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 an all-synchro ZF 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.
According to De Tomaso the chassis was completely revised in 1980, beginning with chassis number 9000. From May 1980 the lineup included the GT5, which had bonded and riveted-on fibreglass wheelarch extensions and from November 1984 the GT5S model which had blended arches and a distinctive wide-body look. The GT5 also incorporated better brakes, a more luxurious interior, much larger wheels and tires and the fiberglass body kit also included an air dam and side skirts. Production of the wide body GT5 (and similarly equipped narrow body GTS models) continued until 1985, when the GT5-S replaced the GT5.
This GT5 we have here is a super rare car and one of the few, delivered to Germany when new. This one has a total recorded mileage of only approximately 8,200 kms from new and is described to be in mint condition throughout. Owned by the now vendor since 1985, the car has been fastidiously maintained and serviced. Throughout most of its life time it has been stored in ideal condition. Finished in silver with its original black interior, as it left the factory, this GT5 surely is an unrepeatable opportunity for the serious collector of the most important De Tomaso’s ever built and as such not to be missed.