Exotic Shed Find: 1974 De Tomaso Pantera

De Tomaso Automobili was founded by Argentinian Alejandro De Tomaso in Italy. From 1971-92, they built the exotic Pantera, a mid-engine sports car that was also sold at Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the U.S. in the early-to-mid 1970s. The Cleveland 351 cubic inch V8 engine was commonly used in the cars. Ford supplied the motors even after the sales partnership with De Tomaso ended in 1975. This ’74 Pantera had been stored before the seller acquired it and got it running again. It’s not flawless, but in overall good condition and can be found in Atlanta. Georgia. This rare sports car is available here on craigslist for $69,900. Thanks to our buddy Ikey Heyman for turning us on to this auto!

The partnership between Ford and De Tomaso resulted in 5,244 Pantera’s being imported over five years – 80 percent of the overall total of some 6,500 worldwide. The V8 motor was rated at 266 hp SAE net through a 4-barrel Autolite carburetor and a 5-speed ZF manual transmission. These cars had independent suspension with unequal length upper and lower A-arms with coil-over shock absorbers and anti-roll bars. The rack-and-pinion steering was unassisted, which was probably okay given the limited amount of weight over the front wheels. Car & Driver tested one of these machines in 1971 and it did 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds with a top speed of 159 mph.  Not too shabby!

With just 40,000 miles on the odometer, this ’74 Pantera recently came out of hiding after five years. It had been stored in the back of a building under a shed with stuff stacked on top of it. That resulted in some minor chips and dings in the shiny red paint that you have to get up close to see. A set of aftermarket wheels are presently on the car, but the original wheels were saved and will come along in the deal. The interior is used but nice with the exception of a couple of small tears in the driver’s seat. The tachometer was “nervous”, so the seller sent it off to be rebuilt.

The seller says he has receipts to detail the work that was done on the motor and electrical system to get the Pantera back on the road. The buyer will receive a copy of the car’s recent Marti Report and the engine bay has been detailed and presents very well. It’s not a perfect car but would impress most anyone that checks it out. Hagerty says that really nice examples can go for six figures, so if you can live with some imperfections, you might save a chunk of change if you’re in the market for some Italian speed.

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  1. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    Would this not be considered a bargain among most Pantera enthusiasts? I would hope the brick in front of the rear tire was only necessary prior to all the work that was completed.

    Like 6
  2. gaspumpchas

    I agree with rough Diamond- looks a lot better than the 3 that were offered last week, and priced better. I was wondering if they detuned this 74 like they did in that era for smog?? Would be a shame but it snuck by in the last year before cat convertors. Good luck and stay safe!

    Like 5
  3. Jarmo Makitalo

    Stunning in looks,351C is a potent power plant,not impressed with the bucket seats,needs Recaro upgrade.

  4. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Such a beautiful catch, such a shame they had to shove rubber baby buggy bumpers on it.
    As RoughDiamond and gaspumpchas said, this one looks to be much better with a price that is much more affordable (realistic?) in the Panthers marketplace. Has our “hobby” started becoming more economical again? Maybe this is a trend that’s beginning now. 🤞🏻
    Hope it finds a good home.

    Like 2
  5. Steve Clinton

    C’mon! How many exotic and collectible cars in barns and sheds can there BE?

    • Jason

      You’d be surprised Steve!

  6. Desert Rat

    Always love the factory staggered wheels on these cars but, to work on that motor, man that looks like a nightmare…

  7. Howie Mueler

    Yes deleted now.

    Like 1

    i remember the first Pantera i saw at a used car dealer.
    was by the interstate on ramp near my first after high school job.
    i had seen nothing like it before, except in magazines

  9. Tirefriar

    Seats don’t appear to be original. IIRC the original Sears were preformed buckets with non adjustable backs

  10. Tom Padula

    The seats are correct for a ’74 and the seatbacks can be easily altered to be adjustable. That motor has had some work done, so it’s probably plenty fast. Yes the motor can be a pain to get to, but the center of the firewall comes out to access the front. The wheels on this one are 17″ aftermarket Campagnolo look-alikes and make it much easier to find modern tires that fit. The rear chassis brace behind the motor above the bellhousing is missing, but that might be because of the engine recent engine work and is easy to reinstall. The nervous tach is likely because of the aftermarket ignition, there are converters available for older tachs like this one. Nice car. (Source: I have a ’73.)

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