I'm new to this board and but have been a Pantera fan for some time. I'm in the market for one and would like some feedback/input, biased or not, on
best models or years made as far as performance, ride quality, reliability, etc. Any particular issues with certain years?

Thanks
Original Post
Clearly the BEST Panteras are narrow body pre-L cars in yellow - but then, I'm biased! Big Grin

Due to the acceptance of modifications in Pantera-land, you'll find every Pantera is different. And depending on the seats and steering wheel, you'll find that each one fits differently. Look at and drive as many different cars as you can and you'll form your own opinion/expectation of what the right car will feel like.

As for reliability, it's a Mustang engine! No less reliable. If the car has had common upgrades - correct or upgraded radiator, correct thermostat, etc. you shouldn't have any cooling problems.

Actually, the car is surprisingly practical. I drove mine daily for the first 4-5 years I owned it, until I spun a rod bearing.

Check out my website to learn more about my adventure.
Here's a link you may find helpful:

http://www.panteraplace.com/page74.htm

Personally, I suggest you first decide which basic body style jazzes you. Then narrow your search from there. The main choices being the 71/1st part of 72 "pre-L" (narrow body, small bumperettes); later 72-74 "L" (still narrow body, but having larger heavier bumpers); GTS (small riveted fender flares, contrasting black paint on front & rear hoods); Group 4 (wide wheel flares, deep chin spoiler, generally with no boxed rockers nor wing); GT-5 (wide wheel flares, deep chin spoiler, generally with boxed rockers & rear wing); GT-5S (similar to GT-5 but one-piece steel fender flares with smoother transitions from flare to fender). A number of earlier pre-L & L Panteras have been converted to the flared styles. The genuine articles of the GTS, Group 4, GT-5, & GT-5S command a price premium over conversions so long as in good condition.

Regarding color, spend some time. I personally think some colors look best on narrow-body Panteras and other colors look best on widebody cars. And some color you initially like may be a nontraditional Pantera color for that style that you may come to regret, so get involved with some other owners if possible.

The major dash change was from the 2-pod (separate humps for Speedo & Tach) in the pre-Ls generally, to the single-pod dash roughly thereafter. The genuine GT-5 and GT-5S cars had squared-off inner fenders in the rear. Earlier cars had the more typical rounded inner fenders in the engine bay you'll see.

In general the splash shields got somewhat better going from 71 to 74 & later, while the engine compressions went down & emissions systems went up, but relatively few Panteras at this point have unmodified drivetrains so at that point just compare and pick based on condition, upgrades, taste, etc.

FWIW,

Lee
SMILE ....Now Garth,
I almost agree "Clearly the BEST Panteras are narrow body (pre-) L cars in yellow - but then, I'm biased too Cool!

GZL1 the L vs non L is the mandated 5 mph crash test in the late 1972-3 era by the Fed Gov
The L = Lusso,, black bumpers kind of make the sharp point in the front which I like from a side view and the L cars have had a lot of the kinks worked out of them by Ford. The hard working group of Pre-L owners got them and had to fix them themselves.

Check out the website and other site like Garth's everyone here is friendly.

You have a few ways to go you can buy a car and do the work which is what I did (I knew about my car for 15 years before I bought it.) Or you can buy a perfect car and then do what you want to it to make it yours. Just take your time and take a new P car friend to look at the one you want to buy.

I drive mine when I can, just make sure once you buy yours to not let the kids driving along side you fall out of their cars trying to take pictures of yours SMILE roll on floor
GLZ1: One thing you'll notice is there is little to no value in maintaining a Pantera in "original" condition (unless its unique like the 100 original mile Pantera or the very first Pantera made which have been discussed here). Matching numbers really doesn't mean much. One source of information on model differences is Chuck Melton's site www.provamo.com. For buying tips go to the PanteraPlace website. Also, DeTomaso had a habit of mixing and matching parts. There is no distinct line of when one model ended and another started e.g. you'll find a '72 with the newer single pod dash and 10 serial numbers later find one with a two pod dash. If you like the single pod dash style you could retro-fit it with the early style bumpers and most likely lose no value. One other change is the later models used Windsors instead of Clevelands. But can always retro-fit that too!
Guys, thanks a lot for the informative information. I will certainly utilize the web sites listed. Those that I've seen all look impressive. Any reason for the propensity for modifications with the Pantera owners? Individual preferences for uniqueness?
<< 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.
  
quote:
some Euro trash dude

Big Grin

quote:
Owing a Pantera is like dating a hooker

Could we say "stripper", sounds better. Or is it the same thing? BTW, owning is better than owing

I realize that this post may go down in history as this Forum's least helpful, but I had fun...
GZL1,
Hooker is such a bad word, how about an Italian mistress. Big Grin
As for the issue of what is needed to make the Pantera compete with the F and L cars... My question is, do I need to show people what I have under the hood?
Stock the car is thunderously loud and fast. The body style is very sexy (that Italian hooker again). Think of a 71 mustang, on a big diet on steroids.
Here in Florida I seen more of “those (F&L)” cars than I have seen in CT where I came from. Everyone I have driven up next to, I have smiled, and they have returned the smile. I just thump and putt away.
It is best to let them think they can beat you than let the cops take the car. Eeker I can tell you that the people, that have the wear with all / means, can make the cars superfast. My car is almost bone stock and I like it that way, but I just pull along-side someone with a really fast car who looks at me with that look, you know that look, the look that says I know you are fast and beautiful but I can take you… (He / she think’s). That is when I purge the NOS system which sends a cloud of nitrous out the grill over the roof with a nice LED light to let them know he is screwed and don’t even try. It is only when I am by myself when the trouble starts, Oh what I would give for the FHP to close the Turnpike for 100 miles or so. I just don't know what car I would take the 450hp stang or the 700 hp model T maybe the screamin eagle vrod. You see Life is choices make your wisely and If I can help let me know. PS my wife says you can have my car for $120,000 I say I am keepin the car but you have my ex-wife for free. roll on floor
BTW Tampa… Welcome to the neighborhood. My car is across state (2 houses don’t ask) but we can get together for a cold one someday or if you ride I have a scoot over here.
Mikael "stripper" is wrong, and Joe "mistress" doesn't cut it either.

Dave2811 had his tongue in cheek, when he remarked about that famous saying - as it comes from my Pantera Passion web site.

So let me explain the deep meaning... Roll Eyes

Being married to classy "prima" ballerina must be a trip. Certainly sophisticated but, sheesh - tempermental. You can see how flexible ballet dancers are. So you can imagine that being married to one from time to time those legs must be a treat. When everything is just right. Ferrari.

On the other hand, there's the hooker. You know what will happen. There will be no surprises. This is what they do. They are professional. And they do it well. Not so sophisticated. But wow. Every time.
Pantera.

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