Originally posted by pantera chris:
Ford was also on the hook for 7500 Z.F. 5 speed trans-axles transmissions @ $1200.00 ea, yes, the transmission in your car was and is worth 3 times what your stock engine is and was worth. These also were never paid for by DeTomaso $9,000,000.00. The additional Transmissions ( 1500 ) were purchased for the Ford standard 1-year or 12,000 miles warranty, Ford subsequently ended up destroying 1450 transmissions at the termination of the program @ $1,740,000.00 Yes, pallets of Z.F.s fork lifted into dumpsters by Ford. Z.F. Friedrichshafen is the largest transmission manufacture in the world, due in no small part to it's involvement with Ford.
I think that many just don't understand the relationship between Ford and their "pet" manufacturers?
Three that I can think of off hand are Shelby, Detomaso and Holman-Moody.
Once you are in, you pay for nothing. Ford pays for everything.
You keep the money you make from selling the cars and Ford pays all of the particulars AND pays the key person a "personal services" fee.
In addition "you" get payed a guaranteed fee for each car sold, personally.
What "you" choose to do with that money is up to "you".
So really the story is true that you were told, but not a complete one. Detomaso never paid for any of that, Ford did, but that's part of the deal Ford gives.
Ford has always understood that there was absolutely no profit to be made on any of these cars.
They were going to be a loss.
The edict comes down from Corporate that these cars will be built. The numbers on the loss were already looked at and approved.
The Pantera was built at a loss. Numbers that I heard back then were something like an $11,000 loss per car. Maybe that was just the final audit number after all was said and done?
Remember there was a "guaranteed buy back number" on the Pantera to original owners trading in on a new Ford product. That would be part of the loss number I think?
You will NEVER find these numbers written down anywhere. I suppose that could be considered "evidence" in court?
They generally leak out because of a casual mentioning of them years after by someone from the inner circle that thought it didn't matter anymore?
On the Pantera project, Vignale was contracted to build the cars, then Ford purchased them outright.
When the program was discontinued, it is said there were something like 150 cars still on their assembly line. Ford wanted no part of them anymore.
These "people" become the "red headed" foster child and Ford "disowns them" so to speak?
Ford decided to give the uncompleted cars to Detomaso for $1, and they paid the dollar.
Furthermore Ford's decision was to close down Vignale. Pick your reasons why but it is probably some sort of payback for being difficult while building the cars for Ford? What happen to it after words I don't know. I THINK they just let the place rot?
Back in the day the leak on the "Boss 429" was a $3,200 loss per car. That didn't matter to Ford then or on any of these other cars because the advertising and notariaty of all of these cars was to them worth far more than the loss would indicate.
In fact, it could be called "priceless" in today's terms.
Just look at the list of these cars and the POSITIVE association of them to Ford STILL TO THIS DAY.
The tradition caries on today with the new Ford GT. The sticker on the car is just basically an arbitrary number in a sense BUT it is selected because they want the car categorized at a certain "level".
In this case it is as much to rub the noses of the "exotic" car builders in "do-do" as anything. It's a way of saying the car is better than "theirs" and it's 1/2 the price.
In addition Ford is going to prove the value of the car by Factory sponsored racing it.
The older Ford GT that the current model replaces is the same story.
It had an arbitrary number put on the sticker just to classify it as exclusive.
Someone projected the loss number on that car a few years ago but I don't remember EXACTLY but it was speculative in the sense that a "spokesman" from Ford said something to the effect of "we didn't care if the car is sold at a profit, we were going to build it to show the world what we can do".
$75,000 per unit, after all tooling and engineering costs were considered I think was the speculation?
So in the case of Detomaso, I think what happened was that Ford just lost it's patience with dealing with an independent Italian car manufacturer and moved on?
The concept they had initially had changed but I have heard Ford acknowledging them of as recent?
No one is left there that was associated with the project so in corporate speak you don't render opinions that will be the title to your dismissal?
I wonder if they would have done the same thing to Ferrari if the deal in '63 had gone through?
Food for thought but I say...probably. A leopard can't change it's spots?