The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"

My Old Cars

By Mike Dailey

The Early Years 1957 though 1967

The path to a car like the de Tomaso Pantera is different for each owner, but for me it was inevitable!   My dad bought me an old Model A Ford before I was old enough to drive.  The old four banger did not stay in the car long and the V8 installation was the beginning of my love for fast cars with big V8s.   Correction, they were very fast for their time!  

1930 Ford Model A
1957 - 1960 Port Angeles, Washington

My 1930 Ford Model A with a 48 Mercury flathead V8 (59AB), 51 Mercury stroker crank, 49 Ford rods, dual 94 carburetors,  Offenhauser intake, Isky 404 junior track cam, Johnson adjustable tappets, zephyr valve springs, block ported and re-leaved, dual point 40 ford distributor, 10 pound aluminum fly wheel, dual exhaust with Hollywood glass packs, four chrome cheater pipes and a 39 Ford floor shifter transmission.  It sounded great with the very light flywheel, 404 cam, cheater pipes!  It had a nice choppy rump, rump idle.  This was my first engine build and engine swap.  Putting a V8 in an old Ford "A" is not easy when you are only sixteen.  The V8 power also required that I be able to stop so I installed a new hydraulic brake system to replace the Model A mechanical system.  I found the cool 1932 Ford radiator shell for $10.   Yes, it has El Lobo painted on the side!   But that was way cool then!   My old black and white photo shown was colorized to match the original Texaco red color with Photoshop.  Later on the red paint was changed to hotrod gray primer.    

Mike Dailey 1930 Ford Model A.jpg (382680 bytes)

1940 Ford Deluxe
1960 - 1961 Port Angeles, Washington

A 1940 Ford Deluxe was my second car.  I swapped in the engine from my Model A and added Offenhauser high compression heads, dual exhaust with Hollywood glass packs and a 39 Ford floor shifter transmission.   If you are thinking all of the wheels looked the same in the 60s, it's because they came off of the Model A. My old black and white photo shown was colorized to match the original Hawaiian bronze color with Photoshop.    

Mike Dailey 1940 Ford.jpg (215778 bytes)

1955 Ford
196
1 - 1962 Port Angeles and Seattle, Washington

In 1961 I bought a stock 1955 Ford that had a 272 V8 engine and a three speed overdrive.  I added a T Bird four barrel carburetor and intake, dual exhaust with Hollywood glass packs and floor shift conversion with a manual overdrive switch (six speed). Of course the front end was lowered as far as it would go.  The 55 went with me when I moved to Seattle in 1961. The photo shown is a reproduction of my car as I remember it and was created using Photoshop and zillion tedious hours of editing.  A bone stock blue 55 image was used as the original photo for editing changes.        

Mike Dailey 1955 Ford.jpg (224358 bytes)   

1960 Ford
1962 - 1963 Seattle, Washington and Denver, Colorado

In 1962 I bought a 1960 Ford that had a 292 V8 engine and a three speed.  I added a T Bird four barrel carburetor and intake, dual exhaust with Hollywood glass packs and a three speed transmission floor shift conversion. Of course the front end was lowered two inches.  I got tickets for the car being too low?  In 1962 this was almost like having a brand new car!

Mikes 60 Ford.jpg (169194 bytes)

1960 El Camino
1963 - 1967 Denver, Colorado and Seattle, Washington

In 1963 I traded the 60 Ford in for a 1960 El Camino powered by a hot 283.  In 1965 I  built a new engine using a Corvette 283, 1965 Corvette 375 HP 30/30 solid lifter cam, Carter AFB carb on Corvette high-rise intake, Hedman headers, Mallory Rev-pole dual point distributor, light aluminum fly wheel and BW T10 close ratio four speed.  It wasn't super fast but it sounded really, really, good!   

Mikes 60 El 1.jpg (239534 bytes)  Mikes Vet.jpg (231442 bytes)  Mikes El Camino.jpg (26227 bytes)

The youngster is me in Denver checking out my new El Camino

Mike Dailey 1960 El Camino.jpg (116108 bytes)

Back in Washington State

1967 through 1977 

1965 Impala SS V8 four speed, 1963 Ford Galaxy 390 and 1972 El Camino 350.  In 1971 I saw my first Pantera and wanted one badly!    

1978 The Sports Car Bug Bites

Mikes 78 Z.jpg (27596 bytes)

Not able to fund a Pantera, in 1978 I bought my first sports type car, a 1978 280 Z with a 5 speed.   The 280 was not very fast but a really well engineered car.   I drove it for five years and 90k miles with few problems.   Sold it for $1,000 less than its new price.

Mikes 83 ZX Turbo.jpg (49204 bytes) 

The 280 Z was sold In 1983 and I bought a new 1984 300 ZX Turbo 5 speed.  Zero to sixty in 6.9 seconds.  Not super fast but OK.  The 84 ZX turned out to be a maintenance and reliability problem so it had to go!       

Mikes 86 ZX Turbo.jpg (80060 bytes) 

In 1985 the 1983 300 was replaced with the new 1986 300 ZX Turbo 5 speed.  Nissan really got it right in 86!  I sold the Z in 2003 and it ran and looked like new.