Spotlight Feature – The Everyman Supercar, De Tomaso Pantera.

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Now I wasn’t the kid who grew up with imagery of Countach’s and F40’s posted around my room, I think mainly because they were the cliché supercars, the cars that every kid seemingly dreamed to have. I grew up around cars; Dad always had a 60’s Falcon of some sort in the garage when I was young, through my teen years, the Falcons moved on and their spot was taken by cars of various manufacturers coming and going. I was always that kid in P.E class sat on the ground at the side drawing a hotrod or custom of some description and not participating because well, I had no interest; I was – to quote F&F Tokyo Drift – a Gaijin, an outsider. No one in my family was ever into sports and it seemed it was always the ‘sporty’ kids who (generally speaking) had no interest in cars and seemed to purchase the Countach and F40 posters available whenever the school library had a book sale day on, maybe this is what turned me to look for things that were different…

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Following on from that I also think maybe it was because at that younger age I considered myself to be ‘different’ I always had an interest in cars that were different; I took notice of the weird and the eccentric. From around the age of 15 I craved for the day I could purchase a Series II Humber Supersnipe after coming across one whilst on a trip to the local wreckers with Dad, now I don’t know of any other teenagers who would look at a Supersnipe and say “I want one” but I did.

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Eventually I did purchase one but that’s a story for another day. I also remember the first time I heard about the De Tomaso Pantera, I remember Dad telling me what it was when I came across one for the first time, from memory at a local car show. Being that I had a reasonable knowledge of Falcons and Fairmonts from growing up around them, I  was familiar with the Ghia badge of which was present on the front guards of the Pantera, so possibly it was the pairing of a familiarity with what was a similar Italian sports car to those that kids my age of the time dreamed about, yet it wasn’t the typical Ferrari or Lamborghini – it was different, and it’s one car that hasn’t left the back of my mind since…

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It was at Autoclassica where I came across this original bronze example, and there is just something so wonderfully mish-mash yet refined about it; beautiful Italian body lines stanced in a perfect 70’s muscle car-esque rake over staggered factory alloys, and fitted with a Falcon/ Mustang derived rear mounted Ford 351 Cleveland V8 engine. I spotted it from around 50 metres away over the top of a period correct Fiat Topolino drag car which I unfortunately somehow forgot to shoot (probably due to being distracted by the Pantera), and although this was the only one in attendance at Autoclassica, it is surprisingly a car which is still currently obtainable price wise and I’m sure will only go up in value. Paired with the fact that driveline parts are easily sourced and you won’t pay the equivalent price of a new modern day hatchback to replace an engine if something happens to go wrong, makes the Pantera a classic supercar for the everyman. Cringe if you will but I personally, would rather have a Pantera parked in my garage over any Countach or F40.

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2 thoughts on “Spotlight Feature – The Everyman Supercar, De Tomaso Pantera.

  1. I owed a Series IV Super Snipe, so I will look forward to your Series II tale.

    I had forgotten those rocker switches used in the Fiat and a number of other brands.

    • A regrettable sale, the Super Snipe but I was also somewhat younger and more naive and a relatively rust free, running example was then still seen as ‘too much work’. One day another will come along.

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