The car featured in this article is a stunning 1974 DeTomaso Pantera GTS. The DeTomaso Pantera was originally introduced in Modena, Italy and was on display at the New York Auto Show in 1970.
The Pantera began as a joint venture between the Ford Motor Company and De Tomaso Automobili
The Pantera was initially designed to "Ford specification" for the average American driver and to a price point and level of trim that made it competitive in the American sports car market<
DeTomaso Modena S.p.A.
Although DeTomaso Modena S.p.A. is an Italian car company, Alejandro DeTomaso was not Italian, he was born in Argentina. His family was very wealthy; his father was a prominent politician and his mother was a member of the Ceballos family, one of Argentina's oldest and wealthiest families, with vast land holdings originally granted to the family by the King of Spain.
The logo DeTomaso used for his automobile company was a tribute to his home country of Argentina and his family heritage. The blue and white stripes of the logo's background are the colors of the national flag of Argentina. The symbol in the foreground that looks like a letter "T" is the branding symbol of the Ceballos estate where Alejandro grew up.
Today De Tomaso Automobili S.p.A. operates as an automaker for prototypes and sports cars. Their product line still includes the two-door, mid-engine Vallelunga, Mangusta and Pantera.
The First DeTomaso
The Vallelunga was the first DeTomaso car made, right before the Mangusta. It was the comapany's first road going model. It is thought that only a few dozen Vallelungas survive today, their ownership being a worldwide but small group of enthusiasts.
The DeTomaso Pantera
The DeTomaso Pantera is a mid-engine automobile that was produced by the DeTomaso car company in Italy from 1971-1991. During this two decade run there were 7,000 units built. The Pantera was designed by the firm, Ghia, and replaced the Mangusta model. Ghia stylist Tom Tjaarda styled the new supercar, and Giam Paolo Dallara was engaged for chassis and production design. The Pantera is a true supercar and is considered one of the finest ever produced.
Imported to the U.S. By Ford Motor Company
Ford was in need of a sport car to compete directly with the Chevy Corvette and import automobiles like Ferrari. Before Ford became involved with DeTomaso and the Pantera they had tried and failed to buy Ferrari. This new relationship gave Lee Iacocca and Ford a mid-engine sports car.
Ford imported a little over 1,000 Pantera's for the 1971 model year. The Pantera's were built with Ford's "Cleveland" 351 V-8's. The cars were placed on display and sold at Lincoln-Mercury dealers. Ford sold about 5,500 units before they ceased importation at the end of 1974. At that point DeTomaso took over the Pantera project himself and production continued for markets other that the U.S.
Three years after the model's introduction, by 1974, several improvements had been made to the Pantera but none was more essential than the addition of the Ford 351 Cleveland V-8 engine with four-bolt mains, a higher-performance cam and reduced compression to comply with U.S. emission standards.
1974 DeTomaso Pantera GTS Specifications
Engine on the 74 Pantera was a Ford "Cleveland" 351 Four Barrel V-8 delivering 325 horsepower. Zero to 60 was rated at 6.5 sec.
Gearbox was a German manufactured ZF model 5DS-25 five speed manual.
Brakes were four wheel disc.
Overall length was 168.1 inches, width 74.8 inches and a wheelbase of 99.0 inches. Curb weight 3,020 lbs.
You may enjoy the additional Auto Museum Online article found on the link below.....
The book DeTomaso Pantera by author David Adler is an excellent picture book on all of the models.
DeTomaso Pantera Collector Cars
Pantera's have been steadily increasing in value. These American/Italian supercars are considered very rare and have increased much in popularity. Ford had originally wanted 5,000 Pantera's imported per year but for a variety of reasons they never received near that amount. One reason was that the German company supplying the gearboxes could not produce the numbers needed. For both DeTomaso and for the gearbox supplier this high volume of production asked for by Ford was totally new.
The new car price for a 1974 model GTS was about $15,500.
As of this writing, valuations for the 1974 DeTomaso Pantera GTS range from about $50,000 to $125,000, low to high retail.
For DeTomaso Pantera enthusiasts, owners or prospective owners, plenty of information including forums, news and more can be found at www.poca.com This is the site for the Pantera Owners Club of America.
(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)