Here's the rebuild story of a 1972 euro GTS project I purchased in 2013.


The car is a July 1972 car. Sold by Claude Dubois in Belgium to Mr. Dambois in Liege but not much more is known about its early whereabouts except for a few funny stories Claude Dubois told me. The car then turned up in 1974 when it won the “6 heures of Visé” in the hands of Chavan-Falla. Then, apparently it was crashed at a hill-climb event and more or less totaled. As will be evident in this rebuild thread, the chassis was pretty damaged, both in the front and in the rear. Most of the outside body panels also needed to be replaced. According to the original archives in Modena it was originally silver/black and a genuine euro GTS. The only other information in the documents were receipts from 1973 for right rear a-arms, axle assembly and 10 inch wheel, so the car was in an accident sometime in 1973. Signs of that incident are still visible in the chassis.

The car then turned up in Sweden in the early 1980s. At that point it was a project and was further taken apart and probably at that point stripped to the metal by media blasting. The chassis has had rust repairs done in some of the usual places which I think was performed back then also. The project stalled and the car was sold 20 years later to another swede, in 2004 I think, which re-did some of the chassis work and restored all the suspension parts, brakes, interior and more. Then in 2006 it went to the first owner in Denmark which bought more parts and had more chassis work professionally done before selling it to its second Danish owner (the guy I bought it from). He invested A LOT of money in new parts, including a complete factory GT5S body kit, NOS narrow fenders, doors, fuel tank, Kirk Evans quads, tons of NOS small parts, stub axles, chrome trim, tail lights etc., etc. Except for a few minor pieces the car is complete and includes an overhauled ZF-2.

A 5S conversion was started by the last owner, but I did not want to continue in that direction. Since I didn’t have much money in the car my initial thoughts were to do a Gr4 build for historic racing but bringing it back to original euro GTS specs would be cool too. My heart says Gr4 but my brain and economic sense says original GTS. Would be kind of cool with a 1972 Le Mans replica.

So what needs to be done to the chassis?

Well, the chassis IS NOT TOO RUSTY. However some repairs have been done incorrectly and need to be re-done. I’m sure they are solid enough, they are just NOT CORRECT. So I’m basically drilling the chassis apart to redo these areas which include; the inner b-posts, outer b-post skins, outer rockers, rear suspension uprights and a few other pieces. In addition, all four fenders had been fitted with GTS metal flares, so the fenders have come off and will be replaced as well (came with the car). Also, the car has been quite severely hit in the right rear and left front in the past. Both ends has been repaired, but the rear subframe is still a little bend – and the left front need to be pulled and rebuild.

Feel free to comment along the way

Here’s a shot of the car when I looked at it first

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After some time in the garage I drilled off the rear fenders. Fortunately, the previous owner who installed the fenders didn't do a very good job, so they were easily removed without any harm to them or car.

They are now sold along with the front 5S fenders.

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Started work on the outer rocker. Again my friend Michael did an awesome job reproducing these in one piece. They are exact copies of the ford-era rockers. Although they look pretty simple in shape - they are not!! In addition to bending along the length they also taper towards the ends both at the top and bottom. They also taper more towards the rear compared to the front. Reproducing these required fabrication of several special tools.
Michael also added the original drains at the bottom.

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I finally managed to find some time to work a bit more on the chassis

Since I'm likely going to convert this car to Gr4 specs for track use, I wanted to reinforce the front suspension mounts.

This is what the std mounts look like on this car and all the 71-74 production panteras

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For inspiration on how to reinforce to mounts, I had to look no further than my other pantera. That car is a pre-production car chassis #1267. This car came from the factory with substantionally reinforced a-arm, shock and sway bar mounts.

From what I've been able to figure out, only the very first 286 cars had these add-ons (I may be wrong though).

Spot the differences ?? - I Count 9 reinforcementplates

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This is a shot from when 1267s chassis was zink treated a few years back. The entire rear inner structure is build up from many pieces in quite thick steel (2.5 mm in the uprights). The entire structure is all original as shown - no rust repairs. Compared to the "production" cars, with the stamped sections, the chassis seem to have been seam welded in a lot more Places from the factory (Vignale).

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quote:
did you make tracings of your templetes? (that could be shared?)


No - but it should only take me 5 min to draw them up and scan them if anyone would be interested. So far I only did the passenger side, but both sides are similar except laterally reversed
quote:
I have learned a lot, and your work is an inspiration to people like myself who have similar work to complete, although not on such a scale as yours.


It IS a huge Work - but I really enjoy it. As long as I have the other pantera to drive I don't have pressure to finish this one in a certain time.

I did start on the drivers side of the car. Here I finished the center rocker and fitted inner b-pillar:

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Continued re-doing earlier bad and incorrect repairs. Here the rear suspension uprights.

I purchased repair pieces from a US-vendor - and sorry to say, I cannot recommend that. These pieces are not right, way too narrow to fit the suspension tubes meaning that they have to be reworked to fit.

Decided to repair them, instead of reproducing them completely. Had to widen them about and inch to fit, and to make them look correctly like the original structure.

Here the difference in tube Width after welding on side of the upright

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With the rear finished I'm moving on the left front. It has had a hit in the past, and the repairs (as usual) has to be redone. The damage includes damage to the frame that need to be repaired.
Here I've removed the left topfender. I have a new one to replace the old

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