The 9000 series registry is now up to 423 of the 603 known late model Panteras (Maggiora Carrozzeria and Embo Carrozzeria). This means we now have just over 70% catalogued. I thought this was as good a milestone as any to re-run the production numbers, so I did that today and was surprised to find that the number of GT5-S cars that could have been built has not changed much, but the number of possible GT5 Panteras has dropped dramatically. Conversely, the number of narrow bodies built in the 9000 series has jumped substantially.
I have been able to confirm that at least 8 L model Panteras were built in the 9000 series. All of these were Maggiora coaches except #9158, which was a 1980 Embo car. At least three base model Panteras were also built (ie with no model designation from the factory than just “Pantera”), all Maggiora cars.
I have been able to identify 37 GTS cars during the Maggiora period (this is probably a very low number and I expect to find many more with time), plus 80 during the Embo period for a total of 117 late model GTS Panteras with 9000 series VINs.
There is also a smattering of one-off and “speciale” cars, with designations such as GT4 Stradale, Gr3, GTS/4, GTS Gr 3, GTS/4 Gr.3, GT5 Gr.3, and so on.
Also of interest is #9600, which is noted by the factory as a 90Si but is in fact a GT5-S body with prototype 90 Si mechanicals.
The GT5 debuted at the Turin motor show in 1980. Determining the exact number of GT5s produced requires knowing, as a starting point, the first and last VINs. However, because no one except Phil Olczyk, as keeper of the factory records, knows the VIN of the first official GT5 and he has declined to reveal it, I have been greatly handicapped in this exercise.
Matt Stone and Rob de la Rive Box thought the first “factory-noted” GT5 was #9250. In their book Pantera Buyers Guide, they wrote that prior GT5s were "probably recorded as modified GTS units from about late 1980". However, factory records prove this is incorrect because #9250 has been confirmed to have been a 1982 car exported to Australia and assembled there, and a number of factory-noted GT5 Panteras are known to have been built with lower VINs.
The earliest factory-noted Pantera GT5 I have on record so far is #9127, which is a 1981 RHD located in Australia. However, many cars are still missing from the registry and an earlier one could pop up at any time. In short, we can only speculate about the start of GT5 production. That said, it is highly unlikely that GT5 production would have started with Maggiora Carozzeria given the troubled nature of their relationship with De Tomaso. The best guess is that De Tomaso switched coach makers to Embo Carozzeria with VIN 9100, and I think it is reasonable to assume that no true GT5 will have a lower VIN than that.
I know that #9100 is a GTS, but I have not been able to document #9101 and so, on the reasoning above, that will be the first possible GT5.
The last GT5 in the official production run is #9374, built in 1985 (we know this for a fact because the next VIN up was the first GT5-S). However, there were more GT5 Panteras built as special orders after that, although so far I have only found two (mine, #9517, which was a 1989 model year and #9542, a GT5 RHD currently being restored in the UK).
On the assumption that the chassis were numbered in unbroken sequence, then, if we subtract the first car’s chassis number from the last, we can get a reasonable idea of the maximum number of cars that could have been produced:
9374 - 9101 = 273 cars + 1
If you then add the two GT5s built later during the GT5-S production run, we can reasonably assume a maximum of 276 cars that could have been produced. Then we have to subtract the number of GTS, L and various racing Panteras built during the GT5 production run, because these other models were produced concurrently within this VIN range. I have found 78 non-GT5 cars so far, although I fully expect more were made during this period. Therefore, my best calculation of the maximum possible number of GT5 Panteras is as follows:
276 - 78 = Max 198 GT5
This number could go down if I find more non-GT5 Panteras with chassis numbers between 9100 and 9374, and it could go up if I find more GT5 cars with VINs above 9374.
The first GT5-S is known to be 9375, a 1985, and the last is the last GT5-S is 9562, a 1990.
9562 - 9375 = 187 + 1
I am aware of three GTS Panteras and two GT5s having been built during this interval so;
188 - 5 = Max 183 GT5-S
The number may go down if I find other (non-GT5-S) models with chassis numbers within the GT5-S range but, for the time being, this is the best estimate of the maximum total number of GT5-S Panteras likely to have been produced, and I expect it to stay relatively stable because of the high percentage of the GT5-S cars that I have been able to find.
Thank you to all the people who have helped with the detective work required to get the registry across the 70% threshold, including Mike Drew, Julian Kift, Rob Covey, Chuck Melton, Franz Krump, Charles McCall, George Pence, Jack DeRyke, Kirk Evans, Rene Killer, Pat Hals, Mark Charlton, David Berman, Claude Dubois, Simon Vels, Joe Nardo, Roger Brotton, Roland Jaeckel, Kjell Jansson, Mark Reber, Chris Beck, Masayoshi Mitsui, Michel Savard, Denis Caron, Gerry Romack, Marcel Schaub, Phil Stebbings and Lashdeep Singh.
Please keep those tips coming, gentlemen!