Wrecked Exotic: 1971 DeTomaso Pantera

It amazes me how many times we see collector cars pop up in damaged condition, clearly having been socked away until a time when their values made it logical to post the carcass for sale. I often wish I had the means to keep my 1995 BMW M3 stashed away until time and money allowed to repair the head gasket, but alas, they didn’t and I sold it. This 1971 DeTomaso Pantera is a strong candidate for restoration and listed here on eBay for $34,750.

The challenge with cars like my M3 was that selling it meant my down payment was taken care of on a replacement car, unless I went with a dirt-cheap commuter and slowly repaired the blown headgasket. But with three projects already vying for attention, it wasn’t feasible. In the case of this Pantera, I’d love to know who kept it under wraps after a wet road or inexperienced driver caused its early demise. The rear suspension is tweaked fairly permanently, and the rear end took a big enough whack to dislodge the engine cover.

The interior appears as new, and if this was your only photo, you’d likely expect to see a perfect Pantera surrounding it. Mileage isn’t listed but it’s safe to assume it was low based on this photo. The seller, a fairly well known classics dealer in these circles, has a tendency to discover cars like these no matter how well hidden they are, so perhaps they’ll comment on how they found this wrecked Pantera, or what led to its crumpled condition. And, there’s the option to submit a best offer if you want to chat about a lower price.

Another piece of photo evidence for low-ish mileage is due to how clean the engine and transmission case are. Based on the intrusion from the driver’s side, my non-expert opinion is the driver’s side rear quarter took the brunt of the impact, but I’m not sure what caused the damage along the passenger side door. Either way, these cars have become valuable enough that numbers-matching examples are worth restoring, and this one looks like a better candidate than last week’s warehouse find. Do you agree?


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  1. Bruce

    Wrecked on test drive?

    Like 2
  2. Steve M

    Looks like Vince Neil was behind the wheel of it.

    Like 2
    • Rabbit

      Or worse, Tim Horton.

      Like 2
  3. dgrass

    Wow, that thing is tweaked in more ways than I can fathom. Looks like it took a healthy roll and then proceeded to hit everything within eye distance before finally coming to its final stop. There is not a straight piece left on that poor girl, aside from the windshield lovingly set in place for the photos.

    If someone has the skill to pound this out, they must be related to Hephaestus.

    Like 1
  4. SRyan

    Already gone. And originally Yellow.

    Like 1
  5. Dolphin Member

    Auction ended—NLA.

    This Pantera isn’t necessarily beyond fixing but it will take LOTS of expert work. I once saw a Ferrari 250 GT short wheelbase—the model that sells at auction nowadays in the area of $10 million—that was so badly damaged that every single panel on the car was damaged. After lots of work it looked perfect. That’s what you can do with a car that’s worth 10 mil.

    This Pantera looks VERY tweaked in every direction and will take lots of expert work. The problem is they made about 5,600 of them and they are worth about $70K in excellent condition. Unless it was bought by someone with lots of metalworking skills and equipment, I think it will be a project that goes underwater pretty quickly.

    It looks to me like Beverly Hills Car Club (“club” ??) is the only entity that’s likely to make out on this deal.

    Like 1
  6. Heath

    41263 miles on the odometer…

  7. Steve R

    I think there is some rust repair on the passenger side rocker. Just below the door, it looks like there are some large pieces of bondo flaking off. The inner portion of the drivers side door jamb, along the B pillar to the inside of the latch looks to have a significant amount of bubbling.

    The BFG euro T/A’s would have been early to mid-80’s, so the car might have seen 12-15 years or road use.

    Steve R

  8. half cab

    Ole ship worker in Maryland can fix it.

    Like 1
  9. glen

    If this thing rolled, how did the windows survive?, I’ve been in an accident where we rolled 5 times, according to the police. Every window was broken. We walked away!

    • dgrass

      If you look closely at the photos on ebay, both the drivers and passenger glass are shot, and the windshield is most likely a replacement…as it is just sitting on the car. the wing window behind the driver glass looks to be split as well.

      • glen

        I agree with the windshield being a replacement, the rest, however, are in far better condition than what ours looked like, but who knows. I just hope nobody was hurt.

  10. Jim

    This is a monocoque chassis car and although I love them and can rebuild/restore just about anything, this is a parts car. Don’t forget, these are technically supercars capable of speed and getting there quickly. I wouldn’t feel safe in it after even the best repair. Sad, just sad.

  11. TR

    Small block Chevy will fix it right up

    Like 2
    • KKW

      Stick your orange crates where the sun doesn’t shine, Einstein.

      Like 2
      • glen

        I think he meant it as a joke, that’s how I’m taking it.

        Like 1
    • mike

      …only if it’s intended for a yacht mooring…

      Like 1
  12. Jim

    I would add that Beverly Hills Sports Cars, which oddly enough is not in Beverly Hills, is full of junk and the one unfortunate wasted trip I viewed a car there, made me feel so dirty I had to take a shower immediately when I returned home. The place makes the movie “Used Cars” look reputable.

    Like 2
    • Sal Monelli

      Beverly Hills Motorcars is located in one of the worst crime-ridden sections of Los Angeles…. a far cry from its namesake.

      Like 2
  13. Steve M

    this had to be bought to part out, or by an owner of a shell to build. I dont think many of the components will be re-usable, but a quick search shows the transaxle is worth some serious coin, and dont discount what the number plate and title could be worth to the right buyer, and the interior shows well, where do you buy that??????

    Like 1
  14. Marty Reardon

    If it was between $10-12000 I could build this car. He is three times over priced. Beverly hills Car Club is usually high but not like this. Copart would never het close to this price.

  15. Jack Quantrill

    In 1971, you could buy one at a Ford dealer for $10,000!

    Like 1
  16. Martin Horrocks

    A restorer friend in Madrid recently uncovered the identical twin. Early Pantera, identical damage, been stored since the accident. It looks like these swap ends very easily!

    The Madrid car is under repair and will be beautiful, early Panteras are more elegant than the later cars. Am sure he didn´t pay $36000 for the wreck though….

  17. Bill McCoskey

    Parts car at best. Even doing most of the labor yourself, it’s a $50k job. And I have a feeling the car comes with a salvage title too. That’ll knock 20 to 25 percent off the value when completed, because even if you get it re-certified for street use and a new cleaned up title, that new title will still be marked as a “former salvage” car.

    No way I would drive that car at it’s upper speed & handling limits, after being wrecked this badly. It’s almost impossible to repair to perfection, and to accomplish that task it’s gonna cost in excess of $100k before the car is done. And the owner is gonna have to hope the state re-certifies it for street use.

  18. Pat A

    We can fix it! My dad’s got the ultimate set of tools!

  19. mike

    I’d drive it, just the way it is.

  20. RicK

    According to an on-line CPI Inflation Calculator, $10K in ’71 doallrs is equal to $61,975.63 in October ’17. And a Butterfinger bar was still 5 cents in 1971. That said, I remember a Pantera in the auto classifieds for $7100 back in Spring of ’74 (and no takers), which was right in the depths of the energy crisis depression/recession here in Seatlle following Boeing’s cancellation of the SST program (and subsequent mass layoffs of tens of thousands of workers). This was during the tenure of the famous billboard on s/b I-5 with the ominous message “Will the last person leaving Seattle please turn off the lights”. Houses were cheap in the Seattle area then also, and in some parts of town your typical 3 bdrm/1 bath were avail all day long for $10K (and were a far superior place to park your money investment-wise than a Pantera)

    Like 1
  21. Heath

    Yeah, 10k could have bought you 2 new Boss 429’s a year earlier which now bring over 300k each….or a few hemi cuda convertibles with insurance and gas money for a year.

  22. glen

    Chocolate bars have gone up a lot more than the rate of inflation!

  23. Mike W H

    Where did I leave that Fiberfab Valkyrie body? Oh yeah, six feet under with my dreams of myself as a car builder.

    But it’s still my first thought when I see a totaled exotic.

    Like 1
  24. sluggo

    Already sold and auction ended by seller, which seems to be common with many ebay car deals.
    It does not look like fun to repair, but probably a purist will take it on,, But just looked at Kitcars/replicas on ebay (Fun category) and theres a Fiberfab body shell on ebay right now ALSO in California (Ontario)for $200 and no bids so my warped mind sees possibilities here. This as a kit car donor??? Would be awesome!!

  25. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It can be fixed!

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