1972 DeTomaso Pantera
Here is our 1972 Pantera. This is an exceptional example of Alejandro De Tomaso’s and Fords way to compete with the Ferrari’s of the day. First a little about the designer. Alejandro De Tomaso (1928-2003) an Argerntinian-Born race car driver, was the creator of the Mangusta and Pantera Super Cars of the 60’s and 70’s. Not finding sufficient financial backing in South America to develop his visionary designs, De Tomaso migrated to Italy in the early 1960’s and engaged Ghia Carrozzeria to develop the bodies.
Most people never new that Carroll Shelby asked De Tommaso to help him deign the P70 race car, a car Carrol felt could beat the best in the world. The project ended on the eve that the car was completed. Called the clash of Titans, Carroll and Alejandro were both just too strong willed to work together. Carroll left the partnership and went to Ford to work solely on the GT40 Program and we all know how that turned out. The P70 was displayed at the Turin Auto Show in 1965 and inexplicably it was disassembled and placed in a dark corner of the De Tomaso factory where it sat in silence for some forty years. DeTomaso would go on to acquire Maserati Motors, Benelli, Moto Guzzi, Ghia and Innocenti.
Originally known for the Mangusta “The Cobra Killer” De Tomaso’s second and more well-known design the Pantera “Panther” gained the interest of Lee Iacocca and Henry Ford II. Iacocca’s vision was to have De Tomaso help Ford design a GT Car that could be mass produced to compete against the Corvette. Iacocca had a keen plan to leverage De Tomaso’s suave Italian image to promote the car. Debuted in 1970, the Pantera combined Italian styling with the muscle power of an American V8 engine, offering world-class performance at an affordable price. With Fords backing, DeTomaso imported some 5,500 Pantera’s from 1971 through 1974. Fords involvement and support was due to Fords failed attempt to Buy Ferrari in the 1960s. It is said that Henry Ford II wanted to continue to beat Ferrari especially in the USA. Ford marketed and sold the Pantera through their Lincoln-Mercury dealers. There were stories of fathers going to buy the family a Lincoln and coming home with a Pantera much to their wife’s shock! Fords contribution to the Pantera went beyond sales and marketing. Ford also provided the ZF trans axle and the 351 Cleveland engine. Later years the Pantera would receive the less desirable Windsor engine.
De Tomaso was quoted as saying, “The Pantera is the first real sports car to hit the shores of America”.
First year Pantera’s were languished in Italian holding lots, waiting for US Import documentation. These early cars were shipped with unresolved mechanical issues that came to light when the drive trains were installed in the US.
By 1972, the second-year Panteras had been re-deigned to correct mechanical issues. The mid-engine placement of the Ford 351 Cleveland producing over 330 hp put the car on a performance level of the Ford Daytona Coupe and the Ford GT. While the Pantera never achieved great fame on the race track due to its short production run, the 1972 is considered by collectors to be the definitive year of the brand and by far, the most desirable.
In 1973, US D.O.T. regulations imposed new crash standard’s and emissions requirements that doomed the future of the Pantera as a true exotic super car. It continued to be imported a s a special-order vehicle until 1993. The brand was closed until its reintroduction of the DeTomaso P72 unveiled in 2019 with only 72 of the amazing super cars being built the DeTomaso name continues to live on.
Our Pantera is stock with all original interior. It is a 5-owner car with 36,410 documented miles. This vehicle is exceptional in every way, from its mechanical preparation to the exceptional paint. It is just breathtaking in person.
Originally purchased in Broomfield, CO by Robert N Bichon on April 13 1973. The car was sold again in 1975. It was then purchased by the 3rd owner James G McWalter’s of Los Angeles, CA. Upon his death in 1988, his wife stored the car for 23 years. Resurrected in 2005 with a complete drive train rebuild and cosmetic restoration, the car was enjoyed for years. In 2011 the car was sold at Barret Jackson in Scottsdale Arizona to John Alpers of Casa Grande Arizona. After John purchase the car, he had the car brought to a high level of restoration, staying true to the car’s originality. Having only driven the car a few miles he kept the car until we purchased it in 2018. To drive this car is to drive a piece of history. Hearing the rumble of the engine right behind you is thrilling. Especially as you look out over that low hood lines and experience shifting through the gears and experiencing the feel of a gated shifter you can easily imagine yourself in Le Mans thundering down the Mulsanne Straight headed to victory.
We are offering this rolling art for $115,000.00
1972 DeTomaso Pantera
Deluxe Marti Report Included