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De Tomaso Pantera

Make & Model Family

The Pantera is a mid-engined sports car produced by the De Tomaso car company of Italy from 1971 to 1992.

Italian for "Panther", the Pantera was the automaker's most popular model, with over 7,000 manufactured over its 20-year production.

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The Pantera is a mid-engined sports car produced by the De Tomaso car company of Italy from 1971 to 1992.

Italian for "Panther", the Pantera was the automaker's most popular model, with over 7,000 manufactured over its 20-year production.

The car was designed by the Italian design firm Ghia by American born designer Tom Tjaarda and replaced the De Tomaso Mangusta. Unlike the Mangusta, which employed a steel backbone chassis, the Pantera was a steel unibody design, the first instance of De Tomaso using this construction technique. The Pantera logo included a version of Argentina's flag turned on its side with a T-shaped symbol that was the brand used by De Tomaso's Argentinian cattle ranching ancestors.

The first 1971 Panteras were powered by a Ford 351 cubic inch V-8 engine producing 330 HP. The high torque provided by the Ford engine reduced the need for excessive gear changing at low speeds: this made the car much less demanding to drive in urban conditions than many of the locally built competitor products.

Late in 1971, Ford began importing Panteras for the American market to be sold through its Lincoln Mercury dealers. The first 75 cars were simply European imports and are known for their "push-button" door handles and hand-built Carrozzeria Vignale bodies. A total of 1,005 Panteras reached the United States that first year. As with most Italian cars of the day, rust-proofing was minimal and the quality of fit and finish on these early models was poor with large amounts of body solder being used to cover body panel flaws. Subsequently, Ford increased their involvement in the production of the later cars with the introduction of precision stampings for body panels which resulted in improved overall quality.

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