Argentine-born Alejandro de Tomaso entered the car business in 1959, setting up a factory in Modena, Italy. From 1963 he also produced a range of luxury tourers and in 1971 launched the Pantera using a steel monocoque chassis designed by Gian Paolo Dallara The striking styling was the work of the prolific Tom Tjaarda, chief stylist at Ghia and responsible for numerous innovative cars for the likes of Fiat, Lancia, Ford and Chevrolet.
A proper supercar, the mid-engined Pantera was powered by a 5.8-litre Ford Cleveland V8 conservatively rated at 330bhp but closer to 380bhp when properly set up and capable of considerably more with specialist tuning. Mated to a ZF all-synchro five-speed transaxle, it could fling the Pantera to 60mph in 5.5 seconds with a top speed of 145mph – 175mph. Suspension was competition specification double wishbone/coil spring all round with powerful disc brakes at each corner.
The Pantera was to remain in limited production for 21 years, getting ever more outlandish as time went on, sprouting wings, flared arches, air vents and fatter bumpers.
A total of 7,260 had been sold by the time production came to an end in 1992, virtually all of them left-hand drive - but not this one! One of just seventeen cars thought to have been factory produced in right hand drive this Pantera was manufactured in July 1972 as is confirmed by letter from Dick Puxty of Emilia Concessionaires, the UK importer of De Tomaso. First registered in Jersey, it was subsequently imported into the UK in 1975. Between 1975 and 1977, the car had 3 UK owners.
In 1977, the car was acquired by its 4th keeper in Scotland who kept the car for 19 years until August 1996. It was during his period of ownership that the car was restored and the bodywork modified to Group 4/5 style, except for the delta wing which was a 1997 addition. The MOT certificate issued in May 1996 shows the mileage at 72,047. The earliest MOT certificate on file is dated May 1986 and shows a mileage of 52,667.
The current owner purchased the Pantera in August 1996 and has used the car only occasionally, and never in the winter or the wet. It was used for the annual pilgrimage to Le Mans for a number of years. The engine was rebuilt over the winter of 1996 at 73,000 miles and a long list of modifications and parts is in the file. The car has been used sparingly in the past few years although regularly started and run on private roads. The current mileage is 76,391 and it has just had an oil and filter change. The Vendor says it will have a fresh MOT by time of sale.
The information file includes past MOT certificates back to 1986 (although a few are missing), numerous invoices for the engine rebuild and other work. In addition the Vendor is including a large selection of spares.
The Pantera looks the business as can be seen in the photographs. It appears to be in excellent condition, and sounds thunderous as it should with 5700 cc of US grunt – all this for a very attractive estimate!