The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"
Bill Grable's Pantera
The sleeping Pantera awakens!
By Mike Dailey
August 12, 2000
In the Spring of 1973 Bill Grableís uncle bought this beautiful red 1972 Pantera and in 1974 Billís mom bought the car from uncle. Bill really liked the Pantera and in 1985 Bill bought the car from his mom. Bill drove the car for awhile and then in 1988 decided to have the car restored by a mid-western company that specialized in Pantera restorations. (we think they are out of business now) With 8,761 miles on the odometer the car was completely stripped put on a rotisserie and rebuilt and repainted. The suspension was upgraded with new bushings and shocks. The restoration took 2 Ĺ years and after some difficult follow-up Bill finally got the car back 1990.
Bill drove the car for 1,286 miles and then parked it in his momís garage in 1990 with a car cover on it. Over the years Bill would stop by and take a look at the car and as time went on his mom kept bugging him to move the car to his house. The car got a flat tire because of a broken valve stem and as the years went by moving the car became more and more difficult.
Recently Bill discovered that there were other Pantera owners in Atlanta and stopped by one of our Pantera get togethers to get some inspiration to work on his car. Being around running Panteras got Bill inspired and he had the car moved to his house on a roll back truck. Bill is in the process of flushing all of the fluids, replacing rubber hoses and hopes to get it started and running in a week or so.
It is an amazing car, it's like being in a ten year time-warp. In the first image, Dick Koch is looking in the fuel tank while Bill looks on. In the second image, the new battery is installed. All of the electrical system seems to work fine! Note the nice looking felt type covering on the under side of the hood. The inside looks brand new!
The odometer was reset during the restoration. The car has big GTS headers, pipes and ANSA mufflers.
The engine and transaxle look great on the outside. We are all hoping they are OK on the inside!
What is Dick doing in that gas tank? The third image shows the back passenger side suspension, we noticed that the shock on that corner was installed upside down? Everything is really pristine and well done though. New BF Goodrich Euro T/As ready to be installed with the stock 7" and 8" wheels.
Bill's car is a really beautiful example of a pristine Pantera and we are looking forward to Bill joining us in our Atlanta Pantera activities.
August 20, 2000
I helped Bill get his car started today. During the last week Bill flushed the clutch master and slave, the brakes, changed the oil, flushed the coolant and added new fuel. After dealing with a pesky starter solenoid, we cranked over the engine with the starter for short durations until we had good oil pressure. We did this with the high voltage coil lead removed. I added a small amount of fuel to the carb intake and then Bill cranked it over. After ten years it spring to life and then died. We decided that we had a bad fuel pump so Bill replaced it!
John Holmes stopped by to help too. When we did get fuel flowing to the carb we found that the needle valves were shot and fuel was coming out of the back carb vent and no fuel flowing to the front float bowl. Bill replaced the carb with a new one and the engine fired up and ran great! What a thrilling moment! The sleeping Panther was alive! And it was growling and snarling at us! Watch out for those back paws! Talking about high fives! No lifter clattering, stuck valves or other problems, it just fired up and was running smoothly and sounded great!
While Bill had the carb off I took some images of the intake manifold. The lettering on the front is "Shelby". We didn't know that Shelby built Cleveland parts!
After all these years Bill's Pantera is alive again!.
August 20, 2000
The day has arrived to take the Pantera out for the first showing at the Atlanta Pantera gathering at Dick Koch's house.
Bill does some last minute clean up on the new tires.
Bill backs the car out of the garage. It sounds great!
Bill is ready to go!
Bill is on the road! After ten years the Pantera in on the prowl again!
Bill is the first car to arrive at the Pantera meet. Bill Engwer (on the left) and Bill talk about the Pantera. Wow! Now for the best part, sharing the experience with the other owners!
Some of the things that were replaced to get the car on the road were:
1. All fluids were replaced or flushed, brakes, clutch, oil and cooling.
2. The fuel tank was cleaned out in place and new filter added before the fuel pump.
3. A new fuel pump was installed.
4. A new carb and fuel lines were installed.
6. A new battery was installed.
7. New BFG Euro T/A 305s and 225s were installed.
It looks like the front crank pulley seal is leaking some, so that's next on the list. No sign of engine smoke or other engine problems. It sounds and drives really strong.
Congratulations Bill, for getting a great Pantera back on the road!
May 5 2001
After some delay, work continues on the car. A new Wilwood brake system was purchased from Pantera Performance. The system has new calipers for front and back, new vented rotors for the front and a new brake booster and master brake cylinder.
The new brake system and new cooling system parts.
View of the under dash coolant hoses . These are a must do change, because their failure can dump hot coolant inside of the car. All of the coolant hoses were changed and new coolant tanks installed. .
June 15, 2001
After some more delays getting the new brake booster to fit, Pantera Performance provided a new master cylinder that works with the stock booster and the Wilwood brake system. The other brake booster was too large to fit inside of the trunk side wall.
Our local Pantera mechanic installs the new master cylinder. Note how the low profile of the cylinder provides more hood clearance.
View of the new front and back brake system completely installed. The front rotors clear the stock wheels.
Me and Bill Grable having some lunch while the mechanic continues work on the Pantera.
Bill Grable completes the cooling hose installation while Dick Koch checks a bolt on the A/C compressor bracket.
June 16, 2001
Bill Grable worked almost all night to get the car ready for the Saturday morning Atlanta Donut Derelicts (ADD) car meet. A bunch of people at ADD are checking out the car while Bill stands back admiring his beautiful Pantera.
The new beginning!