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Is the model year stamped anywhere on the car? The Marti report indicates that my vehicle is a 1974, and the vehicle does have the 1974 Emission Control Tag. Arguing with the State of Michigan over the actual model year of the car. Is there any Ford outlet that can provide Ford documentation for the Model year?
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Lets look at a sample VIN number & break it down: THPNNK06521. With regard to the VIN number, the 5th & 6th character gives the production info. For example THPNNK. That NK tells me the car is Oct '73. ND for November, NE December. Beginning Jan of '74 [and all 1974's ~usually~ carry P codes but I have seen & owned exceptions. Example THPNPL the PL is a Jan 1974. PY Februrary. PS March, PT April. I used the word ~usually~ because some cars were held back due to paint issues or perhaps they developed a mechanical ill or were damaged at the factory. Several examples come to mind but that's outside the scope of the inquiry. Such notes can be found in the Van Ess Registry & perhaps with Chuck Milton as well. Hope this helps.
I would think the Marti report would have been enough.
A simplified version of the information below is printed on page 2 of the orange parts book.
Pantera International can also provide a statement to your state agency on club letterhead, free of charge, if that would help.

De Tomaso Calendar Production Year 1971
1001 - 1382 Pushbuttons (January 71 - April 71)
1383 - 2292 Chrome Bumper Pre-L (April 71 - December 71)

De Tomaso Calendar Production Year 1972
2293 - 4268 Chrome Bumper Pre-L (January 72 - August 72)
4269 - 4839 1972-1/2 Black Bumper Pantera L (August 72 - December 72)

Shortened Transitional Year 1973
4840 - 5899 Black Bumper Pantera L (January 73 - June 73)

Ford Fiscal Production Year 1974
5900 - 7380 Black Bumper Pantera L (July 73 - August 74)

There are a few pushbutton models that are exceptions to this scheme,
their final assembly occurred later than April 1971.

The project to build Panteras became a joint project between Ford and
De Tomaso Automobili in Spring 1970 when Ford bought-out the interests
of De Tomaso Automobili's former partners, the Rowan Controller Company
of New Jersey. The businesses owned and controlled by the partnership
were united under a new company named "De Tomaso Inc."

De Tomaso Automobili built cars on the calendar year, Ford built cars
on the fiscal year. "De Tomaso Inc." began building Panteras on the
calendar year following the protocol of De Tomaso Automobili.

De Tomaso Automobili sold their 20% interest in "De Tomaso Inc." to
Ford in late 1972. De Tomaso Automobili retained the use of the name
De Tomaso, therefore Ford renamed "De Tomaso Inc." as "Ghia Operations".
The businesses comprising "Ghia Operations" were no longer subject to
any influence by De Tomaso Automobili. The reckoning of a "model year"
was therefore aligned with Ford's business practice.

Thus 1973 became a transitional year from one reckoning of a "model
year" to the other; it began in January as per De Tomaso Automobili
practice, but ended in June as per Ford practice. The 1973 "model year"
was therefore only 6 months long.

Notice also the 1974 model year was 14 months long.
Last edited by George P
Personally I don't think it is worth the effort to have something like that changed.
I doubt that many Pantera buyers would even care.
The model year discrepancy is just part of the unique history of that car in particular.
There are small changes to cars in groups throughout production, then you have US vs. Euro, so I think you worry about very little.
You might have someone who is a speculator quibble over this, basically to just get a better price from the seller but you are going to find that now buyers are much more knowledgeable about the quirks of these cars and in fact that is part of the attraction to them?
The main problem is differentiating 'Build- Date' with 'First-Sold/Registered-Date'. Some cars weren't sold for 6 or more months after they were completed. Historically, some '74 Panteras were registered as '73s due to ever-changing smog requirements at the time. Ford re-registered 30 brand-new GTS models for legal sale in CA as '73s to beat CA's smog requirements. Then the CA legislature passed a smog-exemption law back in the day that cut off with the '73s, further encouraging 'correction'. A few other States followed. A nice mess all around.
Boss Wrench Hi it's Sharkey. I have one that can top that mess you spoke of, how about a car built with production month code of PL [Jan 74] but VIN on the car in three places [kick box, data tag, & dash] have the code NE for Dec '73! Title? Carried the PL. Now let's think about this for a moment. The factory releases the car that way, the car leaves Italy on a ship. Goes through TWO ports. Nobody checks the VIN. Only the PL & NE are mixed up. How did they not notice? No problem, so it ends up at Lincoln Mercury. They ALSO didn't check the VIN. Ford sells the car like that, the new owner never knew. 1980 rolls around, car gets sold a second time. Nobody notices or cares. Fast forward, car gets sold once again in 1989 when the second owner dies. Ditto. A few years ago the car sells yet again, still floating with this title/vehicle issue. Car goes from an MSO to title, to title [2nd owner] to title, & to title again. Problem pops up. Now the state won't issue a title, car has to go to DMV. Finally they caught it. Insurance won't cover the car. Problem is, most title issues involve missing a letter or number, 6 instead of 9 or l instead of I, but this? No, this is blatant. The car is way over 7000 on the VIN. It's for sure a 1974. Next stop, DMV [not tag agency], try to title it? DMV LOVES to cut numbers off cars. They may cut the numbers off the car right then and reassign it. Opps. What's just happened to the value of a 75 thousand dollar car. Would someone take that chance? Let's go back to the beginning for a moment, back to Lincoln Mercury. What would they have done if they saw the mistake, send the car back on a boat? I don't think so. SELL IT! Crazy stuff went on back then, factory goofs are ~still~ showing up 45 years later.
California is infamous for having its own air pollution regulations which are always a bit more stringent than the Federal regulations. Ford did not bother to get the 351C 4V smog certified in California for 1974. 1974 was the last year of production for the 351C 4V, and rather than get the engine double certified (Federal & California) they simply omitted the engine as an option for California Ford & Mercury buyers.

My 1974 Pantera was originally sold in California, so it was re-documented as a 1973 as all California Panteras were that year. It spent all of its early years in the state, but eventually was taken north by owners in Oregon and Washington. Then Mike Mayberry brought it back to California circa 2003.

It is registered today in the state of California as a 1973/1974 De Tomaso Pantera. Dual years. California seems to be alright with that.

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