Dusty 1973 De Tomaso Pantera!

Holy dusty Pantera Barn Find! Talk about an incredible find. This 1973 De Tomaso Pantera was discovered in the previous owner’s barn, where it had been parked since 1983. Apparently, before parking it, they drove it from California to Pennsylvania and back, racing any muscle car daring enough to go up against it. In the past few years, these American powered Italians have become quite sought after, being popular with both Italian aficionados and muscle car collectors. It’s now up for grabs here on eBay in Mckinney, Texas with a BIN of $46,500 or best offer.

The seller notes that the paint is all original and that the engine is the original numbers matching unit. The paint might very well be original, but it needs some attention. After cleaning the dust off, it looks shiny, but there is some rust showing. While some of it is just surface rust, there are some holes around the windshield and in the rockers. I hate to say it, given the originality of this car, but I think it is going to need a new paint job. The rust around the windshield especially worries me, you just don’t know the extent of it at this point.

Here is the Ford supplied V8. It’s a 351 Cleveland and was rated at 266 horsepower with all that power going through a ZF transaxle. As you can see, this one isn’t look too hot right now. There is a lot of rust to be dealt with back here and there is no word as to whether the engine is seized or not. Chances are the engine will have to come out for a full rebuild, but that does give the next owner the opportunity to update and upgrade things a little. When these were new, they were quite the performance machine and garnered lots of praise from the press, beating out the best Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porche had to offer!

It’s truly sad that this car was left to rust, but it could definitely be worse. These cars are fetching serious money these days, so I’m sure someone would love to restore it. I think the seller’s asking is a bit wishful, but they are willing to hear offers, so perhaps they will take considerably less! I sure wish I could afford to buy and restore it, but these are way out of my budget.

Fast Finds


  1. RayT Member

    Josh, it might be better — and cheaper — just to buy another Pantera and roll it under that shiny paint. Just kidding, but not much….

    Judging by the visible corrosion under the car, under the body, and in the engine bay, one has to wonder if this was stored in a VERY damp environment. Or dropped in a lake. I’m willing to bet there’s a lot more rot under the exterior panels. Italian manufacturers (especially the low-volume sort) were not known for their skill at rustproofing.

    Rectifying all that and getting the mechanical bits back in shape will most likely put the owner upside down in a big hurry.

    A shame. Panteras are beautiful cars and, when correctly sorted, a lot of fun to drive. But when eBay also lists other Panteras at reasonable prices for sale (like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1972-De-Tomaso-Pantera-/122494718134?hash=item1c854110b6:g:z4kAAOSwlndZCcfD&vxp=mtr ) I would definitely shop around before dropping the spondulix on a rust-bucket.

    Like 1
  2. Paul

    What a colour … 70’s were. A crazy time.
    If you have $120k more this one can be had:

    Needs a little less work though ..

  3. Steve R

    The seller has another car listed for sale. His other ad demonstrates he can take detailed pictures when it suits his interests.

    Steve R

  4. Chuck pn

    I bet that car was in a flood , Flood damage very bad !! Electrical everything needs to come apart, totall restroration and new floors i bet hopefully frame is salvageable,

    Like 1
  5. Capt Doug

    After seeing the comments on this sellers other car – the 64 E type – on http://www.xkedata.com/cars/detail/?car=890292

    I would be very careful.

  6. jw454

    I worked for a Lincoln/Mercury dealer that sold these new in 1972-1973-1974. I can attest that the 200 M.P.H. speedometer was necessary. I was in the passenger seat when the speedo was just above 165 MPH. We were south of Dayton, Ohio on I-75 between Moraine, and Centerville, Ohio. Another mechanic was “test driving” a minor repair and I went along for the ride. I would never do it again but, I’ll also never forget the experience. At that speed everything zips by pretty darn fast.
    I wish I could afford a nice one. This one needs a bit more work than I could do myself.

    • Rob

      It’s true that the “telephone poles go by like a picket fence” haha. Hypothetically, of course. :D

      • Nova Scotian

        Ha. Lol… or when the dotted centre line goes solid,..you’re movin’!

    • Denis Cornforth

      My favorite stories like this end with the mechanic getting fired for treating their customers cars like that.

  7. Bruce Best

    I got into one the first year they were for sale. There are few cars in the world that are as breathtakingly beautiful as a unmolested Pantara is in almost any color. My personal preference is the AREST ME YELLOW but that being said there are some serious body problems in these cars.

    Any Pantara needs to be checked in detail for rust in the body. You can stop it and mostly prevent if from being started but if you need to repair rust that is around critical structural point like the windshield you are looking at some serious dollar amounts to fix those problems. DO NOT NEGLECT THIS. It is the first thing you should do after purchase.

    I find these to be beautiful but after driving them I prefer my Lotus Esprit Turbo. Just as fast up to 150 but far better exterior vision and the seating position is better. But make no mistake these are works of art and they will stop traffic. I have seen it happen both inside and outside of one of these.

    Compared to most Ferrari’s, Maserati’s and Lambo’s this is one of the best smile per mile you can purchase. I hope it goes to a good home and is taken back to new condition.

  8. stillrunners lawrence Member

    What state is that inspection sticker from…..sure don’t look like Texas….


      That is a Pennsylvania inspection sticker from 1982-83. The last photo on the ebay listing clearly shows it.

    • Mike Williams

      That part of Texas has miserable humidity :(

      • JimmyinTEXAS

        Houston, Galveston, Corpus

  9. Nick Member

    I was able to go buy and see it. It looked better in person. The normal area for rust were in good shape. It is a project but a very good one. If I didn’t already have 6…I bought the last one from this dealer as a project, It turned out to be a very fair deal.

  10. Alex

    The classic case, when people find something and think only about money, without reference to the conditions. This car is to restore TOTALLY, because there is rust everywhere (under the car, engine bay, etc). 20 thousand dollars are enough, looking at all the works to be done.

  11. Bob S

    An unworthy person just walks away from a Pantera to let it rot. Such a needless waste.

  12. Tenspeed

    I rode in one of these in 1985 while a friend was sorting it for someone. The owner was from one of the local wealthy families and decided to up the power by adding a turbo and nitrous. Even with no nitrous in the tank, it was scary fast!

    These friends worked on a lot of different projects, including putting a 455 with a Toronado transaxle in a Corvair, moving a complete Turbo II driveline and interior into a Dodge Rampage truck, and building a Austin Healey kit car with a built 351 Windsor drivetrain. I got to ride/drive the last two and they were fun!

  13. EJB

    I read that Panteras were plagued with rust early on because the body shells sat outside the factory before the car was completed.

    This is from a Road and Track article:

    “Rust was a serious issue, owing to the fact that De Tomaso used bare, untreated steel for the unibody, with multiple water traps, no less. Photographs exist of cars outside the factory in Modena, covered in rust, awaiting paint and assembly. Which explains why Panteras literally rust from the inside out.”

    I always liked them. I remember having a matchbox version as a kid.

  14. Ol' Shel Jr.

    Normally I do not knock someone else’s car, but since this car is in Texas and I’m a Texan, I’d like to share an expression we have down here. “She looks as though she’s been ridden hard and put up wet!”

    Driven from Pennsylvania to California and back…spend a lot of time on the Bonneville Salt Flats? So sad the tin worm has feasted on Panteras. I do wish the seller good luck and hopefully someone with a lot of passion will bring her back to her former glory.

  15. cyclemikey

    Aaaaargh! They washed off all that dust and probably reduced the value by 50%.

  16. Morley

    Geeze , it is always about the money with you guys. What are you, car salesman??? You are not even collecters. If this is your dream car, then buy it.!!! Even if it takes you the rest of your live to restore and drive it. Thaats what car builders do. What a bunch of whiners . Stop thinking of all the reason you can not do this—-think of why you can

    • T Mel

      I agree but let’s turn the encouragement down a notch, that way less competition for those of us thinking they way you are.

  17. scott brandt

    Here is a 10K example of a well preserved 73 Pantera we have for sale at MotoeXotica classic cars in St Louis:


    • Jack

      The Motley Crue song “Shout at the Devil” Video from 1983 is not selling me on this car?
      These cars do sound wonderful by themselves at any rpm! I know firsthand.

    • Doug Towsley

      Same with you MotoXotica, Beautiful car, nicely presented (and yes i read the entire ad and looked at ALL the pictures but same problem. No price. Make offer?? What the bloody hell??? As I said, super annoying real estate sales tactic
      “If I can schmooze the customer, I can finagle a sale or leverage the connection” And I always refuse to do business that way. So, I find it super annoying when Auto people do this as well. Its even worse actually. So make offer? Tell you what my offer is between $5.00 and $5 million dollars US and if you guess my offer number Ill buy it. Sound like a productive use of time?
      PS,, I was just looking at some of your motorcycles on ebay yesterday, at least with feebay there is a concept of price structure at the end of the day

  18. neil t

    i have a very nice rust free metal bumper car for sale.


    • T Mel


      • scott brandt

        $129,000.00 firm, call 636 600 4600 for more details.
        Thanks, s

  19. Doug Towsley

    neil t, Always super annoying to go to a website and look at a listing, but the seller cant/wont post a price. I hate that. Real estate people do it all the time, but even more annoying with car people,. unlike the firebird ad, that is how NOT to sell vehicles.

  20. Rolf Poncho 455

    Now that’s a cool car a must have for me like the color
    so far away too

  21. Scott

    Thank you all for looking, our 10k Pantera is priced at $129,900.00 firm. Whose ready to place a deposit? MotoeXotica

  22. Pierre STIEVENART

    Beginning of the 80ies, I was working in Brussels (Belgium) a someone always parked his GREEN Pantera at the same level of my own small and red FIAT. Since, I’m dreaming of a green Pantera. Pity: too old now for such a low driver’s bucket seat.

  23. Dave Henry

    I worked at Ford back then. They sold for the outrageous price of $10,000. I managed to get own home and took my wife and two young boys to the local McDonald’s (that was all we could afford at the time). It was a lot of fun when the four of us worked our way through the surrounding crowd and got into the car, one boy sitting side-saddle behind the shorter and the other on my wife’s lap! Turned the car over to my director for the weekend, since that was what I had got the car for originally with a warning not to damage the car. He has a gathering of his neighbors, there may have been alcohol involved, and they have to try it out around Dearborn Heights. He returns the car to me Monday morning with a huge dent in the bumper! Seems one of his friends started it in 1st! Luckily I could tell the guy that loaned us the car that he could call my director with any complaints. Man, those were fun days.

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