De Tomaso owes its name to its founder, Alejandro De Tomaso, born in Argentina in 1928. Proud of his South American roots, the De Tomaso symbol is a branding iron used to mark throughbred horses, while its colours are those of the Argentinean flag.
At the age of 27, De Tomaso was already demonstrating his passion for cars, and while living in Italy raced Maseratis and others for around four years.
At the age of 29 he took the bold move of founding his own car company in Modena, the home of Italian sports cars. After a few years he sold the company to Ford, then greatly enamoured of Italian styling and engineering. Ford’s acquisition was inspired by the desire to create a competitor to General Motor’s successful Corvette. The Pantera was that car. Designed by American stylist Tom Tjaarda and engineered by Gian Paulo Dallara, the Pantera came with a variety of mid-engined options including the 5.7 litre GT4 and a 350bhp GTS.
Unlike the Mangusta (which employed a steel backbone chassis) the Pantera was a steel monocoque design. It made its public debut in Modena in March 1970 and was presented at the 1970 New York Motor Show a few weeks later. A year later Panteras started finding their way into the hands of customers and production was raised to a remarkable three per day, startling by the standards of Modena-built exotica.
Reportedly one of only 17 right hand drive Panteras ever produced, this incredibly rare steel arch model is a superb find. The car has been well maintained and in 2012 benefitted from a comprehensive restoration. The whole suspension has been removed, powder coated and refitted with all new suspension joints and bushes. A full set of AP vented discs on alloy bells are fitted with four pot alloy AP racing callipers all round. There was a high performance rebuild of the original engine, upgraded fuel and ignition systems and a stainless steel exhaust system was fitted. The original interior has also been re-upholstered in leather and alcantara and a plumbed-in fire extinguisher system offers added peace of mind. The extensive history file contains 21 old MOT’s as well as the original handbook and workshop manual. Having featured in two magazine publications this car is worth your time and attention.