World’s Greatest Hybrid? 1972 De Tomaso Pantera

Long before the word “hybrid” meant gasoline-electric, it referred to a beautiful European body gently wrapped around a ravening beast of an American V8. Presented for your consideration today is an example of what might be the best-known Italian model of this type: a 1972 De Tomaso Pantera. Located in the Bay Area and available here on craigslist for $139,995, it isn’t cheap, but it is absolutely stunning. Many thanks to Pat L. for this tip!

The Pantera was De Tomaso’s second production model to be fitted with a Ford V8, following its predecessor, the Mangusta. In the Pantera, the 289 and 302 of the Mangusta was replaced by a 351 Cleveland, which pushed the car to a top speed of over 150mph and allowed the driver to go from zero to sixty in under six seconds. Unfortunately, the mid-engine configuration means that the pictures in this ad give only the narrowest of views of that Detroit engineering, though what can be seen looks good.

Also looking good is the interior of this early supercar. Things look to be where they should be, with the almost obligatory exception of the aftermarket stereo. The steering wheel looks to be aftermarket as well, and the passenger-side leather may be coming away from the dash– though that might also be a trick of the light. The rubber around the driver’s side door could use replacement and there are some gaps in the seams in the felt here and there. In total, nothing that would meaningfully detract from the enjoyment of the car, but all things that would certainly require attention if one was to aim for perfection.

The owner reports only a few, minimal modifications; specifically, upgraded cooling and new short shafts to help with sending all that power from the ZF transaxle to the rear wheels. The car comes complete with all its original accessories, a wealth of documentation, and 61,000 miles on the odometer. All in all, a remarkable union of Italian design and American muscle, ready and waiting for a new owner. And, really, probably the best thing you could ever park in the “hybrids only” spot.


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  1. Euromoto Member

    Nope. Beautiful car but price is simply not realistic. Craigslist? Must be some kind of marketing strategy.

    Like 13
  2. Steve R

    Nice car. This is a rare instance where a long time owner actually wrote the ad, rather than a flipper trying to skip registering the car in their name in order to jack up the price and save the cost of DMV fees, which are substantial in California. The price may be high, but unrestored cars with a known history rightfully command a premium. If he’s flexible, he will eventually find a buyer for the car.

    Steve R

    Like 7

    Good looking car…nutso asking price.

    Like 9
  4. Ed Hardt

    Hybrid? Huh?

    Like 6
  5. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Cool car. Price seems high but I don’t really follow them. I agree with Steve R’s point about the desirability of a long-time owner and the info they provide.

    Interesting window sticker. For fun I sometimes like to look up the selling dealer. Looks like Frank J. Sanders Company isn’t in business now in Fresno, and the address now looks like… a funeral home. Though you could envision it as a car dealer fifty years ago.

    Like 5
  6. Steve

    In my home town, I just saw a 1972 De Tomaso Pantera in much better condition, new paint job (2018) and only 45k miles on it (not 61,000!!!) and the price was $87,500. This guy asking $140,000 is not even in the same universe with his pie in the sky price. Good luck trying to sell it.

    Like 5
  7. Steve

    Another great “hybrid” was the Jensen Intercepter: Italian styling, British electrics (can you say Lucas?) and American (Mopar) power.

    Like 3
    • Dwcisme

      Lucas: Prince of Darkness.

  8. Howie Mueler

    Luv the Pantera’s, when i was very young a friend had one. Not too many years ago these were still cheap. Yes this seller is nuts on their price!!

    Like 5
  9. Chris

    Currently restoring a ‘71 here in Florida. That is a price more fitting to a prior celebrity car, a LOW miles car, or possibly a later GT5 version. Seems high even for a starter bargain price, regardless of authenticity/cleanliness. I could see this selling for closer to $100K if everything really is in order, with zero rust (and I mean ZERO), and all the documentation referred to (original purchase paperwork, seamless maintenance documents, decades of registration docs, etc). Don’t get me wrong, they’re wonderful cars when put straight, but they’re not there yet.

    Like 3
  10. Christopher Gentry

    When I was a teenager , our local mechanic in my tiny home town had a blue (???) One. I thought it was a lambo back then. It was covered with at least an inch of dust. I asked him what was up with it. He said it was waiting on parts, for over a year. Last time I was in there about 1992. It was still there. I bet it still is.

    Like 3
  11. WaltL

    Way overpriced. Completely unrealistic. These cars can be had for $60-$80K all day long.

    Like 2
    • Chris


      I agree this is WAY overpriced, but $60-$80K is naive. For $60K the MOST you’ll get is a non-running rusty car w/o any records. $85K is more the average now …which is still far below this ridiculous asking price.

      Like 1
  12. chrlsful

    fine form of fettle
    hybrid (very Highly Bread)
    but not “a buck fidy”
    he can catch some1.
    Now w/the net, even CL,
    it can B done, so Y not try?

    Like 1
  13. Joe Elliott

    “Long before the word ‘hybrid’ meant gasoline-electric, it referred to a beautiful European body gently wrapped around a ravening beast of an American V8.” Really? Are we sure that usage isn’t a relatively recent invention by people who think they’re being clever but are really just too naïve to realize that lots of small manufacturers use someone else’s engine, and that it’s not particularly noteworthy? (Or am I just spoiled to have lived most of my life without exposure to the sort of people who have so little respect for automotive engineering that they really think a car is just engine + styling, such a that an outsourced engine makes a car some sort of cross-breed?)

    But I do always appreciate seeing a Pantera with an original master cylinder! (Not really; but I always look, out of curiosity, because I’ve never understood why so many of them have been fitted with an obviously-incorrect master cylinder on a crude adapter plate.)

  14. t-bone bob

    nice but priced too high

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