The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"
The Sopranos and Italian Cars
By Mike Dailey
Anthony Junior, as seen on the HBO series, The Sopranos. Does AJ have a Pantera in his future?
I've been following the Sopranos for the last three years and I keep wondering why none of the characters drive or collect Italian cars. You would think that the cars would at least appeal to AJ. It's not like they couldn't afford them and after all they are of Italian heritage. I think I've come up with a plot for the series that would work.
AJ stops by the La Belle Macchine d Italia in June with one of his high school friends and sees a bunch of Panteras on the track making the entire pack of other Italian cars look like snails. AJ remembers that Uncle Junior has some type of an Italian car in storage that he bought in 1971. AJ gets back home and talks to Tony about all of the Panteras he saw at the La Belle Macchine d Italia and how awesome they are. Tony tells AJ that the Uncle Junior’s car is a Pantera and it has been in a special humidity controlled storage room for the last 25 years at the trash plant. Uncle Junior wanted to give the car to Tony in 1975 but Tony couldn’t fit in the car so it was put in storage.
Tony talks to Uncle Junior and because of his failing health, Uncle Junior decides to give the car to AJ. Tony, Uncle Junior and AJ go over to the plant to look at the car. Tony turns on the light to the storage unit and a highly polished and waxed, shinny red 1971 Pantera is there under the bright lights. The car is in perfect upgraded condition because Uncle Junior has been shipping the car to Pantera Performance every year to have it serviced and the latest upgrades installed. The body has been left stock but it has Pantera East 16" and 17" wheels with fat new rubber. The engine is Dennis’ hottest build with his low-rise fuel injection. Uncle Junior tells AJ that he went with the low rise because he did not want to cut the deck lid. The new engine installation was just completed last month. AJ understands everything that Uncle Junior is telling him because AJ has been secretly taking auto shop in school and his class just finished a build of a 351 Windsor (no rice racer stuff taught here). There is a bookcase at one end of the room that is filled with PI magazines and POCA Profiles and newsletters. Uncle Junior flips AJ the keys and AJ jumps in the car grinning like mad. He turns the key and the engine springs to life, filling the storage unit with wonderful Pantera sounds. AJ backs the Pantera out and has a little trouble figuring out the gear shift pattern.
Soon, AJ is out on Route 17 tooling along, grinning ear to ear! As the picture fades …Sopranos sound track…. to be continued ……next season! AJ is not a made man yet, but now he is the man! Rumors have it, that AJ will run the Pantera in Silver State next season.