In the year 2011, the De Tomaso Pantera turns 40 years old! The Pantera is De Tomaso’s most significant production car to date, and lived an overall production life of nearly 25 years. It is the model which most people identify with De Tomaso, and completed the company’s transition to a volume producer of high performance GTs. In March 1971, Ford introduced the Pantera at the New York International Automobile Show.

At some time between then and today, most people reading this message bought one. They didn’t realize at the time that they were getting more than just awesome ride, they were joining one of the most unique fellowships in the automobile world. Perhaps no other Marque has so many generous owners who give so freely of their time and talents to peers as a resource to assist them with their cars. The generosity and camaraderie of De Tomaso owners is recognized to be without equal.

In the spirit of this camaraderie and in honor of the Pantera’s 40th anniversary, the POCA Fun Rally Chairpersons, Judy McCartney and I hope that you will join like minded enthusiasts from around the World to celebrate this occasion at the 2011 POCA Fun Rally on June 8th through the 12th. The Rally will be held at the Circus Circus Hotel in Reno, Nevada.

While other venues were seriously explored for 2011, the quality of the facilities, the accommodating Circus Circus management, local amenities and value are among the benefits drawing us back to Reno. Feedback from our 2010 event informed us that the track event was sorely missed and thankfully, PCNC will address that issue.

With the reopening of Reno Fernley Raceway, we are delighted to welcome back a favorite, PCNC’s Speed Trials. The track is under new management, and as many already know, this is simply one of the best road courses available that is suited to the Pantera. If you are a road course enthusiast, this is hands down better than the Vegas alternatives. The Road Course is long and straight enough to let a Pantera stretch its legs.

Reno has great driving roads, scenic Lake Tahoe, a wonderfully rich history including nearby Carson City, railroad experiences and an outstanding local automobile museum. All that aside, what Reno does best is offer us an affordable relaxed environment to meet new friends, talk and reconnect with our established ones while wandering around some gorgeous automobiles.

One aim, at this Event, is to populate the Hospitality Suite with exquisite examples of De Tomaso cars. The goal is to represent every De Tomaso model built. This is a tall order, and we need your help to accomplish it. The Committee spearheading this initiative is comprised of Bill Harris, John Schirmer and Kent Snyder as consultant. They are currently creating a list of suitable candidates and encouraging nominations. If you know of a fine De Tomaso example, it may even be yours, please let one of them know the owner’s name and the model. They will sort through the nominees and ultimately present invitations to the owners. It will be quite an honor to be featured in the Hospitality Suite.

We also recognize that the economy has affected most of our wallets or pocketbooks. While negotiations with the hotel and the race track are still underway, we are optimistic that event prices will remain unchanged from last year.

We received this feedback last year from a new Pantera owner, Rob Pink, who had attended the Fun Rally in Reno for the first time.

“I am sitting in the airport having just attended my first Reno Fun Rally. As a new Pantera owner (which is currently in many pieces in my garage) I had lots to learn.

This was truly a great event and I am glad I came. One of the first events I attended was a drive around Lake Tahoe with a stop at a wooden boat repair shop; those boats are fantastic; you better have lots of cash; however, they do look great. Next was a hike to a castle, and then up to the waterfall. The snow stopped us from going right to the top; but, the view of the lake was still great.

The following day I was lucky enough to get a seat in a fantastic Pantera owned by Dave Hall from Denver. Its 438ci engine developed better than 500 plus hp. We went out for a scenic drive through the Sierra Nevada with a movie crew. One of the highlights was blowing by the camera man, who was hanging out the side of a minivan on a harness, at well over 100 MPH. I am sure from the cameraman's perspective; it must have been a thrill. I know sitting in the passenger seat was a big thrill for me. The rest of the drive was also spirited. On this drive, I continued to learn just how good a Pantera can be on the road and it has me thinking about how I can get mine close to that.

Next were some go-karts and the Summit Racing Parts Warehouse trip - all fun.

The following day, we had the Plaza Car Display featuring 55 cars. These included 53 Panteras, one Mangusta and a Ford GT. Wow, what an assortment of fantastic cars. As the new guy, I kept snapping pictures of all the great things that have been done to these cars. It gave me lots to aspire to on my car. I am sure it will be a multi-year journey to bring my car to that level.

Last but not least it was great to get to meet many of you whose advice I have been following on the POCA Forum for some time now. You represent a fantastic group of people who have probably forgotten more about Panteras than I will ever know.

Once again - I very glad I came and would highly recommend the Rally.”

I appreciate Rob’s feedback and think he summed it up nicely. I encourage other new owners to carve out some time on their 2011 calendar to join us at the 40th Anniversary celebration.

Work is continuing on the rest of the agenda. If you have an opinion or suggestion, let Judy or I know. More information will be following shortly.

I look forward to seeing you there.

John Taphorn
Event Co-Chairperson
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