I purchased this car built by Al Oppie a former Boeing engineer. It has a 494 Aluminum Block Yenko engine. A hewland A box transaxle. The rear tires are 14 inches wide with no exterior modifications. Engine runs on fuel injection now and we are working on the transaxle. I am thinking that I will keep the car as close to his original idea, but am open to suggestions.


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Perhaps it was necessary to fit the wide rears?
Though more likely he had no original power train and started from there. Just speculating.

Man those rears look awesome. Reminds me of the 'pro-street' look that was popular in the late 80's - early 90's. Most of them were 13 second cars dressed as 8 second cars Smiler
All I know is that it is a Hewland "A" box with special low and reverse gear for town driving. I have been told that it was a transaxle used for formula one racing in the 70's -no idea if that is accurate. I believe Mr. Opie opted for this transaxle so that he could have the extra wide tires without need for external modification.

I met Al Oppie at his shop around 1989. From your pictures it appears the car hasn’t changed much since then. So as far as “suggestions”, I would recommend changing out those Goodyear rain race tires (and any other rubber)! I don’t expect they were the most enjoyable tires for street driving, even back when they were ~30 years newer.

If you’re looking to maximize the market value, the trend seems to be toward keeping, or returning, our Panteras to mostly “stock”, or at least "stock appearing". But your car is certainly a time capsule that represents a different thinking about Panteras that was probably more “accepted” in the 80’s.

Chevy’s in Panteras will produce the predictable range of opinions and suggestions, but I thought it was a great car when I saw in in '89 … and as one man’s unique vision of the ultimate Pantera back in the 1980’s, I think it still stands up as an amazing car.

Congratulations on the purchase.


BTW, the Hewland wasn’t needed to fit the rear tires, but the suspension components and pick-up points were completely re-engineered by Mr. Oppie. It had (has?) much shorter upper a-arms and higher pick-up points.
since then. So as far as “suggestions”,

The distributor is on the wrong end of the engine!


Anyway - good luck with the car - I agree, it's a time capsule. Aesthetically, though, maybe you want to get rid of the "plumber's tape" (the metal bracing with the regular holes), and see if there is a way to fab up more eye-pleasing bracketry to hold things in place?

Is it a dry sump motor?

Have fun with it.


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