Blue Plate Find: 1972 De Tomaso Pantera

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This eBay listing shows a fleet of project-grade De Tomaso Pantera, and I believe we’ve featured items from this same seller before. If so, he has amassed one of the larger collections of project grade Panteras and this yellow coupe is his latest offering. The Pantera is said to have been stored in a warehouse while being disassembled and is now offered here on eBay where bidding is over $16K and the reserve remains unmet. 

The thick coating of dust paints a picture as to how long this Pantera has been sitting, either in its prior warehouse arrangement or outside in the Thousand Oaks, California, sunshine. Check out the background – there’s at least one other project-grade Pantera and another that appears to be in fair condition with gleaming yellow paint.

The interior looks better than you might expect, but the seat stuffing still seems to have expired and seams are exposed. I’m guessing long-term exposure to the sun hasn’t done the dash any favors, and the door seal has also perished. But these are wear items to be expected out of any long-idled project that’s been awaiting total restoration.

The seller notes the engine remains numbers matching but that the previous owner did take it down to the block before the project stalled. As he points out, it could make more sense to rebuild one the way you want to as opposed to buying a restored Pantera, and I feel prices on these have settled a bit – so buying a cheaper project-grade example may make sense in the short-term. Would you buy a project Pantera or a completed example?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Green66

    These aint cheap to put back together. A complete labor of love if you are a Pantera fan.

    Like 7
  2. Danno

    I have visions of a Pantera with a supercharged Coyote engine, dancing in my head, right now.

    Like 4
  3. Bruce

    My first seat in one of these was on a Lincoln-Mercury showroom when they just came out. Shockingly beautiful. Sophia Lauren mixed in with some nice country girls in effect. Later when I got a chance to ride in one I was equally entranced. Only when I got the chance to drive one did the magic face.

    Harder to see out the back than my Lotus Esprit Turbo or even my Europa. That is really saying something. Much larger than both but seemingly far more cramped with a truly horrible seating layout for me. I have ridden in a MK-8A McLaren on a race track and this while not in the same speed or “G”-force range it has some of the same feel.

    But to see one in real life is to understand what what the term automotive sculpture really means. These are all breath taking. I prefer the earlier cars with the small bumpers but they all are amazing. A complete labor of love as per GREEN66 I would agree but if you fall in love it will be worth the time and cost. Bye the way that first one was Yellow and Black. Still a favorite color for me on these.

    Like 5
    • John

      I can afford neither Sofia Loren nor a Pantera. But I can still look — and dream. Italian bodywork is wonderful. They make nice cars, too.

      Like 5
  4. Buckskin

    I remember seeing a new one on a dealer lot. New price? $11,111.11 Seemed strange but that was the number.
    I had a few, stroked one them to about 374 CID and had lots of fun. They understeered when pushed hard, but push them harder and the front hooked up and the tail started to come out. I never drove it faster than 160 mph. That’s what my friend said. I was watching the road. he was looking at the speedo.
    There are no rust free Panteras. I repaired some rust on mine and found out the inner rockers were bare metal. Rocker panels are four layers as I recall. I still have the parts manual from Ford. My Parts manager knew I was the only one who was going to order anything so he gave me the book. Italians built pretty sweet cars but not for the outdoors.

    Like 5
  5. Skippy

    Buying somebody else’s project is always a high-stakes gamble and that is when parts are available. Buying this? Unless it is your third or fourth Pantera, you already have a lot of spares and you really know how it should all go together, I can’t see winning here. I noticed the seller has some other items listed like wheels that probably came from this car, so chances are zero that it is complete. Yes, these are expensive right now, but collector cars cycle with the market and these may be peaking. I’ve seen a couple of complete project cars lately in the almost affordable range. The idea of taking a car apart to put it back together, rather than buying a basket case, is logical for two reasons. First, you can document the dismantling so you know how it goes together, and second, you know up front that the car is complete. As the bids go up on this car, I believe it is less and less likely to ever be whole again.

    Like 3
    • Buckskin

      I have to agree with you on that.
      I’ve had Panteras many years ago. I’m looking at this one and thinking about the fastners. Where are the axle bolt, wheels (I have one in basement, I think it’s a rear one), motor mount bolts, AC condenser fastners, etc.
      I see the cooling fans are the original 4 blade versions. The information on eBay says it was in a warehouse (where house sic) since the 70’s so no TSBs have been performed. I’m not thinking about how lousy the seats were 40 years ago.
      The seller referred to his age and possibly making a package deal. I’ve got no idea how many cars that includes. At least you would have a reference of what part you are looking for.

      Like 0
  6. william gaino

    I have been a Pantera owner and builder for 15 years. Parts are readly available. But like any project, your better off buying a finished car. We also have many Facebook ages dedicated to these cars, finding parts and sharing experiences. 25 years ago , you got a monthly letter from the owners association. NOW we got the internet.

    Like 4
  7. VInce H

    Beware of rust. Also know to overheat.

    Like 0
  8. stillrunners

    Brought to you by – not afraid to take another chance – your friends at FOMOCO !

    Like 0
  9. Wayne

    I love the car! My back hates them!

    Like 0
  10. t-bone Bob

    too much work.

    Like 0

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