Mr. Pantera’s Car? 1974 DeTomaso Pantera

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

So, this 1974 DeTomaso Pantera belonged to Mr. Pantera, did it? Pantera, of course, being Italian for Panther. Well, if you did deep enough into the listing, the owner was actually some cat named Wallace Baldyga who was the owner and founder of DeTomaso Performance. Baldyga was commonly known as Mr. Pantera in the automotive circle.  OK, well that’s an obscure enough reference. Will it matter? I don’t know, let’s take a look at this cool Italian/American mashup and see. It’s located in Wylie, Texas and is available, here on eBay for a BIN price of $79,700. There is a make-an-offer option too.

I was initially reluctant to cover a federally bumperized DeTomaso Pantera because I recalled how awkwardly they wore those hideous five MPH rammers. That said, and maybe it’s the passage of time, this example wears them well. This two-seater gives fantastic initial images but upon drilling down, two things come to light. One is the obvious change from Grabber Blue to fire-engine red, as stated in the listing, shown on the accompanying Marti Report, and evident on the underside of the engine hatch. The other is rust, specifically rust-through in both rocker panels. There are various other places where the red repaint is wearing through and revealing the original finish.

Originally powered by a 266 net HP, 351 CI “Cleveland” V8 engine, that’s still the case but modifications have been employed, including a Stage 3 engine (I don’t know what that is), aluminum cylinder heads, an aluminum intake manifold, Detomaso valve Covers, and headers. The seller (Dennis Collins of Fast & Loud fame), states, “Mechanically sound, runs and drives well“. As expected, a ZF five-speed transaxle is employed.

The interior is a bit disappointing. Both seats have significant rips, the headliner material is missing and the switch gear just looks generally worn, more than I would expect on a car with 42K reported miles – maybe it’s actually 142K, the seller makes no claim either way.

Kudos to the seller for the extensive photography – there’s no attempt to hide this car’s warts. As for the Mr. Pantera ownership reference, I doubt that it will make any marketing difference at all. These are special automobiles with only 5,500 having been exported to the U.S. between 1971 and 1975, so regardless of condition, they possess special credibility. The Pantera actually lived a long production life and continued on until 1992, long after many of us had forgotten about them. But it’s these U.S. models that most of us will recall, both pre and post-federal bumper regulation versions. And back to that bumper matter, I still prefer the original variation, but this fat-lipped variant has grown on me, how about you?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. angliagt angliagtMember

    This was just featured here on December 15th.

    Like 5
    • Jim ODonnellAuthor

      I hate that!

      I searched using DeTomaso, but the December post was written as De Tomaso (with a space) and it didn’t turn up. Regardless, it shouldn’t have surfaced again as a topic.


      Like 5
    • Frank Sumatra

      And we had fun with the “Mr.Pantera” reference if I remember correctly. Now we can do it again! No worries.

      Like 2
  2. angliagt angliagtMember

    Try “Pantera”

    Like 0
  3. Connecticut mark

    Its fine. All you do is go to another car to look at. These guys do great work with these writings! Wish I had the know-it-all to do write ups like these.

    Like 12
  4. ShaneR

    This is a Dennis Collins car. Collins Brother Jeep. Great Collector and always has nice well represented cars.

    Like 4
  5. BA

    Sure plenty to bitch at for 79,000 dollars but that Cleveland sure has a presence with it dress up kit I can only imagine the growl that thing makes whispering in your ear as you row that 5 speed ! It’s articles like this that keeps me coming back so please keep up the good work regardless of the nay sayers as we all know haters got to hate & silly bastards like me just day dream of getting behind the wheel.

    Like 7
  6. chrlsful

    own 1 “exotic” ‘sports car’? This would be it for me. Doin a deeper dive over the yrs I was surprised at the variations from ford.

    Stage III (in my world) pertains to one position (of 4 or 5) in “the build” sequence. #I is no machining or simply back to oe (w/a cylinder hone, possibly .20-.40 over due to deteriation). All the way up to #4 (or 5?) w/all the goodies added (speed parts) & machine inc port matching, heavy intake/ex P&P, heavier springs, balanced rotating assembly, etc, etc. I think this guy is indicating it’s above street, moving toward low end of strip/track. Asa auto isa system the other components must match as well (breaks, suspension, etc).

    Like 3
  7. Howie

    Always wanted one, but that dream is over now. One price, is $79,700 and the other is $79,800.

    Like 1
  8. Mark RMember

    These cars are regularly surpassing $100k on BAT, obviously better examples than this, but depending on how it is mechanically, cleaning this one up could be profitable at this BIN.

    Like 1
  9. Claudio

    I can only agree that these look great !
    I have worked on one many times
    I have driven one many times
    I cant say that i love them
    It is an old 60’s design
    It is a fiat
    It is a pot pourri of parts
    I have blasted by on the highway at great speed
    But i wouldn’t pay their going prices cause there is simply better out there

    Like 0
  10. JoeNYWF64

    Surprised Ford did not install its racing mirror on this – avail even on the lowly pinto.
    Would NY state yearly inspection fail you for lack of wipers?

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds