Unique Owner: 1974 De Tomaso Pantera Coupe

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A few years ago I was standing outside the pitstop at the Silverstone race circuit in the UK, watching a day of classics being raced around the track – everything from 1920’s cars to multi-million pound 1960’s Ferraris. One of my best memories from that day was an aural one – we were waiting for the next race to start and the cars to move onto the track when I heard the most visceral rumble and burble from a red De Tomaso Pantera. It sounded like nothing else there, and from that day on I have continued lusting after them. This neatly brings me to today’s car, which is not just a De Tomaso Pantera, but it was the one owned by ‘Mr Pantera’ himself, Mr Baldyga. Head over to eBay here, where the buy-it-now price is $79,800 and the car can be found in Wylie, Texas.

This car has been owned by ‘Mr Pantera’ since 1985 who founded Detomaso Performance in 1973. The car comes with the 351 Cleveland V8 that caused me to smile back in the UK, and given its heritage, it is in good, but not perfect condition. It comes with 42,000 miles on the clock and has been repainted from its original blue colour into the vibrant red we see today. Taking a closer look at the body, we can see there are some pain chips on the front bumper and other age-related marks across the body.

It looks like it has been driven and enjoyed by its owner, this is no garage queen and hopefully, in the spirit of these cars the next owner will continue down this path. The interior shows this wear and tear too, but there seems to be no headlining on the interior. The door area also has large paint chips and shows the original blue colour underneath. The seats are well-worn leather items and will need upholstering.

Given this car was owned by ‘Mr Pantera’, I am surprised that the value is not higher, but it does need rectification work. But the best future for this car is to take it to places like Silverstone, to get more people interested in these cars and give them the same audio-visual experience that I had so more people can lust over them. This car doesn’t belong in a museum, but driven, and driven hard to unleash the sound of that beautiful V8.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. CadmanlsMember

    Elliot you get it! Drive them thanks for putting that out there. Not all should be put away and adored like a trophy.

    Like 18
  2. HoA Howard AMember

    Pantera was an awesome car. It was the only car poster that adorned your school locker door next to the Farrah Fawcett poster. It was a swoopy Italian looking job, with a blue oval. Kind of a more practical GT40, as if. Most of us were kids, or cobbling that old Volvo gotten for $50 bucks, so a Pantera was out of the question, but next to the Corvette, the Pantera was every kids dream. Oh well,,,apparently, still is.

    Like 14
  3. Frank Sumatra

    So what makes “Mr.Pantera” “Mr.Pantera”. A lot of references to “Mr.Pantera” without any info about “Mr.Pantera”


    Like 6
    • Frank Sumatra

      “Mr.Sumatra” has noticed that in two places in the ebay listing the car is listed as having “Blue” and “Grabber Blue” paint. Perhaps “Mr.Pantera” was color-blind?

      Like 2
      • Dr.MoneyGaming

        On the EBAY pics you can see under the engine deck lid paint has chipped off in huge chunks & OG grabber Blue paint showing also under front there’s several Blue patches showing from road rash.
        Bad paint job & original color was better
        Plus that Engine deck lid needs louvered cuz the flat deck looks like trash.

        Like 0
    • HoA Howard AMember

      I too have a bit of a problem with people self proclaiming themselves as “Mr.” anything. With that logic, then I’m Mr. Crabbyappleton. I see your sarcasm. Apparently, in true American fashion, the Pantera just wasn’t good enough, and this guy, Wally Baldyga, amassed quite a few and offered performance upgrades( more must be better) Using the prefix “Mr.” according to many sites, indicates that person is pompous and feels greater than most, feeling the need to set off their name with “Mr.”.

      Like 3
      • JohnD

        Pompous . . .. interesting. . .

        In TOTALLY unrelated news, this appears to be owned by the baby gas monkey . . . .

        Like 4
    • fran

      I am wondering why the car looks sort of sketchy, being that a “Mr. Pantera” once owned it, you would think it would be perfect looking.

      Like 4
    • Ron

      The text says he founded Pantera Performance in 1973, is that enough?

      Like 0
      • Ron

        Correction, Detomaso Performance.

        Like 1
  4. Cold340t

    Last time I saw one of these it was owned by Humpty/Shock G (RIP) from Digital Underground. Pumping his own gas at the old 76 on Ashby & Telegraph. He was surprised I knew what it was, most people thought it a Frreari. My 80yr old cousin has his still his purchased new in1974. Love these cars.

    Like 9
  5. TheOldRanger

    I’ve never cared much for rear engines, although this might hedge towards being a mid engine. But pity anyone who could fit in that back seat… not only “feeling like being canned” but the noise and heat from that engine. I lived close to Wylie Texas for years and never once saw this one on the road.

    Like 0
    • David

      It is a mid engine design and there is no backseat.

      Like 12
    • PRA4SNW

      That’s because Dennis Collins of Gas Monkey Garage fame bought it, and it could have been anywhere before then.

      Being sold by him almost guarantees that it is overpriced.

      Like 8
  6. Jay McCarthy

    The biggest problem these cars had was Ford selling them at Lincoln Mercury dealers, as if Abe and Ethel on their way to pick out a new Montego would stop and say whoa look at this baby I’ll take it

    Like 4
    • BimmerDudeMember

      Jay, Ford didn’t give up on creating orphans at the Mercury dealers, they gave them the Sierra/Merkur to try and sell. And I bought one of the first Merkurs. I had to tell the sales guy about the car while he was thumbing through his little book to sell me on the features. That building is now a Nissan dealer here in NorCal.

      Like 1
  7. Howie

    I always wanted one, but at over 6 feet with big shoes it was very cramped, plus i have now heard they are a pain to drive. This looks like a great deal with many now over $100k.

    Like 4
  8. Jerry D Williams

    Based on the surrounding area that this ad was placed by Dennis Collins of “Coffee Walk” Collin Brothers Jeep, Wylie, Texas. I have watched many of his post on YouTube and I feel comfortable in my thoughts. Interesting guy, I marvel at his knowledge about so many different types of autos. What I see on his drops, it appears he is a very respectful man of the folks that work for him, the respect he has for the folks he buys automobiles from to restore or restore and sell. Plus it appears he enjoy’s sharing based on the part of videos he shoots they go to interesting places to eat after the buy to include the folks that work for him and the people he buys the cars from.

    Like 8
  9. Desert Rat

    Boy o boy, does this car brings memories. When I was on HS I loved thes car but, way too expensive
    I remember that a new Corvette cost 6grand and the Pantera went for 9 grand might as well cost a million dollars because it was unattainable for my income . Just as it is today, oh well…

    Like 0
    • angliagt angliagtMember

      These were advertised for $10,000.I’m not sure if they
      were discounted by the dealers.

      Like 0
  10. douglas hunt

    when I was a teen, just before driving age, there was a small used car lot at the bottom of the interstate off ramp about 5 miles down from the city I lived in.
    they had a yellow Pantera sitting on that lot, and I would see it while riding in the car with mom and dad, at that time I didn’t even know what it was.
    later of course I came into my own about car knowledge and wished I had at least talked my dad into stopping so I could look at it up close.

    Like 1
  11. Scott M AlesMember

    My first glimpse up close of a Pantera was in 1973. I was 11, our family only drove Ford products, so it was easy to love them!

    As a heavy haul truck driver from 14, I earned enough cash to buy a 1975 European example in 1981 at 19 years old. $16,500. Put $5k down, financed the rest with the First National Bank of Muscstine in Iowa.

    I drove it home from Omaha, Nebraska to Davenport on interstate 80. The Australian block 351 died the day after I came home! So out she came for a full rebuild.

    In the spring of 1985, I took my high school buddy for an evening drive again, on I80. As I merged from the on ramp, I started stretching her legs. At 100 mph, shifting from 3rd to 4th, in the dark, we passed two cars sitting still on the shoulder. Yep, one was a highway trooper.

    I immediately pulled over and waited for him to run back to his car, jump in, and come for me. By the time he pulled in behind me, I was out of my car, leaning on the back deck. I got out, asked me to get in the FRONT seat next to him. You can tell this is from a time long ago, right?

    He asked how fast I was going when I passed him. I told him, 100 mph, shifting to 4th, with another gear available on top of that! I also explained that my intentions were well towards 150 mph if things went well.

    He then asked, ” what kind of car is that?” I offered to go show him, he accepted! We got out, looked at the Cleveland and ZF with his monster flashlight. Opened the passenger door where my buddy Jay was sitting, sure that we were going to be arrested on the spot!

    After checking out the car, we went back to our earlier positions in his squad car. He asked if there were are issues with the car. I explained it didn’t have windshield wiper arms because I felt they ruined the look of the car. Further, that I had consigned the car to be sold at an auction in Rockford, Illinois the next day. This was a few years before Dana Mecum’s first auction in 1988, which I was present.

    The trooper wrote me a warning ticket for the wipers and directed me to sell the car tomorrow! I agreed and did exactly that! It was the first car or thousands I would eventually sell at auction and also launched my car career. Sold it for $21,000. Made no money, but had a blast!

    If anyone ever sees a 1975 Pantera with a removable hard ( not glass) sunroof, let me know. I’ll certainly buy it back!!

    Like 7
    • DLO

      Great story. Thank you for sharing. How come I never get a break when the cops pull me over? Probably because I’m not driving a pantera.

      Like 2
    • douglas hunt

      we are the same age, kudos to you for being able to buy that beast…..at 19 I had just started EE school, and around 21 bought my first used boat, and it’s been a love affair with the water since. had a new big block cuddy since I was 35 after several small blocks ….I have turned down selling it 2 years in a row now, just cant let it go

      Like 3

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