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Refined Brute: 1972 De Tomaso Pantera


Panteras can appeal to any sort of enthusiast. They have the refinement of an Italian sports car and brute force of an American muscle car. The whole concept is a good one, but unfortunately many have now been lost to neglect and corrosion. This particular 1972 example is being offered by the sibling of a recently deceased brother. It was 1 of 3 Panteras that they owned and they had this one since the 80s. It needs work, but is definitely worth saving. Find it here on eBay out of Columbus, Ohio.


The seller states that the engine is not running and that they are not going to try. That is probably a good thing if it has been sitting for any extended period of time. Replace the fluids, squirt some oil in the cylinders, and hook up an external fuel source to see if she will fire up. If not, no big deal. This is a Ford 351 Cleveland and a replacement is easy to come by.


It may have American power, but the gated five-speed shifter is a reminder that this car is related to the prancing horses and raging bulls from the country shaped like a boot. This is no place for a slushbox in here. This car was built for people who actually enjoy driving.


The exterior looks pure red, white, and green supercar, but ironically it was penned by an American designer. Still, the allure of owning something so exotic looking that is so simple inside is strong. A Lamborghini Countach would be nice, but that V12 scares me, so this would do just fine. Too bad De Tomaso inherited the same rust problems enjoyed by their Italian brethren…


  1. rancho bella

    I had a chance to buy an early push button door model last year. Decent driver condition and in the high twenties. But, I kept replaying the saying for boat owners and as it turns out, Pantera owners. The two most exciting days are……….well you get the picture. I passed and still with no regrets.

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  2. scot

    ~ yes but why not the barn down the road?

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  3. Anastos

    I love these things. I knew someone that had one….great car until it self-immolated in the middle of the freeway one Sunday afternoon….

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  4. Dolphin Member

    I have the same view as Rancho—have considered buying, but passed. They look terrific, especially when you’re standing right next to one, but many owners don’t recommend them with much enthusiasm.

    And if owners are hesitant to recommend them, well, maybe its best to just move on…..

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  5. Jeff

    Just love the design/style, its IMO the epitome of American muscle with Italian looks. Like said before though the owners recommendation says something. Here is one I have been watching for years (still for sale) that is close to me that is very nice, the quad exhaust set-up on the Pantera and Longchamp really set-off the car. The car looks like 200mph standing still….

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  6. paul

    I don’t know all these cars be it Lotus Elans, Pantera’s, etc the list is endless, all look great but if you want to do anything more then look at them you better have a friend with a flat bed following you, that said if you want reliability vanilla get a Toyota….I look at it this way, in the old days when we were getting stuck all over hell & back driving our English/ Lucus sports cars we didn’t have the cell phone, would I trade any of that for an AMC Pacer, NOT. As for the reference to boats, I have found that with all my cars English/ Italian etc. if you drive them the work well if they sit a lot this is where you run into all those nagging problems, my brother- in-law has a 38 ft boat that he has owned for 37 years & I have to say the thing is bullet proof.

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  7. Anastos

    There was also a four door…the Deauville…

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    • scot

      ~ i was guessing the Deauville might possibly be the car on the right side of pic1 in the Tiger article. or maybe a Quattroporte.

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  8. Sim

    I with you Paul, I’ve never expected any of my $10-25,000 sports cars to be absolutely perfect and reliable cars but to my delight only a very few have given me heartburn. I’ve driven them all regularly and not without some criticism that I’m driving a collectable car to work every day. …I’ve loved the Pantera since I was 15 years old when I saw my first one put the hammer down leaving my apartment complex. He left rubber on that road for almost a block. I thought “that’s what I want when I grow up”. The only problem I have with them 35 years later (something I didn’t notice when I was 15) is that I can’t stand that dash! …reminds me of a Ford Pinto.

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  9. Team Pantera Racing

    It sounds like many of you have been talking to the -wrong- kind of Pantera owners:

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    • scot

      ~ nice link, Team Pantera Racing!
      Scott B. @ motoeXotica is very knowledgeable , as you may know.

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  10. scot

    ~ there are a few cars that i can still nearly afford, which i would buy simply because i must. if money were no object i would own several Panteras. drop the auction hammer on the best you find within your window of comfort and ride the schnott out of it!
    . bitch when it breaks and sell it when your interest wanes. there’s always something you haven’t experienced yet.

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  11. Jim

    Just a travesty what’s been done (or not done) to this once wonderful set of wheels. My neighbor down the street had a 1971; the first time I saw it, I went totally bonkers. It was extremely impressive for its time. I never saw him beat that car, either…

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  12. Michael

    They’re beautiful, fast, easy to work on, and a great buy for what you get…but they’re 40 years old. I’m on my 4th Pantera right now and will have one as long as I can drive. I’ve had Porsches, Lotuses, Mercedes etc. but they’re gone and I still have the Pantera. You
    always hear they do this, they have that, my friends did this, always by people who don’t have one. Like I said, it’s 40 years old. It’s an mid-engine, high performance enthusiasts
    car. They still have some character and soul you can’t find in many cars. If you’re not up to changing your own plugs or oil and dealing with little problems, that kind of car is not for you.

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  13. Jeff

    When I worked in Florida in the late 80’s a client gave me a ride in his 86′ Pantera GT5-S, its in my top 10…

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  14. John Kos

    @Team Pantera- Here’s another example of the not wrong kind-

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  15. tom

    Saw 1 in Goshen yrs ago,painted white with a brush,even the wheels were painted with silver paint. never found out how much they wanted. but it was in sorry but restorable shape.

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