Friday, February 19, 2016

Project in the Jungle: 1974 DeTomaso Pantera Kit Car

The DeTomaso Pantera is known for being a wicked fast Italian supercar with an American heart, but it was also so unreliable that Elvis Presley reportedly put a few rounds from his pistol into a Pantera for not starting.  Today's example might not have been owned (or wounded) by the King of Rock 'n' Roll, but it could be a steal if you play your cards right.  Find this 1974 DeTomaso Pantera Kit Car (thanks to update from commenters) listed for "best offer" located in Reno, NV via craigslist.  Tip from Darin.

The Pantera (Italian for Panther) was designed by Tom Tjaarda (notable for penning the VW Karmann Ghia, Ferrari 365 GT California, Fiat 124 Spider, Ford Maverick, 82' Chrysler LeBaron, etc) and built in Italy from 1971 through 1990.

Powering this dusty example is a 351 Cleveland V8 making 266 horsepower mated to a 5-speed manual ZF transaxle.  I spy with my little eye a box of valves 'n' springs, so I'm guessing this V8 will need some attention, but the good news is it won't break the bank.

See another cowboy from hell?


  1. I think this one would be even too much for The King.

  2. Gawd, how can you assess anything without some pictures! It looks like the LHS door skin is off. Wonder what the LHS looks like. Any interior left? What's missing, Included? No phone number. Wish I had a way to see it, but I am too far away!

  3. It really doesn't matter. Got friends with lotsa Pantera parts and most males of my age regard the Pantera as the '70s equivalent of blue pill.

    Will consider the concept of 'best offer' in the morning. Not prepared to go too far.

  4. May be a great deal for someone local or if you have somebody that can check it out for you. I'm curious what it will sell for.
    Any readers close enough to consider this one?

  5. Nice OMC fuel tank with box.....Score....uh no....

  6. Thank heavens that is not a real Detomaso Pantera. It is an unfinished fiberglass kit that came out in the 1980's. It was produced by Long & Newman. Notice that it has a GM v6 engine in it; see the slanted front mounted distributor. Here is a bit more about the L&N Pantera. Copy/paste this link for more on it.

    1. Pantera1973, Good catch, I thought the taillights and engine access looked odd, but the wheel gaps looked good, so I just posted it anyway.

    2. The Long & Newman Kit/Replica was the best replica ever made of the Pantera.

      It's designers envisioned that someone who wrecked their original Pantera could buy a kit and transfer all their components over and keep on trucking. It's darned close; even the doors & deck lids are interchangeable with the original parts.

      I got to see one upclose in Vegas back in the mid-1980's and while it's not a perfect copy, it was about 95% true to the originals exterior.

    3. Here is a rear shot of a Long & Newman Replica next to a real DeTomaso Pantera. The replica is the one on the left. Copy & paste link to view:

  7. @Pantera1973 I was thinking the same thing reardeck tailights is wrong and noticed the HEI GM dist cap also single exhuast and weird underbelly brace. Glad my sniff test seemed right as a KIT
    CAR or WTH....

  8. If you had asked me what the VW Karmann Ghia, Ferrari 365 GT California, Fiat 124 Spider, Ford Maverick, 82' Chrysler LeBaron all had in common, I would never have guessed(it's still kinda bouncing around in my head)

  9. At first thought, the drivers door skin was removed for better ventilation(these are like ovens inside)
    Fortunately it is included and leaning on the 'fuel tank' inside

  10. This car has a chevy cavalier x-11 v6 with carb turbo , it has a 901 box from a 914.
    NO title, no identity paperwork, The car is missing all glass, all glass trim , and all hardware for the glass including the side roll up mechanisms.
    The running gear is all cavalier so it is very non standard for v8 rims.
    The car was repossessed from a storage unit so the guy who has it now has NO official paper work that can result in a free and clear title in most states .
    The guy who has it now is a real tool, wants cash but Cannot come up with even a legal Nevada BILL OF sale. In looking at this car and dealing with the guy trying to sell it now in June It is red flags all over , the car could be stolen or the owner/owners estate because of the repo may own the car for years depending on the state he resides or die in . Talking to the texas DMV I could not even get a bonde title because of the lack of paper work and the condition of the car

  11. I have one of Long and Newman Pantera, it's very close to the real one, my car have both door, front and rear hood and all glass from a real Pantera...

    1. Do you still have your long and Newman pantera.
      I want to know more
      Thank you



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