The "New Life for 3271" post began 4 years ago. It fully documented my build, had 100 pages and 200,000 views and gathered tremendous information and response. Some of you may have noticed that all of it is gone.

Long story. But it had something to do with the fully disassembled POS "project car" that I imported into Canada and paid tax on.

It's back together and out kicking some butt. It's surely not finished, but enough so that I can have some fun while I work out the bugs.


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Original Post
Thanks for the nice comments. Mark sent me a new Avatar, Rob.

All this talk about completion and finishing is nice to hear. I'm glad she looks finished. But in reality she's only just finished enough to drive all summer and work out the bugs.

Next winter she will be back in Cali with me to get on a long list:

Fender flares
Front deck mods
New rear face
New tailites
New brakes
Steering rack adjustment
Electric power steering
Passenger floor

Finally refinish all body then paint and wrap. Yeah... lots to do.

It may look like a modern car but even with all these new components, deep down it's still a Pantera and therefor always a project!

Good thing. Otherwise I'd have bought an FCar or Lambo or Vette.
Thanks for the comments guys!

I’ve had a busy summer putting the new Beast thru hell. I’ve taken her on ever increasing distance runs at ever increasing speeds.

Along the way I’ve broken and changed too many things to list …but wow, I’m pretty darn happy with where I’m at.

I remember the excitement my white 9203 GT5 used to cause on the roads. But this one is a whole new experience when I’m out in public. I have been swarmed and photographed everywhere.

If you thought people wondered what “kit car” you’re driving in a stock looking Pantera, imagine what they think of this one? Some old timers have guessed the Pantera heritage, but very few.

I’m waiting on a new billet badge I came up with and hopefully folks will now have answers without me having to yell over the rumble.

I’m going to put it under and beside the blue and white DT badges on the sides and rear.


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Anyhow, what a blast to drive! It’s pretty loud outside but not as bad inside. And it’s f&*#ing fast. And that’s without the nitrous connected yet. It’s wild!

I’m putting miles on the engine and working my way thru hard accelerations trying to find a way to get traction without burning the clutch or killing the ZF. So far so good.

You know that stupid grin disease we all suffer from after an early morning run in a cat? Well, it’s tearing my face open.

This thing just keeps pulling. It will rev to 8,000 but I’m still with the 6500 MSD restrictor for now. Sheesh, it will take some time before I’m bored of this power – especially once I connect the bottle!

My plan for the summer was to finish fine tuning all the mechanicals before heading back to CA for the winter. I’m almost there. When I get back to California I can spend the winter finishing the final body details and cosmetics. I need some help in the decisions. Scroll down.

Brakes are good. Steering is good. I haven’t torn up any wheel bearings yet. Cooling is perfect – car never runs hot. AC is so cold I have to open a window! The interior treatments and all the electronics are bulletproof. Aside from a few switches and LED lights that I’ve changed and added, there have been no failures anywhere.

One of the biggest problems to work out was the rubbing. These 19” and 20” wheels extend ¾” beyond the fender flares. This looks great, but rubs under load and on bumpy roads – which are a lot more prevalent here in Canada than in California.

Trying to reduce to front roll, I maxed out the shock compression. But it still rubbed. I finally changed the front springs for heavier rate springs that were ¾” shorter. I’m now using 500 lbs up front, which sounds like a lot, but with reduced shock compression really handles beautifully. It’s very comfortable to drive and no longer rubs under load.

With shorter springs I have lots of room to play with ride height. I raised it 3/8” in both front and rear. I’ll keep playing with this until I find the lowest setting that won’t rub. I still have the lift kit for extreme speed bumps and driveways.


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The next big issue to resolve was crankcase pressure. I tried various plumbing methods, with breathers, catch cans and PCV systems.

From heavily smoking breathers and stinking up the garage I finally put some of it back into the carb. But while it improved, there’s still too much pressure blowing oil out the valley pan and elsewhere.

So after much research, tonight I'm going to install this vacuum pump along with a neat Wagner adjustable PCV valve and a new Elite catch can / separator. I’m hopeful this is the solution.


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I’ve also ordered this new K&N racing filter which has double the flow of my current filter. It’s longer but half the width of the giant 14” cake that takes too long to get on and off and is hard to work around.

After the new plumbing is working well I’ll see if I want to put anything back into the carb.


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Ok, so now for the body design. If you looked at the pics over the years of this build you will see that there are two different sides to the car. I wasn’t sure which way to go. Now that I have figured out what to do with the side view, I have to pick one.




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Or a lot...

First off, I am going to cut away some of the flares – the front facing edge of the rears and the rear facing edge of the fronts. I will also keep a consistent dimension all around the tire opening. This should get rid of some of the short / fat look of the side view. I’m happy with the front, rear and ¾ views, but the side view needs work. This should do it.

Then I'll add some cutouts in the rear fenders.

So the choice is a little …or a lot. What say you?


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tough call.
the upside down lexus looks good, except for the ends tucking in.
the right side up lexus looks ok, just don't look Pantera ish
thus your original ideal fits the angles of the car, still look Pantera ish AND the screened upper rear just screams BADASS
I think you could even make the lenses thicker to the point the backup and the entire assembly become a triangle

The right side up Lexus 350 theme complements the angles of the body, as does your custom acrylic idea. Either looks like a unified design. The upside-down Lexus 350 theme does not.

Of the 3 choices, the right side up Lexus 350 looks the least like a C7 Corvette.



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Originally posted by Racecar Mike:
Your own creation (tail lights) looks best with your own creation (the car). Everything else looks like it came from something else.

I agree, you have aggressive angles all over so the custom seems to fit best to BADASS Mofo!
there was a time when I studied automotive design, and my college classmate, Tom Gale went on to become one of the best designers in the world, responsible for Chrysler's resurgence with the Viper, Prowler and Lamborghini fortunes. My Pantera became a love child of sorts but it had a weak front without headlights that can provide so much character. I love when people apply their own design sensitivities to cars, and automotive designers learn from them. Your handling of the front is great. However I would not have closed up the side window and faux vents, and maybe looked for a way to integrate it better into the side glass. I don't believe the exposed air cleaner is the final solution, so no comment. Nice job.
Thanks for the help with the tailights, folks.

But I still need your preferences on the rear fender treatment.

1 - Passenger side or drivers side version?

2 - Small or large openings?


I like that one triangle idea! Routering out 2 pieces of acrylic and inserting LEDs would sure be a lot easier than fabricating 6 unique lenses.


The scoops on the side and the roof are all functional. They also pop open fully like wing doors for easy refueling on the drivers side and access to the cans and electronics on the passenger side.

Thanks guys. Your comments are appreciated.

Yeah, Tom. I agree. I'm working on a cosmetic solution to the air cleaner. This unit breathes well and is functionally perfect. Eventually I'll duct to it from the side and roof scoops which may hide most of it.

I'm planning to dye it black for now. I'm going to remove the red K&E oil, dye it with some synthetic material black dye, then use a clear filter oil. Has anyone ever done that to a K&E filter?



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Last week a nut that holds the bolt adjustment in the slave backed off and I ending up with the clutch touching just enough to burn the clutch and glaze the pressure plate and flywheel during on a spirited 100 mile test ride.

Getting home with a slipping clutch was a fun experience but I made it home by perfect timing of traffic, hills and lights!



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It was my first experience taking out the ZF. A couple of friends came by which made it real easy.

I changed some seals and improved what I could without getting inside the trans. After cleaning everything up I replaced the clutch and had the pressure plate and flywheel resurfaced and adjusted.



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I am sure enjoying all the builds going on here. I learn a lot following them all. I and others may not always reply, but we love seeing the projects progress. Keep the stories and pics coming. Often there are long delays and I go back to page 1 and see how it all happened - again!

Life gets in the way of building these projects.

I should know having just passed to 5 year mark.

Getting from this



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David -

I think you have made a great design choice in your decision to thin out the fender flares.  I am looking forward to seeing the car in it's finished form. 

It is funny to me, but... Mikael had the saying "I'm on a train that never stops, so I'll never finish paying for my ride...." - I think it's pretty apt in your situation!

 Keep up the great work, and keep posting up the pictures!

 Rocky (a.k.a. Chuck)

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