“As you skim over the pavement in the Pantera you can’t help feeling smug,” wrote Car & Driver magazine in August 1971 when Ford teamed up with Italian car manufacture De Tomaso Automobili to create the exotic Pantera in the U.S.
“You hear the engine rumbling along from its station back by your shoulder blades – a mechanical arrangement even novitiate automotive visionaries will recognize as a little piece of tomorrow today. And the looks. Oh wow – like something that just rolled out of the Turin Show.”
The Pick of the Day is a 1971 De Tomaso Pantera with just over 34,000 miles on its odometer and sporting a Verde Green color over a black interior. It’s offered on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The mid-engine sports car is powered by a 351cid Ford Cleveland V8 bored and stroked to 403cid and rated at 430 horsepower. The engine is also equipped with Edelbrock aluminum heads and intake, ceramic-coated Hall headers, a new Holley 750 CFM carburetor and MSD ignition, according to the dealer.
“Included with this investment De Tomaso is its restoration receipts of maintenance and performance upgrades, as well as the original owner’s manual,” the dealer notes.
The Pantera comes with power-assisted 4-wheel disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, electric windows and air conditioning. It also features 17-inch Campy-style wheels with Michelin Sport1 tires, a Momo steering wheel and front and rear anti-roll bars.
Designed as a competitor to Ferrari and Lamborghini in the early 1970s’, the Pantera cost about half as much, with comparable Italian styling and an American V8 packing a similar punch in terms of horsepower. Ford and De Tomaso expected wild levels of success in the American market, but rushed production resulted in spotty quality, including overheating problems reported by Pantera owners.
Needless to say, Ford and De Tomaso did not see the success they were hoping for. After selling fewer than 6,000 Panteras by 1974, Ford called it quits on selling them in the U.S.
Despite the issues, Panteras are iconic in the eyes of many collectors of both sports cars and muscle cars, with its sporty design and wicked-fast engine helping it maintain its value.
According to Hagerty’s price guide, a 1971 De Tomaso Pantera in excellent condition goes for an average of $88,000, reaching $122,000 in perfect concours condition.
The dealer is asking for $112,000 for this Pantera, which seems reasonable if the car is as the dealer describes and the pictures show.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.