Early Model, Small Bumpers: 1971 DeTomaso Pantera

The last few DeTomaso Panteras we’ve taken a look at have all been compelling projects, but serious undertakings of both the parts and labor kind. This clean 1971 example is listed on the UK eBay site but located in New Jersey, marketed for export. There must be more demand overseas for these Ford-powered exotics, but whatever the reason, this survivor-grade example features the prettier chrome bumpers found on early cars. Find it here on eBay with bids approaching $40K.

Said to have just 30,000 miles from new, this is as good as it typically gets for an unrestored car. Many owners of later examples remove the original bumpers with their ugly overriders; no surgery needed here on this early car with those delicate, chrome assemblies. The body looks excellent and the seller notes no rust of any kind on the body or frame. No attempt has been made to start the Pantera but the 351 Cleveland is said to spin freely. Lenses and glass all present well in photos.

The interior is dirty but original; no noticeable tears in the seat upholstery and the dash appears crack-free. The carpets are heavily soiled and will need to be replaced or possibly brought back to life with a strong cleaning. The steering wheel appears to retain factory padding over the exposed spokes; personally, I think the naked look is better, and a horn button should also be sourced. Some exposed wiring is present, but hopefully not indicative of past owners chasing electrical gremlins.

While the engine appears stock, the lack of details should encourage potential buyers to ping the seller for more information. Even as a non-runner, knowing more about any past maintenance history or how long the Pantera has been laid up to achieve such low mileage are all questions worth asking. However, if current activity is any indication, bidders see plenty of potential here to overcome any doubts on mechanical maladies lying within.

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Comments

  1. KSwheatfarmer

    Just a poor Kansas dirt farmers opinion but I don’t think the fuel pump. intake manifold or valve covers and those god-awful hold down bolts are original to this car.

    • Steve R

      That manifold sure looks like a tunnel ram?

      Those pictures along with the vague description wouldn’t inspire much confidence at this price level.

      Steve R

  2. gaspumpchas

    Not sure about a 71 but the later ones had transaxle problems. I remember the local Lincoln Merc Dealer having 3 of these in the shop waiting for transaxles. Sure is in nice shape–good luck to the new owner!

  3. Beatnik Bedouin

    You’d be correct, my dirt farming friend…

    I think the seller is hoping that there are folk in Europe who will pay a premium over what the car might sell for stateside.

    One would have thought that a bit of interior cleaning would have helped make the car more attractive in the photos.

    I note that the currency being used is UKP and not USD (as quoted for shipping) or Euro. Hmmmm, it makes me think that this might not be all that it seems…

    • CanuckCarGuy

      I recall a car on BF a few weeks ago, for sale in Canada but it was also UKP…not Canadian or US. Odd.

  4. Steve Park

    It seems odd the seller would have this @ the docks. Not a great place to do a thorough inspection. I towed an Alfa down there years ago only to find out it had a broken steering box and they wouldn’t accept it for shipping.

  5. Skip

    This car has been around a few times. Last time it was on eBay (US) it only brought $42k. It is in New Jersey. The seller, stpalas058 on eBay, has a lot of “restorable” cars for sale and a few restored ones located all over the world.

    These Panteras are great cars and a lot of opportunists are listing them for $120k+ with no sales anywhere near that range on eBay or elsewhere. Decent drivers have been selling in the $50-65k range. (Bring a trailer has a chart of sales as do the auction houses). So this seller might be waiting a while to get $60 for this restoration-project car.

    • Nrg8

      Just out of curiosity, how many times has this car been through? And about when did it start showing up? I’m almost 100% sure I know this car. This car is a true low milage car. However, last time I saw it, there was a msd ignition kit being put in it during the mid 90’s, as well you can see cooling pipes to the front are disconnected as the cooling system was updated. It was stored in the owners machine shop up until he passed and the widow moved it to her garage and I guess she finally let it go. Either way, other than the front tires that are new, back ones are original. The carbs are topped with two chrome flared horns now covered with grocery bags. It is still in the condition as it sat 10 years ago in her garage. I remember riding in it when I was 10 back in 83, it loud, and it only got out of 2nd on the highway. The acceleration was unbelievable. Sad to see it as he left it.

  6. PLMBRDON

    These cars rust in areas that are hard to fix. The pictures are not good enough to see I highly doubt the no rust claim. The speedo pic shows the numbers up and down not in a straight line. That’s what they look like when they are rolled back. Buyer beware look at this car in person. Buy one from a reputable Panterra club member. Those cars are documented and legit. No surprises that way as these can expensive to fix if you can’t do the work yourself.

  7. lowbusman

    The rubble you see under the steering wheel was part of the steering wheel T-shaped cover. UV rays broke down the plastic and you can see what happens if your not careful ! Good Luck trying to find another one cheap!

  8. Rick

    Back in 1974 during the depths of the Boeing recession here in the Seattle area, there was a ’71 Pantera in the Bellevue Amercian auto classifieds for sale going begging for $7100. Of course adjusted for inflation that amount in today’s dollars would be $36,000.00. And decent driver quality C1 Corvettes and ’70 Road Runners could still be had for $1,000.00 (the equivalent of $5K in today’s dollars) although prices of Corvettes took off after that, Mopars not so much.

  9. lowbusman

    The horn button is not on the steering wheel but on the turn signal stalk. It is activated by pushing in towards the column.

  10. Neil

    The plastic debris on the drivers floor would worry me – that can only have come front column or steering wheel and if you look at the 6th from last photo on the strip you an clearly see the plastic covering on the steering wheel hub/spoke has been broken off whilst its lifting on the other side. There is also a round piece on the floor that looks like the centre of the wheel boss so that steering wheel has had some abuse at some point.

  11. bog

    Bayonne killed it for me. My car got messed up there being shipped TO Germany, and stuff got stolen off of it there when it was shipped BACK ! How fortunate that there are several garages right outside the gates…grrrr

    • Bobinott

      Interesting story, Bog. Similar to experiences I had with the port of Montreal Canada. And like what you found, there are garages outside the port gates that seem to specialize in fixing whatever got damaged or removed from the cars in the customs “impound”. I once had to pay them to “steam clean” a car from Europe… which they did with a garden hose, allowing the runoff to go down the municipal storm drains! I decided the best thing was to pay the ransom err, I mean “Service Charge” and get the heck out of there.

      • bog

        Bobinott – Wow ! Guess Bayonne isn’t the only place with “shady” practices. My Pops use to say: “they got yah comin’ an’ goin'”. Bremerhaven Germany had their bad points too, got lovely loading strap creases above both front wheels from them. Took forever to get settlement check. Glad I had/have a wonderful ins. co. They told me to fix it right away, which I did. Paint match left a bit to be desired though. Finally got it fixed properly back here a couple years later…

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