Having established himself as a serious automobile manufacturer with the Mangusta coupé, Alejandro De Tomaso commissioned Lamborghini designer Gianpaolo Dallara to produce the chassis for his new mid-engined supercar, the Pantera. Dallara opted for unitary construction for the steel chassis/body – abandoning the Mangusta’s backbone frame – and competition-specification double wishbone/coil-spring suspension all round. The Ford Motor Company was De Tomaso’s partner at the time of the Pantera’s introduction in 1971 and thus the Pantera, like the Mangusta, relied on Ford V8 power.
Mated to a ZF all-synchro five-speed transaxle, the 5.8-litre Cleveland engine varied in output depending on the destination market, and in European trim came with 330bhp on tap, enabling the Pantera to complete the 0-60mph sprint in a little over 5 seconds and touch 160mph flat out. Styled by Tom Tjaarda at Carrozzeria Ghia, the stunning coupé body was in fact built by Vignale; both companies being part of De Tomaso’s empire in the early 1970’s.
De Tomaso’s longstanding relationship with the Ford Motor Company led to an arrangement whereby the Pantera was distributed through select Lincoln-Mercury dealerships in the USA, where a lower compression, 248bhp Cleveland motor (meeting stricter emissions regulations) was introduced for 1972. The 1974 energy crisis led to a parting of the ways between Ford and De Tomaso, who continued to sell the Pantera in Europe.
This wonderful Pantera has been the subject of a bare metal restoration with all new rubbers, glass, lights and a complete mechanic overhaul. There are over 400 pictures of this exhaustive restoration available and with #7377 it is one of the last Panteras to be produced under the collaboration with Ford and Vignale. A truly superb example that is very hard to fault and is worthy of the closest inspection.