Wrecked Exotic: 1971 De Tomaso Pantera

This 1971 De Tomaso Pantera is a major project car, having been heavily damaged at a track event and left to roll around on a dolly ever since. You may ask why it makes sense to repair a car that’s so clearly been battered and bruised, but as the seller points out, it has a rebuilt engine and was originally ordered in the fairly rare color known as “Medium Green V305”, which makes it a car worth saving and bringing back to OEM condition. It doesn’t look nearly as bad from the passenger side but the work is still significant; as the seller kindly states, if you lack the ability to take on big projects, look elsewhere. Find the Pantera here on eBay where bidding is over $10,000 with a Buy-It-Now of $44,500.

Ouch – that was a healthy hit that took this Pantera out of commission. Although not an accident reconstructionist by training, it seems likely the Pantera made a hard impact with something at the driver’s side rear of the car. Was it punted from the rear, or did it go ass backwards into a tire wall? Who knows, but whatever occurred, it was likely a hard hit and at speed. While it may be repairable, there are lots of questions left unanswered as to how severe the damage was and whether there’s underlying impacts underneath. The seller contends the roof was not damaged in the crash, which seems akin to saying the leak on the Titanic really isn’t all that bad.

Of course, I understand he is trying to show that not every panel was damaged and that the roof not being compromised is a very real bright spot. The interior looks to be quite nice for what it is, although there seem to be some parts missing. If it was a track car, it seems likely that the seats and steering wheel were removed as they were probably replaced by aftermarket components. However, you’d like to at least see a picture in the listing documenting that the OEM seats and steering wheel are still with the Pantera before lodging a bid (at least, I would). Mileage is listed as being a hair under 86,000 miles.

The listing notes that the engine was rebuilt by known race shop Huffaker Motorsports. No word on how many miles were on the rebuild, but it still speaks to a commitment to build this Pantera into a formidable track car. The seller doesn’t disclose whether the brakes or suspension have been upgraded as well, but perhaps that’s because there’s still a bit of ground to cover for the next owner before they start worrying about adjustable shock absorbers and bigger rotors. This is a major undertaking, but one that would likely be worth it once the original paint scheme is applied and the Pantera’s body is straightened and repaired. Would you take on a project of this scale for a Pantera?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Left rear looks like the left front of one our race cars that took on a concrete jersey barrier after hitting some oil on the track in ’16. A hit like you see on the Pantera probably wrinkled the chassis all the way to the front as did our hit wrinkle all the way to the rear. Unibody cars are just not made to hit things with. Do notice the wheel mounted on the left front so we could get it into the trailer is over 7″ to the rear of it’s original position and the sub frame holding the suspension and engine mount is 2″ into the pan. Just got another tub rather than spend the rest of my life fixing it.

    Like 20
    • grant

      Is that a Midget or a B, Bob?

      Like 1
      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        Unmistakable Midget A pillar, inner fender and front fender “swoop” above the rocker panel. Love those body-colored Libre wheels, Bob Hess!

    • John S Dressler

      Great car – in running condition! As indicated by bobhess, that sucker hasn’t got a plumb chassis or body line on the whole car after a hit like that. So maybe someone can help me understand why we are being shown in some cases mere pieces of car bodies on BF as Will Fox indicated, as though someone with other than a fully equipped shop capable of the kind of metal fabrication and limitless budget necessary to bring them back to life would even give one of these a second look?

  2. Will Fox

    Well, not nearly as bad as the `70 Mach I 428 CJ wreck shown last week, but still not worth too much. Nice paperweight is about it…

    Like 9
  3. Ray

    Looks like a parts car, not much left. At lease with the leak on the Titanic the swimming pool still has water in it.

    Like 12
  4. Mutt

    Can we see some under body pics of the pallet ?

    Like 9
  5. Ralph

    Another seller who wants all the money in the world for a parts car. No thanks.

    Like 12
    • fran

      Not really, it does have bidding….Yes the BIN is the seller waning all the money, but with bidding, we will see true market value. My guess it someone will buy it under the table. It is for sale out of California, need we say more?

      Like 1
  6. Ike Onick

    Blank Canvas!

    Like 1
  7. Mike

    I’m running out of BHCC jokes. BF is posting a lot of wrecks.

    Like 5
    • Jimmy

      scrap yard! scrap yard!

  8. Derek

    I’ve spent a fair number of years fixing racing dunts. If you’re not going to fix it before baling out, does that not suggest that it’s beyond fixing?
    Obviously, nothing’s irreparable – but 44k’s a lot for a very bent shell and some bits. phuqt.

    Like 14
  9. bobhess bobhess Member

    Grant… 1275 race prepped engine, ’60 Bugeye.

    Like 12
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Mea culpa, I should have written unmistakable SPRIDGET A pillar, etc etc. Nice racer, Bob. Did it give it’s life so others may live?

  10. mainlymuscle

    I’m just going to graft the drivers side and complete rear,off a Corvair I have which suffered the exact opposite hit.
    What ?
    It makes at least as much sense an this asking price .

    Like 2
  11. Jonny_the_Boy

    As one who has tried to find a shop to do restoration work with a frame machine, I can tell you, it ain’t easy! I wouldn’t even consider this one. If you would, tell me why and how.

    Like 2
    • JMB#7

      Plenty of shops have frame straightening rigs. Very few of them want to use them for anything more than minor tweaks on high value cars. I visited four different shops a few years ago and gave up. Later sold the vehicle for parts.

      Like 4
  12. DuesenbergDino

    Frame work is nothing like welding in a patch panel to fix rust. It’s a very unique and highly technical process to get it “pre accident” condition. We are talking just millimeters off and nothing will bolt in place properly. Steel, aluminum, high strength steel and ultra high strength metals all pull differently. Add to this the liability factor and it’s easy to see why reputable shops can’t, or won’t, get involved. Lesser quality shops probably aren’t trained to work on something this demanding in accuracy. Spent my share of time in ICAR classes along with years on a frame rack learning the ins and outs of frame straightening. This can be saved but I think the initial buy in is too high. Considering all the missing and damaged parts to replace I would peg this at $15k.

    Like 5
  13. JS

    Somebody has a Pantera with a trashed front end that could use this.

  14. Howie Mueler

    Yes just a pricey parts car, this one is all over on the internet.

    Like 2
  15. John Sullivan

    So if I’m reading the listing correctly, this was wrecked 21 years ago and the current seller bought it 3 years ago and hasn’t been able to source enough parts to justify starting work on the project. Am I wrong to think that whoever performed the engine rebuild seems irrelevant after this much time and that severe a collision?

    Not sure why the seller would say the car “is mainly used for weekend drives” but it sounds like the same car-selling lie as “little old lady only drove it to church on Sundays.”

    Like 4
    • JMB#7

      I am sure that I could spin a car on a track during a weekend and place the back corner into the Armco. What is not believable about that?

  16. Steve Clinton

    Somebody squeezed this De Tomato too hard.

    Like 1
  17. Paolo

    Parts car or gut it to make a track car. No point in sinking good money into restoring this one. Although they are fun to drive they aren’t particularly rare. You can find a decent one to enjoy now for much less than the cost of doing this one to drive years from now. I see this as wall art, slice it lengthwise and hang the straight side on the wall of your garage or tavern.

    Like 3
  18. glen kay

    lot of money for no car

  19. glen kay

    lot of money for no car were is the rest

  20. Frank

    These are nice cars once you correct the issues like cooling, rusted out gas tank and you need to remove the engine to remove the gas tank. Design is still an eye catcher! I’ve own two of them when they were $30 and $50K back in the 80’s. It can be fixed but its going to cost lots of money. Find a Panther Specialist. Present owner is asking too much and I hope if its repaired it goes back to the original color. $44.5K is the asking price. A nice one is another $60K.

  21. Lenny

    So it’s a rare color that was painted over so how is it worth more? Seems all the cars on here are wrecks or low mileage garage kept high dollar cars. I have yet to see any inexpensive ones .

  22. walt

    It would make 4 a nice stocker race car on a 1/4 mile dirt race track @ my local county/state fair. Why even try 2 rebuild @ any price with a ‘Salvage’ title?

    Like 1
  23. t-bone BOB

    Ended: Aug 30, 2021 , 10:57AM
    Current bid:US $20,100.00
    [ 53 bids ]
    Reserve not met
    Located in:Sonoma, California

    Item relisted:
    Ended: Sep 05, 2021 , 9:27AM
    Best offer accepted

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