HomePick of the DayBest of both worlds: Pantera melds Italian style, Ford muscle

Best of both worlds: Pantera melds Italian style, Ford muscle


For those who admire the ravishing design of Italian exotic sports cars but want to stay true to their muscle car roots, there’s nothing quite like a DeTomaso Pantera.

The beautiful body design is by Carrozzeria Ghia but the engine is true Blue Oval, a mighty Ford V8 that provides reliable performance without the high-strung needs and frequent service intervals of the more-famous Italian brands.

The streamlined styling is by Ghia

The Pick of the Day is a 1971 DeTomaso Pantera from the first year of manufacture, powered by a 351 Ford Cleveland V8 hooked up with a ZF manual transaxle.  The Chatsworth, California, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com describes it as a “superb example” with fewer than 30,000 miles.

The 330 horsepower is delivered in a broad torque band that eliminates the need for frequent gear changes, as with the high-revving Italian engines, making them easier to drive in urban surroundings.   Zero-to-60 sprints are accomplished in just 5.5 seconds.

“This freshly restored 1971 Pantera includes its factory tool kit and space-saver spare tire,” the dealer says in the ad. “It also has factory headers and factory radio delete.

The Ford 351 V8 is nestled behind the seats

“The 351 Cleveland engine and ZF transaxle have been rebuilt, and a new clutch has been installed. This car runs and drives very well.

“The interior has been completely redone to original specification with the dash, seats, center console, door panels and steering wheel being re-wrapped with new leather. The A/C was charged, blows ice cold and is ready for summer.”

Panteras have gained a reputation for their durability as well as maneuverability that rivals the Continental competition.  Tuneups and mechanical repairs can be accomplished by any handy owner with a knowledge of the low-stress Ford engines.

The interior has been entirely restored

The Pantera looks very good in the photos accompanying the ad, and these early models have a purity of styling intent before they were forced to adopt massive rubber bumpers to meet US safety codes.

The asking price of $124,950 is certainly not cheap, but it compares very well to the current values of the Italian exotics.  And that deep Detroit rumble is priceless.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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