<< Any reason for the propensity for modifications with the Pantera owners? Individual preferences for uniqueness? >>
Most car collectors look for Ferraris, Lambos and other high end exotics. Just saying you own one is cool. Brand name BS. Owning these types of exotic cars is entry to their well bred clubs – wine, cheese and events you can attend, nicely dressed and well mannered.
Most Pantera owners are unlike the above.
They wanted a Pantera the first time they saw it. The look is aggressive and mean. The sound is tough. And men who like Panteras want the actual experience of driving them. Working on them. Experiencing the car - not the BS that goes with being a collector and comparing VIN numbers over a glass of champagne.
Pantera owners’ hands are sort of dirty. Their dress is casual. They don’t like depending on some Euro trash dude in a black suit treating them like shit and never letting them inside the garage – where “other people” will work on your car.
Pantera owners like learning about their cars and how to do their own maintenance. They like putting their foot down hard. They are all about the full experience of enjoying an amazing car that is like no other.
Which leads to the answer to your question…
If you want to drive these cars hard and get the full fun factor out of the ownership experience, then you will need to upgrade these 40 yr old wonders. It’s easy to get more power out of these 351 Ford motors. So you will also want to upgrade the brakes and suspension to go with it. With very little work, you will be able to leave those $300,000 exotics in your rear view mirror - maybe not on a 2 hour road course, but surely in any street race. And that’s what matters. Then it’s wheels and tires and electrics and all the nice trim options that can make it your own.
There is no “little red book” telling you what is legit or not. Legit in the Pantera world is whatever enhances your experience with these crazy beasts.
Maximum pleasure. Limited bull$#it.