The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"

The de Tomaso Pantera Models

(information compiled from many sources) 

1971 Pantera

Starting with car #1286, 1007, 1971 models were imported into the United States by Ford. The first 75 cars were "push button door" Panteras. These first Panteras were built at Vignale Carrozzeria, Italy. The first 75 vehicles were originally slated to go to the European market, but were redirected for exportation to the United States after the agreement with Ford was finalized. This group of 1971s were the only totally factory hand built Panteras to be imported into the United States by Ford.

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1971 Euro model "push button" Pantera #1158, owned by Don Murray of Fredericksburg, TX

The "push button" vehicles can be identified from all other Panteras by their round door buttons and a hand grip molded into the body just behind the door, rather than then later pull-type door handles.

The 1971 Panteras had high compression engines and were rated at 330 horsepower. 1971  magazine road tests show the 0 to 60 time to be 5.5 seconds with a top speed of 160 MPH. The early 1971 cars have squared off front bumpers.

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My 1971 Pantera #1887, with squared off corners on the front bumpers.  The hood cooling vents have been added as an upgrade  The hood vents are from a GT5 Pantera or GT5S Pantera and can be purchased as an upgrade. 

1972 Pantera

In 1972 the Pantera had modifications beginning with the final 200 cars produced at the end of the 1971 production year. The following are modifications made to the Pantera during first part of 1972:

  • Engine compression lowered from 11:1 to 8.6:1.
  • Factory headers replaced the simpler exhaust manifolds which featured webbing between the individual pipes.
  • Clutch linkage modified with extra parts to ease pedal effort.
  • Brake fluid reservoir made integral with master cylinder.
  • Rear luggage tray and engine compartment bolts replaced with quick release aircraft type screws.
  • Oil level dipstick lengthened.
  • Speedometer cable rerouted.
  • Accelerator cable revised.
  • Interior carpets and rear luggage tray lining revised.
  • Splash shield installed to eliminate water getting up over the gas tank and also installed to protect the horn and radiator fans.
  • 351 Cleveland changed from a 2 bolt main to a 4 bolt main.
  • Changed to a more aggressive camshaft.
  • Went from a single point to a dual point distributor.
  • Seat material was changed several times.
  • Switched to Pirelli CN73 (225/70-15 tires).
  • Advertised top speed increased to 160 mph (road test done on the 1971 cars showed 160 too). 
  • Fans were revised from manual to automatic.

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1972 Pre L Pantera #3766

1972 Pantera L

From the second half of the 1972 model year the Pantera L model was produced. The "L" stands for Lusso, which means luxury in Italian. New Government regulations forced deTomaso and Ford to install large black impact bumpers on the front and rear of the car. These bumpers were equipped with shock-absorbing pistons and the bumpers added approximately 200 lbs to the car. As the change was made to the L model not all cars delivered had the same L parts, e.g. dashboard, bumpers, front parking lights.  Some of the L cars during this transition would be built using the older two pod dash. If the car has the large bumpers it is usually called a L Pantera.  Some of the Pre L cars during this time have L front parking lights and small front bumpers.  The engine horsepower was reduced to 248 as the compression was lowered from 8.6:1 to 8.0:1. The following items are the modifications for the Pantera L model:

  • 351 Cleveland changed back to a 2-bolt main
  • The camshaft was retarded by 4 degrees.
  • Pirelli tires replaced by Goodyear bias-belted "Arriva" tires
  • Engine cover redesigned
  • Rear deck support pistons inverted so that the sealed spring mechanism was on top.
  • All electrical relays put on a single panel on the left side of the interior; matching fuse panel on the right hand side.
  • Seat-belt warning light and buzzer added.
  • 92 amp-hour batter changed to a 90-amp-hour battery.
  • Radiator baffle revised to eliminate water bypassing the radiator and not getting properly cooled.
  • New universal joints introduced; had lifetime lubrication and improved bearing seals.
  • Borg and Beck clutch assembly introduced.
  • Revised front-wheel opening flanges to lessen front tires rubbing on inside of fenders.
  • The European Pantera L models did not have the black impact bumpers.

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Mark Drastal's 1972 Pantera L.  Mark lives in Atlanta, Georgia

1974 Pantera GTS

In 1974 the Pantera GTS model was introduced. Mechanically the GTS cars are the same as the other 1974 cars with the 351 Cleveland engine but with a Ford 4V Autolite carburetor. The GTS had the following cosmetic changes:

  • All chrome blacked out
  • Ferrero steering wheel with Ghia emblem
  • GTS wheel logos.
  • Pop riveted fiberglass fender flairs
  • "GTS" script mounted where "Pantera" script was (on the rear).
  • "Pantera" script in place of "de Tomaso" script (on the rear).
  • Flat black rocker panel stripe widened and "Pantera GTS" written on the stripe.
  • Gloss black metallic front hood and rear compartment deck.
  • Ghia emblem on the font bumper (instead of the usual de Tomaso emblem).
  • Dash mounted clock installed.
  • GTS emblem on the gear-shift knob.

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Michael Murphy’s 1974 GTS at the POCA 2000 Fun Rally

Ford decided to terminate the entire Pantera program after 1974 when the United States Federal safety and emission restrictions threatened a complete re-engineering of the Pantera.  Ford sold about 5500 Panteras from 1971 through 1974.  But, de Tomaso still owned the sales and manufacturing rights for Europe and every area outside of the United States. When Ford dropped the Pantera, de Tomaso became the sole source for the Pantera and de Tomaso continued production in limited numbers.  About 7200 total Panteras were produced world wide from 1971 through 1996.. That's not a lot of cars but it is a very long run time for any performance super car. 

1975 - 1996 Pantera 

Over the next two decades, de Tomaso produced the Pantera, the Pantera GT5, the Pantera GT5S and the Pantera 200.

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Joern Cato Olsen's beautiful 1983 Pantera GT5 #THPNAG09261.  Joern lives in Norway

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Dan Price's 1986 GT5S at the POCA 2000 Fun Rally

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The 1996 Pantera 200.  The last Pantera to be produced.  The cars were powered with a Ford 5.0 V8 .

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Franz Krump's Pantera 200 of Austria, car number 9613.