, December 14, another sunny day in SoCal. After letting engine and transmission fluids warm up respectfully, we smoothly shifted through the gears without any grinding or whine to be heard; the 2,900-pound car accelerates exceedingly well: one will never be able to probe its potential top speed on a U.S. highway. This Pantera starts, runs, drives, turns, and stops extremely well. It sports KONI sports shocks with larger aftermarket anti-sway bars and mounts. Its chassis integrity speaks for itself, as it is virtually void of squeaks and rattles.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 597 pixels)

The low mileage really became evident exercising this wonderful machine! We drew plenty of admiring looks from other motorists; young and old flocked to the car whenever we parked it. Except during the Pebble Beach Concorso Italiano perhaps, you'll not see another Pantera like this one on the road.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 628 pixels)

1972 was a banner year for the Pantera, as it brought many mechanical upgrades while the car still retained its beautiful, classic chrome bumpers. Donít get trapped spending upward of $50,000.00 trying to duplicate the original nature of a Pantera pre-L by buying a cheap example without much history or, worse yet, rust, and then attempting a restoration! Save yourself the time, frustration, and money. If you are looking for a pedigreed DeTomaso Pantera which requires no work at all, this one's the automobile for you.

copyright by californiaclassix.com
Click on the above image for an XXL-sized view (900 x 620 pixels)

This true low mileage, reliable, stock example of Ford's Italian connection is ready to be enjoyed. Look at it as a fun investment, as prices for heirloom-quality examples of 1960s/70s supercars will certainly continue their phenomenal ascent.


Addendum:
We sold this Pantera in March 2008 to a car collector in Hollywood, California.