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Award Winner: 1974 De Tomaso Pantera

We have seen some nice Panteras here at Barn Finds in recent times, but this car definitely rates as one of the nicest. It has won numerous awards at different shows, including a Best Award at a show featuring more than 300 Panteras. Barn Finder Pat L referred this Silver beauty to us, so thank you for that Pat. The Pantera is located in San Diego, California, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is serious about parting with the car after 35-years of ownership and has priced it at $119,000 OBO.

I have always liked the styling purity of the early Pantera, and have always felt that they really never needed to huge fender flares and spoilers that have adorned some versions over the years. This car, finished in Silver and Black, presents flawlessly. I think that it is the attention to detail that makes this car something a bit special. This is best displayed with the work that has gone into detailing the original factory wheels, which you can see in detail at the bottom of the article. The combination of polishing and powder-coating give the wheels a truly unique look and help the car to really stand out from the crowd.

The original 351ci Cleveland V8 hasn’t been exempt from this attention to detail. This has been stretched to 377ci, and still sends its power to the rear wheels via a 5-speed ZF transaxle. The engine wears a special Ford polished experimental intake, and I would be willing to guarantee that it now pumps out way more than its original 266hp. In the owner’s own words, “It sounds awesome.” One of the weaknesses of the Pantera was engine cooling issues. The owner says that these issues have been addressed by some useful upgrades to the car’s cooling system. Once again, it is the attention to detail that makes things so striking, and I have included extra photos at the bottom of the article so that you can see this for yourself.

The black and grey interior of the Pantera presents just as well as the rest of the car, and apart from the aftermarket grey seat inserts, and the CD player, it remains original. There really isn’t a lot that can be faulted inside the car, and it features the standard power windows and air conditioning that is said to blow ice cold. I guess for me the highlight is always going to be the chrome shifter gate. I think that those look tough and purposeful, and it is almost enough to make me buy the car myself. Okay, I did say “almost.”

If you are generally attracted to the De Tomaso Pantera, then there is a pretty good chance that you’ll like this one. It just presents so well, and it has enough useful upgrades that should make it a reliable and potent car. Values on the Pantera continue to rise, but unlike the majority of classic cars, the values on the Pantera have risen in incremental stages over the past 5-years, with short plateau periods in between each rise. The Pantera was one of the few classics where the values held firm during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, which would suggest that they also represent a pretty solid long-term investment. Leaving all of that aside though, this is just one really nice looking car that would stand out wherever it went.


  1. Redwagon

    I will take the under on that $119,000 asking price.

    Don’t get me wrong I like these in general and this one in particular, but I’m thinking the ask is a bit steep.

    Like 5
    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

      How much someone will pay for “the best” of a marque is always difficult to gauge.

      Based on others seen on this site, in rough, rusty, parts-missing conditions, and still selling for REAL money…. This may be just a bit high, but maybe not that far off the mark.

      IMO, of course.

      It really is a beautifully done car. Need to take the headrests off and get those brackets coated though. Otherwise, just push the rests all the way down before showing?

      Like 5
  2. Kevin Harper

    Good looking car and the mods look tasteful and period correct.
    I think the price is about right and this car will find a new home in short order.

    Like 2
  3. Neil G

    My nephew spent $150,000 on his ‘63 Olds convertible trailer queen in the hopes of winning a World of Wheels show in New Orleans. People pay stupid amounts of money to out-blinging the other guy. At $115,000. (and a proven show winner) it will find a home with a deep pockets guy like my nephew who never won more than an honorable mention.

    Like 3
  4. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Is it beautiful – yes. Is it tastefully done – yes. Is it expensive – yes. I’m sure that someone with plenty of $$ will consider and probably buy it. Funny though putting a car of this condition and price on Craiglist, maybe they have a more affluent audience in San Diego than they do here. I would have expected it to be on Ebay or comparable site instead to gather a larger audience.
    Would I like to have it – yes, can I afford it – no. Good luck to the seller in finding the right buyer with the required cash to make it possible.

    Like 2
  5. Cj

    Local guy had a Pantera and I traded him an original dealer showroom brochure for a ride. It was a bit cramped (I’m 6’) and not particularly comfortable. Very fast, but noisy and the slightest road irregularities transmitted without filter right to the occupants. I concluded it would be perfect for Cars & Coffee, but not for touring.

    Like 2
    • JMB#7

      Thank you for pointing out all the things I love about the Pantera. It would be an honor to be cramped & rattled by this awesome & classic driving machine.

      Like 1
  6. TimM

    This is one of the nicest color combos I’ve seen on these cars!! The motor looks like a work of art in that engine bay but at that price it out of my wheel house!!! Great car though!!

    Like 0
  7. djjerme

    Having just droven one on the track earlier this year – these are my least favorite car as a driver. The ignition lock is by my knees, the shifting linkage always binds, they are uncomfortable to get it in, sit in, and get out. Horrible sight lines, and just does nothing well. They are great when sitting absolutely still..

    Even the owners (we had a handful show up at the track for instructing) complain about the problems.. Maybe the later version where more refined before they killed the model off, but the 70’s versions that I have had hands on experience with turned me sour on them.

    It’s just another case of never meet your heroes.

    Like 2
  8. t-bone Bob


    Like 0

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