• Thrilling and well-preserved find with only 11,500 original miles
• Built during last week and month for U.S. delivery
• Complete ownership history plus Marti Report
• Retains original body panels and mostly original paint
351 cid Cleveland OHV V-8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, 266 BHP, ZF five-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with wishbones, coil springs, and anti-roll bars, hydraulic four-wheel disc brakes; wheelbase: 99"
Having relocated to Italy during the late 1950s, former Argentine racing driver Alejandro de Tomaso began designing and building racing cars. The first De Tomaso model was the sleek, race-inspired Vallelunga, which debuted at the 1964 Turin show. Featuring a cutting-edge “backbone” chassis design, mid-mounted Ford engine, and rear transaxle, it established De Tomaso as a marque to watch on the road and track.
While Henry Ford II had soundly defeated Ferrari in international GT-class racing circles with the Ford-powered Shelby Daytona Coupes capturing the World Manufacturer’s Championship for 1965 and the Ford GT40s scoring the infamous 1-2-3 photo finish at Le Mans in 1966, he still desired a street-legal, Italian-styled exotic car for his company’s product portfolio. The solution eventually came in 1970 with Ford’s purchase of De Tomaso, as well as Italy’s famed Ghia and Vignale design and coachbuilding houses. In the meantime, by 1967, De Tomaso debuted the beautiful Ford V-8 powered Mangusta (Mongoose), essentially a racer for the street largely based on the Ford 70P racing car and a Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned body design for Renzo Rivolta’s Iso marque that had been previously rejected.
The Pantera (Panther) soon followed the Mangusta and it continues to stand as the definitive supercar from De Tomaso. Aggressive and purposeful, yet sleek and beautiful, the Pantera was styled by prominent American designer Tom Tjaarda, built by Ghia, and propelled by a mid-mounted Ford 351 Cleveland V-8 engine and ZF five-speed rear transaxle. The Pantera also marked a first for its maker with its rigid steel monococque body structure. The car made its public debut in Modena during March 1970 and it was presented to buyers in the United States at the 1970 New York Motor Show just a few weeks later. Interestingly, while American Motors had collaborated with ItalDesign, BMW, and Giotto Bizarrini to design, develop, and test the AMX/3 – its own mid-engine supercar, launching the model just before the Pantera, the demanding economics of such a program were too much for smaller AMC. In fact, they were only marginally better for the Ford-backed Pantera.
A deal was struck for Pantera distribution into the potentially lucrative U.S. marketplace via Lincoln-Mercury’s dealer network from 1971 through 1974. Despite the teething pains associated with the launch of a new automobile, let alone an exotic, low-production sports/GT car, the Pantera was quickly refined and improved, generating favorable reports from the era’s magazine road-test editors. Predictably, the Pantera backed up its image with excellent performance, with the powerful and easily maintained Ford's Cleveland V-8 engine propelling the Pantera to mid-14-second quarter-mile times and sprints from 0-to-60 mph in the six-second range. However, the first energy-supply crisis, crippling insurance rates, and the early-1970s economic recession quickly doomed the project in America, with the last U.S.-bound Panteras built in 1974. Regardless, De Tomaso continued to build Panteras through 1991, with the last example delivered to its customer in 1992. All-out GT-class racing versions were campaigned in FIA-sanctioned Group 4 and 5 racing events through 1993, with the Pantera steadily developed, improved, and refined throughout its long production run.
A thrilling find with only an approximate 11,500 original miles of use, this 1974 De Tomaso Pantera was one of the last Panteras built during the last week of July, 1974 – the final month of production for U.S. markets. Following shipment to the United States, the Pantera was sold new at Metropolitan Lincoln-Mercury, Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska. As now offered, it remains true to its original form with mostly factory-original paint and the original steel body panels. A comprehensive title history is included with the Pantera, as well as service records and a Marti Report. Of particular note, the factory technical service bulletins have been completed on this very special late-production Pantera. Showcasing an impressive combination of beautiful Italian design and pure American race-bred power, this De Tomaso is in an elite class of cars that seldom come available.
1974 De Tomaso Pantera