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Home Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: 1971 De Tomaso Pantera, a sports car ahead...

Pick of the Day: 1971 De Tomaso Pantera, a sports car ahead of its time

One-owner mid-engine coupe is in “superior condition” and driven just over 34,000 miles

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“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.

1971 De Tomaso Pantera, a sports car ahead of its time

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.

1971 De Tomaso Pantera, a sports car ahead of its time

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

Hagerty
Racheal Colbert
An experienced writer and editor, Racheal brings her enthusiasm for collector cars to her role as the Content Manager of the Collector Car Network. Former Content Writer and Marketing Manager in the tech and publishing industry, Racheal brings a fresh perspective to the Journal and the automotive world.

22 COMMENTS

  1. I would take this over a C8 because of the collectability but with the non NOS radio antenna messing up the rear quarter, no stock wheels and that horrid color it isn’t worth 112K. It has pretty high miles for a Pantera so I would be a player at the average 88 to 90K

  2. This is what auctions do. Just because ONE Pantera sold for $122,000 , now everybody thinks THEIR Pantera is worth over $100K. Their killing the hobby.

  3. The internet ruined the car hobby years ago! Wealthy bubbas like Leno etc. send their minions to buy up everything at auctions driving up prices and putting psuedo values on cars. The fun days of Barn finds are over a companies even get rich on that producing stories of stumbling upon the garage with the rare Ferrari or Road Runner etc. I’m not rich I just like cars. I have to settle for pictures now.

  4. No thanks, I’ll take a Pantera over a C8 without even thinking twice. More collectible & rare… Will hold its value much better. Plus, its just a cooler ride,,

    • I agree with Carl; I’d chose the Pantera over a C8. Although I suspect most Pantera owners don’t have to make that choice given Pantera & C8 pricing. Plus, the two vehicles are not comparable at all, other than the 2 seat, rear American V8 engine config. The Pantera owner would probably treat their C8 as their everyday driver except for snow days, and pristine Pantera would be rubbed with a diaper as a collectible, like Cameron’s dad’s Ferrari.

      However, given the production and pandemic issues an actual “2020” Vette may turn out to be like scoring a rare, early1942 production vehicle!

    • I’m with you on that one…But I’ve always Loved that Car since the first day in 1971 when a guy down the street bought a Silver on Black one…

  5. When I was in law school in 1972 in San Francisco one of my classmates drove one wearing a Sherlock Holmes deerstaker hat. Very kool. I drove a 1962 Ford Falcon station wagon white with red vinyl upholstery. Wish I still had it.

  6. I bought a red/black ‘72 Pantera
    at Lincoln/Mercury dealer in ‘73
    with 4,600 miles for $8,500 in mint condition.

    An amazing car.
    Worth the price to hear it rumble in the garage!

    One major issue was overheating when driven at low speeds on local roads. Problem solved with aftermarket parts.

    I wish I still had it!

  7. Great job! To the woman author of the article! Value comments don’t bother us Pantera owners, as we love them and get mad respect pulling into any show full of Italian Paddle shift cars. Anyone can drive a C8, Lambo or Ferrari. But this car wants to kill you if you don’t respect it.

  8. Classic cars like paintings and other antiques will fetch high dollar. The cleaner the lower miles original condition the more money.
    People collect them there fun. I personally don’t care for them anymore. Newer cars are alot more fun and less headaches!

  9. I’ve got a restored/modified ’72 Pantera, and I would still take if over the C8, it just looks and sounds so much better. My friend and fellow Pantera owner (’74) just picked up his 2021 C8. So he has one of each., a happy compromise. I’ve had mine about 20 years and have had it back from restoration about 2 1/2 years. I drive it more now than ever before.

  10. One of my buddies just sold his 1971 Pantera to a VERY famous name in the automotive world for $135K. He still has another, matching one (a “his and hers” for him and his wife) that he is negotiating with someone on now. Very interesting cars! I’ve never been a Ford guy, but I’ve always loved the Panteras!

  11. Be nice. This is my car. It runs great and pulls like a race horse. Yea the antenna is stupid. But the hole was already there and you can bolt in another retractable one if you want. I solved the heating and cooling problems and added a nice stereo I never used.

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