Well, the time has come. After much soul-searching, my longterm stewardship of #7059 will be passed to some other deserving person.
We are just at a different place in our lives, and this car should be more greatly enjoyed instead of tucked in the dark and air conditioned confines of my building.
I have attached a significantly thorough description, but am of course up for any follow up questions.
I am offering it for sale here to the members before it goes 'fully public' on Hemmings, AutoTrader, ebay, BAT, and others all at one time. So this is a real first opportunity. If a legitimately serious buyer doesn't appear in a week, I'll broaden the marketing reach.
My first hope of course is that a fan and member here will make this adoption an easy one. What a great experience this has been. Onward and upward.
Pantera, 1974, VIN THPNPL07059
Incredible 2-owner car from new. Superb throughout, minimal discrete upgrades for reliability, performance, and safety. Unrusted, undamaged, and seriously pampered with 27,197 original miles. Matching number car, engine, drivetrain, body panels all original. A single high-end repaint in the original ‘Dark Green’, one of just 88 in that color for 1974.
This Pantera looks, starts, runs, shifts, drives and handles fantastically. Always stored indoors, any maintenance duly tended. Any part removed has been cleaned and saved. Everything works, car does not overheat, no body panels cut, no interior panels cut (not even speaker or radio).
To sort this car, immediately after purchasing I sent the car to Jack Roush Special Projects division for mild tuning and service. (Their resident Pantera experts R&R’d engine, trans, did a clutch service, more.) After they were through, the car was sent it to renown Pantera expert Pat Mical (Pat’s automotive) for suspension, brakes, cooling, and AC upgrades.
At that time, the rare and expensive Euro GTS Campagnolos (8’s front, 10’s rear) were installed with new Toyos and the car set at the Euro ride height.
Car runs very strong, yet not overly modified. Only mods to engine are set of Pat Mical hand-bent headers (2 ¼”), Euro GTS exhaust, Blue Thunder intake (very rare, built specifically for Pantera) Holley Street Avenger carb, and electronic Ford distributor. This combination makes for a nice power increase, outstanding exhaust note, and extremely docile city manners. (OEM parts cleaned and saved.)
Engine compartment is clean and nicely detailed, with no oil drips, no ‘homemade’ wiring or chroming. My cosmetic concessions included a set of ‘Pantera’ aluminum valve covers, painted in Ford blue, then buffed to reveal raised details. That, plus the natural Blue Thunder intake and mildly modified stock breather are the only visual deviations from stock.
Car starts right up, idles smoothly, and pulls hard through every gear.
The ZF transaxle is a joy to use. Same as on the Ford GT-40, BMW M-1, it shifts cleanly and crisply, is of incredible durability and quality, plus weight saving aluminum case is not only gorgeous but saves a few pounds. Even when cold, 2nd gear comes up without issue, unlike many exotics.
Pat Mical removed stock radiator, cleaned, and modified the tanks for maximum efficiency. He added twin Spal fans, set to individual thermostats. Then an aluminum Edelbrock KoolFlow waterpump was added to decrease any tendency to overheat. Lastly, a smaller diameter aluminum pulley helps increase flow at idle. In all, the car has never overheated, not once, even in intense Alabama heat. In all of this, the car still looks entirely stock, with a stock perfectly functioning factory radiator under the stock shroud.
Car is extremely straight and clean. Paint quality is excellent, shines great. Rockers are in original low-sheen trim and dent free. When it was repainted, I chose to leave the original spot-weld marks under the front bumper and on rockers to preserve originality.
Rubber has been replaced around windows, chrome and stainless highly polished. Chrome on door handles has been redone (along with buckets). Glass is excellent all around, as are bumpers front and rear.
The original Dark Green paint was carefully matched to the original paint on the car in 2 stage paint for long term protection and durability. Nearly everywhere I go in the car, people remark on the gorgeous paintwork and color.
With such low mileage and constant garaging, the car been incredibly well-preserved unlike many. The dash is straight and crack free, the gauges are clear, the bezels shine like new, center console tidy and uncracked. The original carpet is outstanding, and was removed only to clean and add ‘DynaMat’ sound deadener throughout the interior (made a huge difference). Door panels are the original, uncut, and in excellent condition. Factory headliner is also excellent, along with factory sunvisors which are fine, though a bit puffy.
I had Corvette seats recovered in black leather (not vinyl) by Gary Herig patterned to replicate the Pantera factory seams and stitching. I also had the factory 1974 seats redone in correct new black vinyl. (Those are in a box, having never been installed or sat upon.)
Power windows work great (bronze gears added), as does the very weak stock radio, but with new speakers behind original ‘Lear’ grills. The original and very slow to retract seat belts were replaced with correctly operational ones in factory location. (Originals saved.)
BRAKES, SUSPENSION, STEERING, ELECTRICAL
Car stops with complete authority. Pantera brakes are good from the factory, yet I had Porterfield pads installed, plus a new master cylinder from Pantera Performance. The very tricky emergency brake was fully rebuilt and operates as intended.
Pat Mical reworked and adjusted the suspension for razor sharp tracking and handling. Shocks, springs, bushings, all either replaced or renewed, are set up nicely. The car was lowered ¾” and appears wrapped around the Toyos and Euro GTS wheels. There is no rubbing at all.
The steering box was also rebuilt by Pantera Performance, with new bronze bushings to replace the original nylon. The alignment is dead-on. This Pantera handles.
Electrical performance is not a problem on Panteras other than a couple areas. I did the ignition and headlight relay upgrade to reduce current. I also added Jon Haas’ Pantera Electronics fusebox to eliminate issues there. No wires cut, no goofiness, just perfect performance. For more safety, I added Jon’s LED brake lights to give an extra margin for close followers.
All lights, fans, switches, gauges, even windshield pump and squirters work excellently.
Car has much original and authentic paperwork, manual, documentation, dealer trade-in forms, stickers. I also have the original space saver spare, most of the original tool kit, the original Air Cannister, and tire hold down. Anything that came off the car has been saved.
I also have every single receipt gotten with the car and all of those for work done in my ownership. All in a 3 ring binder, complete and up to date.
If this car needed it, it got it. There has been no hesitancy to invest in preservation or function of this car. I have greatly enjoyed it from the first day. It has never let me down, never failed to start. (Okay, I flooded it once with the old carb, but not in about 7 years!)
It runs and drives extremely well, and will completely defuse any notion of low Pantera build-quality myth. This car was built and finished to ever higher standards under Ford’s direction, with the last of these 1974 cars getting really excellent. I have owned many of these, and this is my best one by far.
This car, to me, is like a more refined GT-40 at a 90% discount. You have power windows, air conditioning, two trunks (!), and the reliability of a Ford V8 tugged by the mighty ZF 5-speed, with very exotic looks. I still can’t believe the prices are not well into 6 figures. Most any comparable, (Mangusta, Italia, Bizzarini) is a multiple of the price, but not a multiple of sheer performance, looks, usability and value.
Where other Panteras I have personally viewed have sold over $115,000, yet are no better, I’m pricing this car for a decisive buyer at $89,500.
Grab it before I come to my senses.