De Tomaso was founded in 1959 and introduced its first car, the Vallelunga, in 1963. Pantera owned Maserati from 1976 to 1993. Maserati made the Biturbo, Quattroporte III, Merak, and Bora while under the De Tomaso banner. In 1970, De Tomaso started production of the Pantera in Modena, Italy. In 1971, De Tomaso released the Pantera. In agreement with Ford, Panteras were sold in the United States through Lincoln and Mercury dealerships. Between 1971 and 1973, 6,128 Panteras were made. Due to poor build quality and the 1973 oil crisis, Ford ended its deal with De Tomaso. De Tomaso continued to produce the Pantea until 1991, with a total of 7260 made from 1971 and the final Pantera sold in 1992.

I recently saw two De Tomaso Panteras at the September 2011 edition of Houston Cars and Coffee. It has similar styling to Italian supercars of the 1970s. I like the styling of this car. The Pantera has a big engine bay in the rear of the car to fit a 351 cubic inch engine and transmission.

The Pantera is powered by a Ford 351 Cleveland V8 that produces 330 hp. The Pantera can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. That is quick by 1970s standards. It reaches a top speed of 159 mph. In 1971, a new Pantera cost $9,800. The Pantera was very cheap compared to other Italian sports cars and supercars. As of the time this article is being written, a Pantera is being sold on Auto Trader Classics for a minimum of $45,000 and a maximum of $64,000. The Pantera had good performance for a 1970s Italian sports car.

The De Tomaso Pantera is featured in movies such as Banzai Runner, Cannonball, Clarkson’s Top 100 Cars, and has reviewed by Top Gear and Car and Driver Television. The De Tomaso Pantera is playable in Choro Q Park, Choro Q HG 2, Demolition Racer, Forza Motorsport 3, Driver: Parallel Lines, Muscle Car 3, Driver 76, Flatout: Head On, Sega GT Online, Driver: Renegade, Flatout 2, Flatout: Ultimate Carnage, GT Legends, Enthusia Professional Racing, a R: Racing Evolution.

This is a nice classic car to own. The De Tomaso Pantera is a nice alternative to Ferrari or Lamborghini. But, De Tomaso does not have the prestige of Ferrari or Lamborghini. For a while, Panteras were undervalued for a long time. Recently, the price for a Pantera went up. If you have are looking for a classic Italian car and do not want a Ferrari, Maserati, or Lamborghini, you should look into buying a Pantera. I am surprised that a 1970s Italian car with 330 hp, 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds, and a top speed of 159 mph only went for $9,800. By comparison, a Lamborghini Urraco 250 has a V8 engine and goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds with a top speed of 161 mph. Both cars have similar performance by the Urraco cost $24,500 in 1974. The Pantera has good performance and at a bargain price. Plus, the Pantera has good styling. It is a good addition to any classic car collection.


Photo taken from a camera phone.

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Originally written on September 17, 2011

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