Barn Finds Exclusive: 1972 DeTomaso Pantera

With a name that translates as “Panther,” the Pantera was a groundbreaking car for DeTomaso. Introduced by the company as a replacement for the Mangusta, it was their first offering that dispensed with a backbone chassis in favor of monocoque construction. This change profoundly impacted handling, making the Pantera a more refined and stable beast than its predecessor. This 1972 Pantera is a spotless survivor with a genuine 10,300 miles showing on its odometer. Its sleek styling and abundant power make it an impressive performer, and it possesses an unmistakeably purposeful presence. The owner has decided that the time is right for the Pantera to find a new home, so he has listed it for sale here on Barn Finds Classifieds. It is located in Risingsun, Ohio, and you could park this potent Italian classic in your garage for $149,500.

Many people viewed the Mangusta as a triumph of style over substance. There was no questioning its beauty, but it had the structural rigidity of an old tennis shoe. The Pantera successfully addressed these shortcomings, and it is also why they tend to survive so well if they are treated with respect. The Mangusta flexed to the point where moisture could find its way past seals into areas where it accumulated and caused rust. The additional rigidity of the Pantera consigned those issues to the history books. This Pantera carries all of the hallmarks of an Italian classic that has been treated with respect. Its original Red paint shines beautifully, with not a blemish or problem visible in the supplied photos. The panels are as flawless as the paint, while the glass and trim continue that trend. The alloy wheels are new, but the owner includes the distinctive original items in the sale. The overall impression that this car makes is positive. I personally like the purity of these early Panteras. I’ve always felt that the enormous spoilers and fender flares that found their way onto the GTS spoiled the car’s overall appearance. That’s one characteristic that should make this car appealing to lovers of classic Italian sports cars.

If this Pantera’s exterior is impressive, its interior serves up more of the same for potential buyers. Some very slight bubbling on the dash corner is the only thing that I can find to fault in what appears to be a flawless interior. A competent upholsterer should be able to settle the bubbling with little effort, and that would have the interior presenting perfectly. The beautiful bucket seats are upholstered in black leather that shows no evidence of wear or physical damage. The carpet continues this theme of perfection, while the dash and console follow suit. The gauges appear clean and crisp, and there is no visible wear on the leather-wrapped wheel. The original radio is intact, while the Pantera is equipped with power windows and air conditioning. I’ve mentioned it on previous occasions, but I can’t let it pass this time without comment. The Pantera features my favorite defining characteristics of an Italian sports car. Anytime you can slip behind the wheel of a car with a gated shifter, all must be right with the world.

At 2,859lbs, nobody could describe the Pantera as a heavyweight. That means that with a decent engine, it was always going to possess impressive performance. In this case, DeTomaso decided that an American V8 would be the ideal candidate to provide mindbending performance with ease of maintenance. This car features its original mid-mounted 351ci Cleveland V8 that should be producing 330hp. DeTomaso bolted that fantastic engine to a 5-speed ZF transaxle that feeds the power to the rear wheels. Performance figures are legendary. Pointed at a ¼ mile, the Pantera should storm through in 13.5 seconds. If a driver is brave enough to keep the pedal to the floor, that 351 will eventually run out of breath at 162mph. So, it’s not heavy, and it is anything but slow. The news with this Pantera appears to be nothing but positive. It has a genuine 10,300 miles on the clock, and when you consider the bulletproof nature of the Cleveland V8, that figure represents little more than break-in miles. The car is in mechanically good health to the point where the owner suggests that potential buyers could fly in and drive it home.

This 1972 DeTomaso Pantera seems to offer the perfect blend of two different philosophies. Its styling is as stunning or even better than most Italian supercars, while its drivetrain is a simple design that should be unerringly reliable and simple to maintain. Values on the Pantera suffered during 2020, but this was a common trend amongst classic cars. However, not only has the ’72 Pantera more than regained that lost ground but there is no evidence that these value increases will slow any time soon. That means that not only should a well-maintained Pantera offer an investment that is as safe as blue-chip stocks, but it should provide far more pleasure than can be gained from any Shares Certificate. I can’t see a single downside to that proposition, making this classic an attractive proposition.


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  1. Charles

    Considering the new top of the line pickup truck is now pushing 100 grand this Pantera would be one sweet ride

    Like 8
  2. Anthony M.

    Had the distinct pleasure and privilege, at about 21 years old, to drive my then father-in-law’s ’74. Amazing. I remember him putting it up for sale for about $45K back in the early ’90s.

    I often wonder if it ever sold or if he still has it… as his daughter and I divorced a few years later.

    $145K? Wow.

    Like 5
  3. Claudio

    These are great cars
    Milion dollar look on a budget
    Maintenance is fairly easy for a do it yourself
    One of their problems is the fiat electricity
    It was bad on day one and it hasn’t improved, thats where you will spend most of your time !
    And you will have to learn to adjust a carburator
    The funky light set up is also tricky but there is full support on line for all the issues
    There are a lot of keyboard mecanics but once you find the REAL guys , you will have plenty of support

    Like 5
  4. Hoss

    Those engines behind the seat look sooo hard to work on.

    Like 8
  5. Steve Clinton

    $149,500? This proves that the term ‘barn finds’ has become overused and means nothing.

    Like 2
  6. John

    This is a beautiful car. It needs its original wheels back. $149K is a lot of money. If any car is worth that, this one is.

    Like 2
  7. chuck

    I remember when these came out in 1971 they were $9995.
    Time machine please.

    Like 5
  8. its1969ok

    Very nice. I totally agree with the author regarding the original style vs. the later flaired and spoilered freaks.

    Like 2
  9. bog

    Always liked the style of the first versions better. Went to our local Lincoln-Mercury dealer and checked it out. The one in the showroom was white. At nearly 6’4″ wasn’t the best fit for me. Other down-side, fairly newly married with two year old child. Drove to other side of town to Ford dealership and ordered a BOSS 351. Around 1/3 price and a “sort of” backseat and trunk. I’ve seen guys put the BOSS engine in these…whee !

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