Pick of the Day: 1972 De Tomaso Pantera, Italian/American sports car

Mid-mounted Ford V8 breathes durable life into this exotic coupe

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The Pantera is a low-mileage example in largely original condition

Alejandro De Tomaso designed his Pantera to be the best of both worlds, a stylish mid-engine Italian supercar powered by a rugged Detroit V8, and thus without the complexity or maintenance needs of the top Italian brands but competing with the best of them in performance. 

The Pick of the Day is a 1972 De Tomaso Pantera, a low-mileage example of the sought-after early models when the bumpers were small and the compression was high.  Power is provided by a 351cid Ford Cleveland V8 rated at 330 horsepower and linked with a 5-speed ZF transmission.

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“Classic Italian exotics are always popular and desirable cars, but they are rarely easy to live with and can be very expensive to maintain with their complex and sometimes fragile Italian engines,” notes the Cookeville, Tennessee, dealer advertising the Pantera on ClassicCars.com. “This is why the Pantera is so popular now. 

“Most Panteras on the market have been significantly modified and many no longer even have their original engine, but this car is still very close to its original factory configuration.”

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With just 46,000 miles showing on its odometer, the Pantera has never been restored other than a repaint in its original Red, the dealer says, noting that the paint is glossy and shows well but has some imperfections. 

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“Interior is in very good driver condition,” the seller adds. “The carpet is excellent and the seats look very good and appear to wear their original upholstery. The headliner is tight and clean.

“The instrumentation functions properly as you would expect; the lights, wipers and headlight motor assemblies all work fine as well.”

Best of all, however, is how this 48-year-old Pantera still performs as it should, according to the seller.

“The 351 Cleveland starts and runs well; (it) has gotten some upgrades in its earlier life and a recent tuneup,” the ad says. “It runs fantastic with good power and torque and will make you grin when you hit the gas!

“The transmission is quiet, shifts smoothly and clutch operation is direct, smooth and linear. The engine has good oil pressure and always runs cool.”

The asking price for this Italian/American sports car is $87,900.    

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

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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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Considering the huge price disparity, I reckon this car makes the Studebaker Avanti and Avanti II’s look like utter bargains! That’s not to detract from the Pantera, mind you, just an observation…

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