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Looking at a local white Pantera. Owner has had it for 18 years and purchased it out of Florida from Mass originally. The car has 74 bumpers is mostly original but the number seems to be a 1974 VIN not a 73 and also does not have a motor number stamped on the VIN tag.

Anyone know any history of the car they can share? I tried to register for the Pantera Registry site to see if there was any info there but registration for new users seems broken.


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Last edited by Scott
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Only thing in the registry is pictures of the VIN plate. Interesting note with it though. Apparently 4936 was sold (to you?) as 6462 but with further investigation the actual VIN was determined to be 4936 as indicated by the stamp on the headlight bucket. Strange. 4936 is white. Its entry was dated 1/7/21 with a few engine compartment and interior pictures. This appears to be your car.

Yes thats the car listed for $75K by his son on Facebook in a different posting. I don't want to give the impresssion that I think the gentleman I spoke with who says he has owned the car for 18 years stole the car or has any idea of its sketchy history. He seemed very sincere, genuine and a regular car guy. I had a positive experience meeting him but if there is a possibility of re-vinning, theft etc in the cars history I have no interest in being the last to hold the car.

Just to play devils advocate here. Headlight buckets can very easily be changed. The fact that the original pedal box VIN appears to have been cut out does not necessarily mean the VIN on the headlight buckets is correct.

after 50 years there is no way for any of us to know this car’s history. It could be a Frankenstein car made up of several wrecked cars. Or it could’ve been a theft that was then disguised as something else and sold  🤷🤷

Just saying……


I’m not making a judgment, just pointing out what I saw on ProvaMo.  But there’s a reason the VIN on the pedal box was removed and it now has a different font (but I don’t know what that reason is).

Is the dash tag still there?  What does it say?

Are there any other spots on the car that have the VIN (can’t think of any off the top of my head).

Is there a motor # tag on the body (in the engine bay) and is the motor number stamped on the block “in the ballpark” with other cars in the series?  I know the motor numbers weren’t always consecutive, and certainly not consistently aligned with the VIN, but maybe general trends might apply…

Anyway, it’s an interesting puzzle.  And I agreed with Larry - there’s a lot of possible reasons, and those reasons may be lost in the mists of time….

Is the original VIN on the pedal box intact? Was it covered over with a metal plate replica of another car's VIN? If so, back in the day someone may have been driving two Panteras while paying insurance and registration on a single car. Then an heir to the car got a duplicate title and was able to sell it with the wrong VIN that was displayed on the fake VIN plate. Thus, it might not be stolen but nonetheless a hassle now.

You can see from the enlarged section of the photo that the top of the pedal box was cut out. You can see the edge of the sheet metal in the blue box and part of the brake pedal stop bracket in red. This car is a late 72 or early 73 with dual pod dash, pre-L center console, L model bumpers, and wipers that park on the left side. #6512, 50 cars newer than this cars is claimed to be, is an early 74 that has the single pod dash, L model console, and wipers that park on the right side.

Pantera 6462 Vin Plate 1


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  • Pantera 6462 Vin Plate 1

As Larry asked, I'd be curious to know if there is a VIN tag on the left side of the dash at the base of the windshield. There should also be one riveted to the driver's side door jamb. If NOT, I would run far away. I might even report it to the police/CHP.
The cover plate without the engine number stamped on it is most certainly a reproduction like this one from Hall:

Last edited by jmardy

I was offered that car several months back for 52k., located 2 hour drive from us. When asked for the last 4 he fell off the earth. Also to make things a bit murkier DeTomaso re-vined more than a few cars at their discretion. Rebuilt, crashed, or mechanically repaired cars that sat around.  It was/is not uncommon for engine stampings to be 2 numbers or ten numbers off the plate stamp. We don't see it often, but we do see it. Maserati did some funny business as well, a DeTomaso holding from beginning in '76. Maserati was known for some funny business too! The Merak model for instance, they made several hundred SS Models around 1977/78 and held them. They then sold them 'new' for five years all the way up until 1983! All built in '77. Including VINs stating the model year of the sale. They stamped 'em as they sold 'em.

Hi Guys, I'm going to take another look at this car this week. A couple of questions as I would like to verify the car is what the owner thinks it is. Based on the numbers I saw stamped on the VIN inside front trunk and pictured in my first post the car was built in Oct 1973 and should be titled as a 1974.

1. Where else can I look on the car for a matching serial number?

2. The photos from the registry show a different number stamped on the headlight buckets. Is it possible to check those without removing the buckets? In other words can they be seen from under the car or with headlights up etc?

3. I do plan to test drive the car this time, did not last time. Anything in particular I should look for or listen for?

Appreciate any other advice.

Thanks Larry, I was hoping someone from here would know the car and owner. He is involved with the local DFW Pantera Club. In fact he invited me to a car meet the group had back in November but I was unable to attend. I have no reason to doubt the owner's background with the car but as someone else noted he has owned the car for 18 years there are another 30+ years that anything could have happened. I will ask to see the title and have no doubt it will have a matching VIN.

The DFW Pantera Club is a chapter of POCA.

My concern with this car is, there’s no way to verify the VIN. If the original owner still owned the car, that would be a different story but no one knows why or when the VIN was cut from the chassis. DeTomaso is known to have re-VIN’d Pantera’s but I can’t imagine why they would cut the VIN from the chassis and leave a big hole where the VIN should be. Makes no sense. What’s on the title is meaningless. You wouldn’t buy a bicycle with the serial number filed off. This is no different. It will come back to haunt you if and/or when you try to sell the car. In some States, it’s illegal to remove a VIN. How would you explain this to the DMV or the Police?

There are lots of Pantera’s for sale. You should pass on this one.

Last edited by davidnunn
@tsolo posted:

You can see from the enlarged section of the photo that the top of the pedal box was cut out. You can see the edge of the sheet metal in the blue box and part of the brake pedal stop bracket in red. This car is a late 72 or early 73 with dual pod dash, pre-L center console, L model bumpers, and wipers that park on the left side. #6512, 50 cars newer than this cars is claimed to be, is an early 74 that has the single pod dash, L model console, and wipers that park on the right side.

Pantera 6462 Vin Plate 1

I've been unsuccessful in getting access to the registry. But if these photos come from the registry and the registry comes from owners submitting photos, why would anyone post a photo showing what appears to be Vin swapping.  Especially in 2021 when the current owner claims he has owned it the last 18 years? The early interior on a later model. Maybe a Frankenstein car created from 2 wrecks.

Anyone from DFW that knows anything please message me if you don't want to say anything publicly.

Update: I did find a site that checks VINS for stolen or salvage -

Both the VIN on the vehicle and the VIN from the Marti Report/Headlight buckets show clean.


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Last edited by Scott

No matter what this car looks like or how cheap it is the VIN has been tampered with, that is a federal offence. There is absolutely no way an out of state VIN inspector in NV would let this pass. I know of refusal to title a restored Sunbem Tiger simply because it had new rivets where the VIN tag was removed for paint. Worst case scenario here is they confiscate and crush the car, don't be tempted no matter how low the price it's a roll of weighted dice!

All the re-vinned cars I have seen from De Tomaso had a re-stamp on the original pedal box, never seen one with it physically cut out and the aluminum VIN plate stands out a mile.


In some states, if a VIN plate has been altered in some way, the DMV will assign a State Issued VIN. In most cases, it's the same as the original VIN but it's the DMV's way of saying they've investigated the matter fully and all is above board. In the case of the VIN plate in the photo, the owner installed a dashboard from a new Camaro into his '68 restomod. He removed the VIN plates from both dashboards and installed the VIN plate from the old dash onto the new dash. Knowing this was potentially a problem, he went to the DMV to get their stamp of approval, which they gave him. They just need to be 100% sure nothing nefarious has occurred.

If the owner of the Pantera is so sure everything is above board, he should go to his State's DMV and have the State assign a VIN to the Pantera. He'd be crazy to do it because the car will likely be seized and destroyed but you could suggest it to him. It's a criminal offense to own a car with an altered VIN but trying to sell a car with an altered VIN is much more serious.   

State Issued VIN


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  • State Issued VIN: State Issued VIN
Last edited by davidnunn

Well I backed out and didn't even go drive the car. Just more red flags, for example yesterday agrees to meet me at 10AM this AM but won't text me an address till 9AM this AM. Car was moved to a new storage facility closer to his home is what he said. Debating whether or not I should come clean with him about my concerns as I'm not sure he even knows. But I will say his advertising methods if he wants to sell the car are a little lacking. His son and friend posted it for him on Facebook but have not seen it listed anywhere else and his friends ad is now gone. He told me he has owned the car for 18 years but my title report shows a Texas title issued Sept 2021.

I'll keep looking...

Last edited by Scott

Congratulations on being able to back away from this one. I spent nearly 1 1/2 years searching for 2511. Each car you look at, each car you drive, each car you inspect, all will add to your skill set in evaluating prospective purchases.

do not put a time limit on your search. I would suggest attending the POCA gathering this coming April in Phoenix. An excellent chance for you to meet other owners and inspect numerous cars.

buying a Pantera, most of them have been modified and some modified to a intense degree, is different than buying a whole numbers-matching Corvette or Mustang.

becoming familiar with the standard upgrades will help you in selecting a well sorted car as opposed to one that has suffered from years of low quality maintenance and upgrades


Don't attach much meaning to the "1973 vs 1974" issue. In the late '70s, CA enacted a mandatory vehicle inspection scheme that required a Smog check on all '74s & newer cars. So quite a few 'built-in-'73-but-sold-&-titled-in-'74' Panteras were re-registered with the CA DMV based on their actual '73 build dates. A DMV visual inspection was required to do this but no costly Smog inspection .

The Italian build date is on the riveted white plastic tag on the passenger door jamb (usually).  Sometimes the window sticker had the actual import date from Italy on it, from which a '73 build-date could be inferred. Even Ford did this with 93  'U.S GTS' cars built in '73 but sold in '74. Some DMV employees would logically accept window sticker import dates, but others would not.

All this effort avoided the expensive and restrictive '74 CA Smog test, which also sometimes required one to buy several OEM parts required for '74 but not delivered on '73 builds. Back then, you could fail the Smog Test visually for missing emission parts even if the tailpipe sniffer test was passed.

It was all quite a mess and was not restricted to just Panteras. Other European built brands did this li'l real-build-date switch..This is about the only known instance of an earlier car being worth more than a later built car, since you had to go thru a CA DMV inspection to sell a car in CA back then.

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