I have owned a 1972 Pantera since 2015 and am trying to find information on its history. VIN is THPNMR02778, so I know it was produced in February of 1972. I tried obtaining a deluxe Marti Report on it; however, the good folks over there told me my car was initially sold to the overseas market and later imported to the US by an owner. That is as much as they could tell me, as they apparently can provide information only on Pantera cars that were imported and sold here by Ford through the Ford dealerships. Thus far I have been able to find out that Alejandro DeTomaso, not so happy right off the start with the Ford US imported cars, started building several GTS models in February 1972. The earliest title I have found on my car is from the state of Vermont, and that lists it as a GTS "sub-model." That is all the information Vermont DMV could provide me. I am trying to find out if this is one of the original GTS models built by Alejandro back in February 1972. Also, I am trying to track down any previous owners to this car so I could put together an ownership history on the car. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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European Panteras were called GTS then.
The US GTS would have GT in the serial number.
European cars could have been built with some options not available on US cars such as a steering wheel or a Holley carb.
In fact Group 3 cars were essentially European street cars with performance options added by "the factory" and I suppose even a dealer like Dubois?
The original invoice would be the only way to tell now and yes, Marti only has Ford's US sales records.
Rocky, I am blown away. That is my car! How did you find this? I just called and left a message for the individual named "Dan." I am praying and hoping he calls me back. I will post updates. Thank you!!!
Hi Fuzz -
This is a snippet of the information available in the ProvaMo registry. It’s great stuff once you get access to it.
I hope you are successful in finding more information on your car.
OBTW: You didn’t fly fighters for the Nomads, did you? Probably a long shot, but one of the pilots there had the same call sign!
Rocky, thank you again. Still waiting for mystery "Dan" to call me back.
To answer your question, although I have served almost 29 years, unfortunately not as the capacity of a fighter pilot for the Nomads. My service has come in law enforcement; however, I have had the nickname Fuzz since I was in 7th grade while attending the American Community School in Athens, Greece. Kids were having difficulty pronouncing my name, and another 7th grader by the name of Erika Moore said: "I know, let's call him Fuzz!" Well, the rest is history. The nickname stuck, and decades later I became the Fuzz. LOL
Let me see if I can attach some photos of my Pantera for your viewing.
So I was able to obtain a lot more information from the lead provided by Rocky. "Dan" called me back, and he turned out to be the owner of Handy Chevrolet in St. Albans, VT. Dan sold the car to me on consignment from Johnnie McCraken. Dan told me the engine was done by Tim Quintin from Quintin Brothers Auto in Williston, VT. Dan has agreed to provide me with Johnnie McCraken's number so I could speak with him directly and see if he has any records, documentation, and old photos of the car and the work done on it.
I called Tim Quintin and spoke with him directly. He recalled the car and Johnnie McCraken well; however, he said he only did engine dyno-tuning on the car. He said to me that Roy Waine had done a ton of work on the Pantera, and he is the one to call.
So I was able to speak with Roy Waine from Roy Waine's Auto Body in St. Albans, VT. He remembered the car well and recalled that Johnnie McCraken had bought the Pantera at an auction and drove it home, and that it was a GTS model. Sometime shortly after he had bought it, McCraken had seen a GT5 and wanted his GTS converted to a GT5. According to Roy Waine, the GT5 package was bought from Hall Pantera in California and he and his crew spent months converting the European GTS to a GT5. He said they completely stripped the car of all its paint and repainted it again with a Mercedes red. The car was originally red to begin with, so the color was the same, but just not a Mercedes red originally. Also, the interior was black, and Johnnie wanted it white, so Dennis Cameron (long retired) was commissioned to redo all the interior to white leather to match GT5 interiors. Roy said a ton of money was spend by Johnnie McCraken to convert the car to a GT5. I asked how much, and he responded he didn't remember the exact number, but he remembers it was a lot of money. Roy also said all the engine work was done actually by John Keefer from RPM motors. A simple Google search kept me going further.
I contacted RPM Rick's Racing Engines, Georgia, VT, and spoke to owner Rick Paya. Rick proved to be a great guy, just like Dan, Tim, and Roy had been. All very friendly indeed and eager to talk about the Pantera they had worked on 30 years ago. He ended up remembering much more than he thought he remembered at first. He said he was a young man who was just starting out in engine building and was hired by John Keefer. John Keefer and Rick completely redid the Pantera's engine, balancing it, putting a performance cam in it, putting on aluminum intakes, boring it .30 over, putting performance valve springs, and increasing the engine compression. He said John Keefer might have more information, to include photos (maybe) of the work. He provided me with contact info on John Keefer, and I have placed a call to him and waiting to hear from him.
As soon as I have more information from John Keefer and Johnnie McCraken, I will update this post. I figure one day I will be gone and someone else will end up with this beautiful and amazing machine, so it would be nice for them to have some information on 02778.
A big THANK YOU to Rocky for providing me with the bread crumbs I needed to follow.
Happy to help, and glad you were able to uncover so much information!
Great detective work!
Thanks for sharing. Love it when folks research theirs cars' history.