1973 DeTomaso Pantera L

One of the most famous Italian-American vehicle collaborations, the DeTomaso Pantera succeeded the Mangusta and would go on to be a much more successful sports car, with over 7,000 produced. These cars would be sold through Lincoln Mercury dealers in the US, and it gave Ford something exotic to draw people into the showrooms. Powered by a Ford 351 Cleveland V8 and a ZF gearbox, these cars had a lot more pulling power from the low end as compared to their Italian competitors. Pantera imports to the US stopped in 1975, but the car soldiered on all the way until 1991. This 1973 example for sale in Arizona has aged well, aided by the relatively neutral dark silver hue.

1973 DeTomaso Pantera L

1973 DeTomaso Pantera L

Body: The car was originally silver and was media blasted to bare metal and professionally painted by Finishing Touch Refinish in Fountain Hills Arizona in 2007. Aston Martin Tungsten Silver is now the cars color. Wheels are painted with a matte finish Mercedes Benz 744 Silver. Rocker panels and the exposed plastic portion of the door handles, generally black from the factory, are color matched to the car. This is a 1973 DeTomaso Pantera L which came from the factory with the large front rubber bumper and large projecting rear metal bumper. The rear bumper has been deleted from the car to give the body a nicer line and allow for the use of an original ANSA GTS header and muffler system. The rear bumper and mounts will be included in the sale. The Ford style rectangular drivers’ side mirror has been replaced by one from a Dino Ferrari which gives a nice line to the car. A Ford NOS drivers’ side mirror will be included with the sale. “Ghia”, “DeTomaso” and “Pantera” emblems were not installed on the car. Fresh DeTomaso / Pantera and original Ghia emblems come with the car. The car is badged with the front bumper DeTomaso “Family Crest” emblem and the “Powered By Ford” rear deck emblem. Clear bra added to rocker panels and rear haunches where tires could throw debris.

Engine: Numbers Matching 351CJ
Engine Rebuilt by Don Woodard, Phoenix, AZ October 2001.
Completely balanced, TRW pistons #L2379, SS valves, Crowler Cam #15242, Crowler roller rockers #73615, Gear Drive, Holley 700 cfm #0-4778C, Ford Drua-Spark Ignition with Ford Motorsport Ignition Module (made by MSD for Ford Motorsport), Pantera specific McLoud clutch, Jet Hot Coated ANSA GTS headers and mufflers, Carbon Fiber Air Cleaner Assembly. Ford high torque starter.

Transaxle: Numbers matching ZF 5 speed in excellent working order. New Spicer half-shafts and u-joints. Transaxle was inspected by Roy Butfoy in the late 1970’s.

Suspension: Powder coated A-arms, new bushings (non-polyurethane), freshly rebuilt Koni shocks with spring spacers removed. Fresh ball joints, front and rear wheel bearings. Chrome on springs and torsion bars.

Brakes: Stock Girling front brakes.
Upgraded 3 piston rear Girling Brakes (as used on Ferrari Lamborghini & Jaguar) and Brembo Emergency brakes. New master cylinder. Vented brake rotors. Fresh Front brake pressure reducer – not installed secondary to wheel and tire combination.

Wheels / Tires: Freshly painted (matte finish Mercedes Benz 744 Silver) Campagnolo Pantera Magnesium Alloy wheels.
Rear: 10 x 15 GTS wheels mounted to AVON CR6-zz 295/50R/15 (DOT approved tire)
Front: 7 x 15 front wheels mounted to TOYO Proxes RA1 225/50ZR/15 (DOT approved tire)
(also have the original 8 inch rear wheels)

Cooling: Fluidyne aluminum radiator and upgraded cooling fans, Ford GT expansion tank upgrade (modern cooling system), all new rubber hoses.

Electrical: Ford 100 amp 3G alternator, 12 volt relay switching to reduce current to electric windows, horn and headlight switches. Tachometer reworked by North Hollywood Speedometer to be compliant with ignition module.
Ammeter, included with sale, was removed and replaced by a period Veglia clock. (There is a potential fire danger when using a high amperage alternator with the Veglia Borletti ammeter.) Windshield wiper conversion to a single arm unit which parks on the passenger’s side. New Hella (H4) headlights and two color rear lights (orange blinker section).

Heater / AC: Blower box installed and wired, but AC and Heater hoses are not routed to the box. New AC condenser. Heater hoses and AC compressor and hoses are not installed on car but are included with the sale.

Interior: Fresh molded seat foams. Seating surfaces are from Wilkinson Pantera from the 1970’s and are in good shape with no tears. Radio delete plate with “DeTomaso” script. New floor and rear bulkhead carpets. New head liner (very rare snake bite pattern) purchased years ago and just installed fall 2011. Fresh, speaker delete, door panels. No tears in arm rests. Sun visors are tight - they will not drift down when driving the car. Fresh leather on a Vintage MOMO Steering wheel with a flush mounted MOMO center cap. Have a perfect stock steering wheel that will be included with the car. Window glass and stainless accents are in good to excellent shape. All stainless trim was polished when it was off the car.

Front Compartment: Old felt removed during restoration and final body color added to front compartment. Fluydine radiator, Optima Battery, highly detailed power brake booster, brake and clutch cylinders. Fresh weather-strip. All factory badges attached. Small area of paint blistering under windshield wash reservoir secondary to spillage of brake fluid.

Rear Compartment: Old factory coating removed during restoration and final body color added to rear compartment. All factory badges attached. Fiberglass cargo carrier has new felt and new locking Dzus style fasteners. Original spare tire. Original tool bag with original jack, jack handle and ratchet. Have replaced the wrenches with vintage HAZET’s. Wiring is routed through the body frame. Very few exposed wires in the engine compartment. Fresh rear deck shocks. Fresh weather-strip.

Undercarriage: Clean. Undercoating was not removed during restoration. Powder coated water tubes. New brake and clutch tubing. Rebuilt steering rack.

I purchased this car in 1976, sold it to my brother while I attended college and repurchased the car. Prior to being licensed in Arizona (2011), the car was licensed in Washington State. The last renewal date on the Washing tabs was in 1978. Prior to Arizona licensing and road testing in 2011, the car was inspected by Les Gray (current president of Pantera Owners Club of America). The car was appraised in November 2011 for 92,500 dollars by Penn Black of “Auto Appraisal Network”. The appraiser has a YouTube video of the car taken in Nov. 2011 under the title “PennBlack Pantera”.

The great thing about the Pantera is that you can get a lot of exotic Italian style with American reliability for not a lot of cash as compared to the usual Ferraris or Lamborghinis. At a shade under $45,000 to about $70,000 is the order of the day when it comes to Panteras of this vintage and I'd suspect this example would probably reach to the upper end of that range.


2 thoughts on “1973 DeTomaso Pantera L”

  1. The reliability of these are overexaggerated. Think a Triumph TR8 or 80s Range Rover…. very reliable motor and trans….

    You can probably find one of those 2 cars that run great, except none of the electrics or gauges work.

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