Originally posted by www.longstone.com:
... I have to say De Tomaso are possibly one of the trickiest cars to find tyre fitment for ...
Three tyre "sets" will suffice for all but the last 40 Panteras that were manufactured.
One "set" of tyres the Pantera world needs is 285/40R15 and 345/35R15 for the wide body versions of the Pantera, i.e. the GT5 and GT5-S. There were a small number of Panteras for which these sizes were original equipment, and the Panteras which have been customized as Group 4 race car replicas also need these tires. It appears this set of tyres is now available, which is certainly good news for the owners who need these tires.
Another "set" of tyres the Pantera world needs is 225/50R15 and 285/50R15 for the GTS and Group 3 versions of the Pantera. There are a small number of Panteras for which these sizes were original equipment. It appears the front tyre is already available, but the rear tyre is yet to be made available.
However, the majority of Pantera owners would profit by a "set" composed of 225/55R15 front and 275/55R15 rear. The tyres were the ideal upgrade for Panteras originally equipped with 185/70R15 and 215/70R15 radial tyres, or C60 & H60 Goodyear Arrivas; which is by far the majority of Panteras manufactured. Those cars have 15x7 front wheels, and 15x8 rear wheels. All 5200 Panteras exported to the US were so equipped, the earliest Panteras sold in Europe were also so equipped. Many owners chose to upgrade to 15x10 rear wheels, an option once available via the factory, and via Hall Pantera in the US. That option is still available today via the aftermarket. That set of "55 series" tyres had the proper outside diameters (24.74" front & 26.91" rear). The front tyres were the ideal width for the 15x7 front campy wheels, the rear tyres were rated for 15x8 wheels minimum width to 15x10 wheels maximum width; so they fit the rear wheels no matter which rear wheels the Pantera had been fitted with.
Strange that the front 225/55R15 tyre fell out of availability because it was original equipment on 3 series BMWs (1992 through 1997). BMW owners would certainly be another market for the 225/55R15 tyres. The 275/55VR15 tyres were OEM on the Bentley Turbo R (1985 through 1992).
If you have any "pull" with Pirelli, and could influence the availability of the 285/50R15 tyre for the second set and the "55 series" tyres for the third set, you would have the De Tomaso market cornered. Something to consider anyway.