Alejandro de Tomaso was a fortunate man. Born heir to a wealthy Argentinian family, he married well and succeeded in becoming the poster boy for the racer's maxim, "To make a small fortune racing, start with a large fortune." de Tomaso had talent behind the steering wheel, successfully racing OSCAs, and then building his own Grand Prix cars. The supercar craze of the Sixties next consumed him, first with the mid-mounted Ford Cortina-engined Vallelunga and then with the Mangusta with a Ford V-8 behind the driver. Its Giorgio Giugiaro body was blessed, but its chassis wasn't up to the power and mass of the Ford, so de Tomaso tossed it aside, designing the Pantera with Tom Tjaarda. A low, dramatically-shaped coupe that recalled Ford's GT40s, power came from a 351 cubic inch Ford Cleveland V-8 with a 5-speed ZF transaxle and fully independent suspension. Lincoln-Mercury picked up the Pantera for U.S. sales. Its appeal was such that it survived the distribution agreement with Ford, continuing well into the 1980's with independent distributors. It’s Ford V-8 particularly appealed to American enthusiast who regularly update Panteras with Weber induction, hot cams and an assortment of later flares and spoilers. This 1974 Pantera GTS is presented in crisp, sharp, accurate and highly detailed condition after a seven-year restoration. It is presented consistent with earlier Panteras with 7"/10" Campagnolo alloy wheels, inflatable spare tire in the front luggage compartment, removable rear luggage tray and the correct de Tomaso valve covers flanking its four-barrel carburetor. The red paint is new, fresh and sharp. The interior has the Pantera's standard air conditioning, a Panasonic AM/FM-cassette stereo, a set of leather upholstered Recaro seats, new carpets, blacked-out GTS trim. The engine is detailed and accurately presented. It has a Hall Pantera high-capacity radiator, LeCarra steering wheel, Panasonic stereo, 1971 closed-chamber quench cylinder heads, Holley 4-barrel carb, headers, Cadillac STS mufflers and updated 3-point belts. The A/C system is installed but not connected. Attention is required to the steering rack, right rear axle, a high-output starter matched to the high compression engine and some other items including the A/C amounting to about $2,000 in parts plus labor. The engine and transmission are strong and the suspension has been thoughtfully upgraded with adjustable shocks. It is a Pantera purist's dream, ludicrously fast, exceptionally beautiful and fastidiously presented.
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