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After many, many happy years of owning 1826, my very clean, low-mileage and mostly original 1971 Pantera, I found myself wishing to do what most Pantera owners have done with bigger motors, customized interiors and various other personal touches. The problem was that I couldn't bring myself to do any irreversible mods to my car. I've done a few nice bolt-ons, but a couple of weekends and it could all be reversed.

Thus the dilemma: to mod, or not to mod. That was the question.

Many years ago I seriously considered buying the Pantera project that Danno (a former member here) was selling, but space, time and resources were limited (I'd just bought the Mangusta) and so I passed. A couple of years later I had the great pleasure of seeing how the car turned out when I met it's new Ontario owner Derrick.

Derrick had done a stellar job completing the project and when I saw the car in person, I fell in love with it. The 2005 Ford GT blue that Danno had painted the car was one of the nicest colors I'd ever seen on a Pantera. The details that Derrick finished off were really nicely done (including the 17" GR4-style wheels), and the engine build he completed made for an awesome looking and sounding package.

I heard that he was considering selling it a year back and I was still in the same position. I urged a few friends to consider it but it remained un-sold. I had a change in my space and resource situation and decided to contact Derrick and make an offer on the car, which he accepted.

I had a few sleepless nights wondering what I had done. I just agreed to buy a car I hadn't seen in years. Was I nuts?

I spent a VERY long day driving to find out. In short, no. The car was pretty much as I had remembered. A few small issues, but still a very striking car.

(Click the image below for video)

I drove 6+ hours each way to pick 2281 up and bring her to her new home. The return drive was really tedious as it was drizzly and the most dense fog I've seen in years—and at night to boot!

We made it home safe and sound just before midnight and it was all I could do to back the trailer into the garage. Unloading would have to wait.

Well, after a sleepless night (sort of like Christmas eve when I was a kid...) I awoke and set about seeing if it was all a dream. Nope. There it was still.

I spent today getting to know 2281 and she's a keeper, for sure. And, so is 1826. I think now I'll be able to indulge both sides of my Pantera passion. The logical, responsible side, and the crazy, obnoxious side.

Life is short, as we all know, and I don't plan on looking back with a bunch of regrets.

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Hey Mark, Thanks for the great afternoon, playing with your new toy, then the amazing ride to find gas. Our reader info, Ottawa weather was bright sunny and 24C (75F), Now I have just wait in envy to get my car back on the road.

Last edited by denisc
Congrats Mark! I know you lusted after that car for a while. With a yellow Goose, a red GT40 and a colourless  yet perfect white cat, the 'big blue machine with lots of bling' will be a nice addition to the stable. Can't wait to hear her roar!

Your only dilemma is that with an 8 car garage and a one car workshop you're quickly running out of space.
Originally posted by No Quarter:
How come you Americans/Canadians have so much space? I have 7 cars, and room inside for 3. When having to fix something I first have to move 3 or 4 cars every time.

Simple: Population density. You guys have about 300 people per square mile. In the US it's about 80 and here in Canada it's under 10. Mind you, one can't drive a Pantera in 90% of Canada about 50% of the time...

Last year we decided that life wasn't getting any longer and made the decision to trade our typical 4-bedroom, two-car garage suburban house for a bungalow in the country. Lots of land, a huge lower level (future indoor workshop) and a 28'x38' attached, insulated garage were what attracted us to the place. The best part was we sold our old place for more than the new one cost (and it actually IS new). I don't think it is so easy to find 2 acre lots in the country in Denmark as it is here in Canada (or as cheaply).

Thanks for all the positive comments guys. I really feel fortunate to have these great cars and to know all of you — many in person and some only "virtually". That it the best part of Pantera ownership, IMHO.

Originally posted by Mark Charlton: The problem was that I couldn't bring myself to do any irreversible mods to my car. I've done a few nice bolt-ons, but a couple of weekends and it could all be reversed……. Thus the dilemma: to mod, or not to mod. That was the question.

I understand and at first had the same dilemma. My car was a low mile US GTS but as you can see, I managed to get over it. I do appreciate Panteras both for what they were originally and what they can be made to be. I’d like to add a nice original pre-L car some day. 2281 looks to be a very nicely done car and even from the pictures you can tell that paint has some real depth. –Very nice. Now while you did provide some video you omitted the mandatory (full) engine bay picture!! The partial you included was just a tease. I trust there is a gallery page in our future remedying this? Razzer

Congrats on the addition,
Originally posted by Panterror:
Now while you did provide some video you omitted the mandatory (full) engine bay picture!! The partial you included was just a tease. I trust there is a gallery page in our future remedying this?

Once I've done a few things to the car, and cleaned up some minor details, there will be a gallery to share. Until then...


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Once I've done a few things to the car

I can think of very little the car would need - other than a delta wing Wink

Oh, and once you're done, you'll have to create a new image for the Team Pantera Canada transport ... I think David's car is the only one that still looks the same! There's no Goose represented, and Will's car is now a grp4 - it's shameful how outdated it is Big Grin


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Thanks for all the positive comments guys.

Yes, space and budget allowing, there would be a Longchamp, a Vallelunga and a GT5-S (sorry Peter, no Deaville — I'm too young!) in the garage but until that big lottery win (and the even bigger garage...) they will have to wait. Beside, I have my hands MORE than full.

Since getting the car I have been cleaning it up and going over everything. Fixing small things (not much) and getting to know the car thoroughly. Past experience has shown that doing this early is a key element of arriving at the destination with as few surprises as possible. So, up on the lift and wheels off.

Then wash of the last four+ years of road dirt and grime. Hmmm. doesn't look too bad for a 40 year-old car.

I was probably the most surprised when I pulled the splash shields and really went at cleaning up the wheel wells.

Nice components everywhere, and all tight and well installed.

The engine bay didn't need much more than a light dusting.

And while I might not have painted the ZF, it sure is a LOT easier to clean than the rough-cast aluminum in the other car.

Lots of shiny bits on the upper half and, judging from the thick stack of engine-parts invoices, inside as well.

Now I just need to finish a few more small things (horns, parking brakes etc.) and I will be really ready for some more nice weather!

Wow -- I said that before, but wow, what a clean, dry, rust free body. You found this in Canada? Looks like a car from California to me -- absolutely gorgeous. The car also looks very well put together, and what you see is what you got; which looks all good to me!

Got to hand it to you Mark, you really did pick a winner!

Originally posted by Tom@Seal Beach:
Dittos...WOW! Mark did this car ever get driven? Every thing was done well. Clean, no mickey mouse, paints beautiful, great upgrades. Makes me depressed knowing how much work I have to do to get my car back together....mind if I copy? Thanks for posting all the pictures...they are truly motivating!!!

What kind of shocks are those?

Thanks Tom,

Copy away! Consistent with the rest of the stuff on the car, the Shocks are Konis. I wish I had used them on my white car but went with the Aldens instead when I rebuilt that suspension.

One thing I might do is to swap over to slightly softer springs. This car has 450 and 600 lbs (I think I remember reading that on one of the bills) Hyperco springs and the ride is a bit hard for my "firm" ass. It is however VERY sporting and the car handles exceptionally, well based on my limited driving so far. The larger rear sway bar must help somewhat too.

Maybe I just need some extra soft padding in the seats when I re-do the (almost totally stock) interior. Big Grin

The rear bar is 7/8" dia., which I think is the Euro GTS size. Much discussion about these has occurred in the past, but I recall that going any larger than 7/8" actually swings the pendulum back and the handling worsens again. This size, along with the original stock front bar, seems to be the best combination.


Yes, with that nifty removable crossmember that should be an easy bolt-on unless I need to alter the oil pick-up etc. All things in time...

Of course, as I was saying to David B on the weekend. By the time I've got this all cleaned up, I won't want to get it dirty again by driving it. Thankfully my white car is disgustingly filthy now, so I can still enjoy driving something. Big Grin


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