Hi all! I am brand new to this board and feel fortunate to have found it!

Since I was a child, I have had a real love for exotic cars. I have been an avid reader of motor trend and road and track since about the age of ten. My extensive collection of "pocket cars" (which are far superior to hot wheels or matchbox cars, but no longer made)has since been handed down to my 2 year old son, and included a silver and black pantera.

Recently, I have been considering the fullfilment of my life long dream of owning an exotic car. I am leaning toward a later model Lotus Esprit, as they seemed fairly refined and are reasonably priced.

Today however, I had occasion to talk to a new neighbor, who happens to own a Pantera. He is a very nice guy, who was totally willing to show me his car and share a bit if his experiences with it, with me.

His car is beautiful! As it turns out, he purchased it as a project in 1989, and spent the next 7 years rebuilding it from the ground up. There is no bondo on the car, rather all new sheet metal. ALL of the running gear has been replaced with either new or rebuilt components. This thing is a gem! In fact, it is probably better than new, because the fit and finish he put into it has tighter tolerances and better detail than when new. (something I have heard of before)

All that said (and sorry for the long winded post) he has decided he wants to sell the car. Basically, because there just arent that many places one can drive it as it was meant to be driven. So, I checked out traderonline, and see that these cars (I am pretty sure he said this was a 74) sell for less than 30K. I didn't ask him what he would sell his for, but he did comment that these cars just never struck a major chord with that eclectic group of collectors.

So, although this is a much older car than I was thinking of buying, I believe it may be a better long term deal, because even though the pantera isnt too expensive, I think it might at least hover around the price I paid for it, should I opt to buy it. Plus, I consider this car to be a bit of a "vintage/classic/exotic" car from the era of "REAL" muscle cars.

The adrenaline inspiring scream of a mid engined good ole fashioned V8. Not to mention, the simplicity due to the lack of stupid computers, catalytic converters, etc.

Finally, I am rather fond of the look of the new model with the flared fenders and high wing. I know this is prbably sacreligious, but is it possible to add? Perhaps just the wing, although I am not sure how that might look. I am not toally up on Panteras, so I figured I would defer to the experts here.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to read and respond to this post! I will try to keep them shorter in the future!

John
Original Post
Converting an early unflaired Pantera to the later GT-5 or GT-5-S look is possible; Gary Hall has done numerous cars as has Wilkinson Panteras and others. But to do this right, expect to pay upwards of $15,000. There are probably 50 ft of welds to make after the purchase of the four new fenders and other essentials. The entire car is stripped to the bone for the work. Then you'll need much wider wheels and big tires that will add maybe another $5000, especially if big brakes like the late cars used, are added. This is one reason why the late cars sell for $40-60,000 (not counting their rarity- only about 150 were ever built) while a nice early Pantera can be had for maybe $22-28,000, that will do most if not all that a late car will do except look curvaceous. I advise looking for a late car, or an early that's already converted (which may need redoing if it wasn't done correctly).
I just bought one last year for most of your same reasons. I too looked at Lotus, but they seemed too high-maintenance. Whether it's "right" or not, a wing can be added, easily. I say, if YOU like it, add it, you can lose it later, easily. There are a lot of them sold used when someone removes theirs. I agree that a full 5S conversion is not reasonable, but the wing's cheap. I think it's better to shop for a good solid rust-free car, wing or not, and add the wing if you need to. If you really like the flare/wing look, wait for an original one. They're out there and not too expensive if you're patient. Take your time shopping, it'll be worth it.
Thanks for the replies, to date! The more I look around the net, the more I think I like the car without the wing...although I do like the updated look of the flared fenders and new valance in front.

Keep those replies coming!
I too just bought my dream car. I saw it in 1970 at my uncles dealership in Detroit, it's a Pantera. I have owned my 1974 L for 6 months. I found it in a garage 50k miles, the Guy bought a vette and didn't want it anymore, it had not moved in 10 years. I did the work myself rebuilt the ignition, charging, & fuel systems for $600 try that with another exotic!
btw: I turned down $7000 more than I paid for the car already. It is a keeper, I will own it after I can't drive anymore(my guess, 90 years old, I'm 42 now). The car rips and drives like a slot car, I keep looking for the pin in the road.It is not as fast as my 700 hp Blown Altered but time will change that. See you at an event just look for the redhead big guy with a smile ear to ear.


Joe Bernardi joe_bernardi@hotmail.com
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