In response to Thrillrider's admonition to include pics with our posts, I decided to post an update on The Banzai Runner.  Some of you may be aware that just over a year ago someone in an SUV backed into my Pantera while it was parked.  The SUV backed into the driver's side front fender and folded it in atop the tire.  I contemplated going with an expert paintless dent repair guy, but the fact was the paint was scraped, cracked/split and popped off the fender in several places and I didn't want to live with an unsightly touch-up.  So the decision was made to have it repaired by traditional means.  Since the original paint is not available in California and cannot be matched, the body shop was going to repaint the entire fender, the entire hood, blend across the top of the passenger side front fender, the A-piller (adjacent to the windshield) and the entire roof (since there's no "cut-line" from the fender to the roof), the driver's door would be repainted, and the driver's side rear quarter panel would be blended/repainted.  Literally 2/3's of the car needed to be repainted to make things look uniform from the front 3/4 view after repairing the front driver's side fender. Unfortunately, thing's won't look so uniform from the opposite rear corner as the back half passenger side and rear decklid would all be wearing original paint, so I made the decision to have the whole car repainted.

The insurance saga was interesting to say the least.  I tried to work directly with the other guy's insurance (Farmers) since there was no question of fault (he/they both admitted fault).  Reputable local shops who are experienced with specialty and exotic vehicles gave me estimates ranging from $6,500-$9,500, but Farmer's claims adjuster came up with an estimate of only $1,500 to fix the damage. So Farmer's sent me a check for $1,500. Sure, they said they'll work with the shop on any "adjustments," but when I was at one of the aforementioned shops for an estimate there was another adjuster their arguing the repair costs for a Jaguar and proposing substitution of import parts to get costs down.  It didn't inspire confidence and I refused to be held over a barrel by an insurance company and body shop as they look for ways to cut corners (I mean 'cost').  So, I called Hagerty, my insurance company.  They were great!  Their claims adjuster came out and wrote up an estimate of "at least" $6,800 with an "up to $2,500 additional cost expected/anticipated" once repair work was underway.  Hagerty said to send the Farmer's check back and let them know that Hagerty will follow-up the claim, and to take my Pantera to the shop of my choice.  They "want to make sure it's fixed to my satisfaction, and if costs exceed their estimate, the shop will merely submit an adjustment."

I had to wait several months to get my car into my shop of choice, but I dropped it off at the end of February. 

The good news...  The body guy (who's a Pantera owner, know's Panteras, and has painted a number of Panteras) loves my car!  I've lost count of how many times he's told me just how nice my car is!  He's taken it down to bare metal and there is NO rust!  Panel gaps are excellent and consistent throughout.  There is no evidence of any prior accidents/repairs.  And, there's NO rust under the windshield or in any of the usual places!

Anyway, the car is now in primer.  Doors, hood and decklid have been blocked and are in primer-sealer, ready for color.  He's finishing up blocking the body, and we expect to have the car finished by the end of November! 

But, it's a slippery slope...  New windshield, re-chrome the bumpers, side marker lights, all new rubber seals and body gaskets, window channels and cat whiskers, etc.

Ok, that's a LOT of text and backstory before getting to the pics.

The extent of the damage is not visible in this pic. Top of fender is bowed/buckled, as well as lower fender in front of and behind wheel opening.IMG_6208

Disassembly begins...IMG_3184




Blocking begins...IMG_0135



Chrome looks OK, but shows some pitting and corrosion from behind.  And rear bumpers lack luster of front bumpers.  I'd like everything to look new once the car is painted.IMG_0312






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Last edited by garth66
Original Post

Sounds like a good story...  Glad to hear the insurance is working out, and glad to hear the collector's insurance treat the owners fairly.

Thanks for the pictures and the report.



Thanks for an inspiring and interesting ( photo filled ) thread.

I'm glad to hear about Hagarty,not just because they insure my Pantera but also because it's nice to finally hear about a company that takes care of it's customers.

It appears that your project will be all that you hope.....Best to you and your restoration

That is good news Garth,   I added a 76 Fiat 124 spider to my pantera Haggarty  policy with a declared value of 5k, and the premium went down 4 dollars!    I hope I never have to find how good they are.  Looks like your car is in capable hands.  Bill


So sorry about the damage to the Runner! Glad you're in good hands.

Is the Mustang I remember? Nice color! Say hi to the guys for me, I retired in 2018 so no more free trips out to see everyone, but it is on my list.

Your friend in FL,


Here is the last cool guy I met, He is really a nice guy, hung out for a day...


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Thanks for the update and pictures Garth!  Getting your car back before Christmas will be awesome!  No more Tony Bondo award eh?



It's been a while since posting an update.  Christmas came and went, without my Pantera.  But that's ok...  "Good things come to those who wait."

Anyway, here's the latest...

Some color, before being clear coated.  It was interesting getting the color right.  The original Ford color looked like a perfect match to the original paint when wet in the cup, but once the test spot dried, it was darker than the original color so we had some additional work to do to lighten it up and get it just right.  Note that we were matching to the virgin original paint found behind the gills and inside channels of the rear quarter windows; this was original paint that had never seen sunlight, fading, polishing, or any kind of touch-up over the years.

We have color, and clear coat!

Black on lower rockers and valence panels as per the factory...

Assembly begins...

All new rubber gaskets, window seals, windshield, etc.  New side marker bezels and body gaskets as well.

Original bumpers and Carello headlight trim rings were re-chromed and are on their way to the body shop.  New IPSCO door handles and Vader window lifts to be installed too.

We're getting close!


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Last edited by garth66

Nice -

So many people either forget the subtle black on the bottom and on the lower valence.  It really makes a big difference (improvement) in the look.

Can't wait to see it back on the road.




I picked up the car a couple weeks ago and have been getting it out in the sun as much as possible to help the paint cure - yeah, that's the reason!  Really, I've been driving the wheels off of it since the car's been laid up for one and a half years.

I mentioned the challenge getting the color right above, and we failed. The paint has a hint of too much green. Actually, 3 different friends and coworkers all asked me why I changed the color when they first saw it. The body shop insists it's the "correct" Ford color per the numbers, but frankly it's more green than the original yellow.  It's nice looking, but just lacks the pop or brightness of my car's original paint yellow.  Following are some pics (these are as they came out of the phone/camera with no edits/adjustments)...


A few of the additional improvements...

  • Re-chromed the front and rear pre-L bumpers (Meclec - Fresno, CA)
  • Re-chromed the headlight bezels (Meclec - Fresno, CA)
  • LED headlights (Vintage Car LEDs)
  • New side marker bezels (Mike Mayberry)
  • New windshield & windshield gasket (PPC Reno)
  • New quarter window gaskets (PPC Reno)
  • New side view mirrors (CJ Pony Parts)
  • Vader window lifts (Vader Racing)
  • New cat whiskers and window channel felts (PPC Reno)
  • New door handles (IPSCO) - these things are beautiful!  Highly recommended!
  • New bumper gaskets, door seals, trunk seals, and all misc. body gaskets
  • New Fiamm air horns
  • New throttle cable (PPC Reno)


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Last edited by garth66

Garth...Your Car looks Outstanding! Could it be Possible 48 year old Paint might have something to do with the color difference? Glad your Car is Home for You to Enjoy!


@cuvee posted:

Could it be Possible 48 year old Paint might have something to do with the color difference? 


One friend suggested that perhaps the green in the original paint faded more than the yellow over the last 48 years resulting in the car looking brighter before.  I don't think so.  I'll park it next to a fellow PCNC member's very low-mileage original paint Pantera in the next week or so to compare side by side and confirm my suspicions or put my disappointment to rest.

Last edited by garth66

For your Archives...  POCA Newsletter information....

"Matt" is Matt Stone - a POCA MFWIC for many years, and eventually an Automotive Writer for one of the big magazines...


I think "Demmick" is a famous movie stuntman from the '70s! 




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Last edited by rocky

I know - I was just joking...  Like the one about the bronze car on the PI cover... 


There is a lot of history in these old issues of the magazines....  and a lot of history in the owners!

It really is this guy..

POCA Newsletter, June 1988






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Last edited by rocky

Thanks Rocky for posting that clip from the December 1987 POCA newsletter!  Very cool!  Al told me all about the making of the movie. Here's a pic of Al Manning and me in Paso Robles the day I bought the "Banzai Runner" from him in May, 2003.



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Last edited by garth66

I'm glad you had a good outcome with Hagerty as I have my Pantera and a couple of other cars insured with them.  I recently had a similar good outcome with my daily driver Jaguar XKR and my regular insurance, Mercury.  In March, I had parked my car on the street to go into a bank.  A woman driving a beat up suv turned out of an alley 5' behind my car, cut it too close.  I had my door open and my left foot outside already, and she hit my door on the inside with me still holding it, bent the door off its hinges and slammed it into the front quarter panel.  She called her insurance and claimed that I opened my door into her as she was passing (a complete lie).  Her insurance would not cover the damage, so I called Mercury.  They sent an adjuster out the next day, and within two or three days had approved a $7800 estimate that included repainting about 2/3 of the car, a door replacement, and all of the aluminum body work.  The repair (done at my usual body shop) was complete in two weeks, and the result was perfect.  Almost too good as my XKR has 175,000 miles on it and looks brand new. I had an excellent outcome and am very satisfied with Mercury's service.

Last edited by tberg

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