Hello all,
I am a new member so please pardon if this post is in the wrong forum.
Living in SoCal, 62 and being retired from over 40 years as a light aircraft mechanic.
Good news is that at last I'll should have time for a non-major Pantera project. I would like to drive the car while bringing it up to solid mechanical condition.I want to enjoy the car before I die so not too interested in spending the rest of my life fighting corrosion. Done enough of that on airplanes.
I am trying to come up to speed on these cars but the pricing is confusing.
What factors do you guys see as major pricing elements ?
I think that a newbie buyer could benefit a lot by having a Panter sherpa / sherpas who could prevent him from falling into a big hole or off the big cliff. So I'm asking for some help.Please !
I think I'm looking for as original (unmolested) as I can find but that does not seem to drive the price as with other cars.
Also have a question about the GTS models. I was looking at one (1989, S/N 9193) that is on ebay and was wonder if it would be possible to get a car like that through a CA smog inspection ? I know nothing about "grey market" cars.
Thanks all.

Original Post
Don't confuse the GTS with the GT5. Two entirely different cars.
Regarding the sherpa question. California is the epicenter of the Pantera world in the US, if not the world. Its highly recommended you have a sit down with an owner and talk about the ins and outs of the cars. Its also recommended an experienced owner inspect any potential buys.
And, yes, an '89 model can make it through the stifling California system depending, of course, on any modifications that may have been made.
Kirk Evans, who created Amerisport, was key to the importation of cars for the US market. You can find him on this forum.
The Pantera market is a bit unique. Where Corvette, Ferrari, Shelby, etc. prices are heavily dependent on originality, the Pantera, not so much. A very original, low miles car can get just as much money as a well executed modified car.
Hi Doug,
I am getting my '72 back this coming week after a 3.5 year modification/restoration stint that was all designed to make the car more drivable as I found myself never driving it. Modifications can be absolutely essential (like cooling system), very desirable (like better seats and belts, more luxurious inteior), or abysmal (like massive fender flares etc.). You have to decide what you want out of the car you purchase. Since I'm also in Los Angeles, why don't you message me, and you're welcome to take mine out for a day or two, and see some of the modifications I've done to make me want to enjoy driving it. I'm 65, and like you, don't have the patience to wait any longer to have a sports car that puts a grin on my face. Give me a call, and we can share some notes.

Welcome, there are some subtle differences to the post Ford era cars i.e. 9000 series VIN numbers.

The later chassis' were made by Embo and have squared off inner fenders, the floor pans are lower, so extra headroom and interior's finished in a later style crinkle leather look (seen on the door panel). The early 9100-9300 are transition cars with various changes made as De Tomaso ran out of old Ford parts.

The seller of #9193 has done nothing to help maximize the sales price using poor photos IMO. This is quite a rare car (late series and narrow body) and could end up being a bargain, depending what is lurking underneath.

I don’t know the cut off, but I thought the first 9000 series cars had a recall (at the owner’s expense). The coachbuilder was Maggioria, or something like that. There is information about this on this site.

Might want to check on this, and be sure...

(Sure that I’m not leading you on a wild goose chase, sure that this car was not affected, and if it was, sure that it was handled correctly and that the car was upgraded.)

Hey Doug.

I'm the president of Pantera International, the first Pantera club, and only international De Tomaso club. We're not too far away. I was born in Torrance, my wife Debbie was born in Culver City. We're currently located in Ventura. As club president I'm also the forum administrator (its just Debbie and I, Pantera International is a mom & pop organization).

You've come to the right place for guidance. There is lots of past info stored here, and members who will respond "live" to you inquiries within a short time. If you ever want to hang-out and pick my brain shoot me a message and we'll plan a get together. I enjoy hanging out with De Tomaso enthusiasts. The drinks are always on me.

As a fellow California resident, living within one of the zones that requires bi-annual smog inspection, I wouldn't own a Pantera newer than 1974.

If you want to meet a bunch of other owners I suggest the Concorso Italiano in Monterrey, which occurs in mid-August. I will get an advertisement for the Concorso posted very soon.
Based on VIN sequence, #9193 was built well after the transition from Maggiora Carozzeria to Embo. I have factory documents on record that show #9191, for example, to have been an Embo coach, sold in 1981 (factory invoice dated April 17, 1981). This, by the way, calls into question the owner's claim that the car is a 1979. It is almost certainly a 1981.

As Julian says, a GTS model with a VIN after #9100 is very rare and, being in the middle to the GT5 production run, the car would have been built to a special order (although it could be argued all De Tomaso cars built during this period were, to one degree or another, custom orders).
Wow, you guys are a good bunch.
First thank you for the advise and tips.
Second, if you invite me chances are I'm accept so be careful.
I'm in the process of shutting down - selling off 40 years of aircraft parts and tools so my spare time is nonexistent.
The GTS offered on eBay is exactly what I'm looking for. I can bring a machine back to life that has been inactive. What I can't do is a major crash or corrosion rebuild.
The guy offering the car (9193) seems to be not too modivated to sell. Probably loves it while the wife hates it.Been there.
Also I am not wild about what seems like a semi one off car.
Even though I've been reading what I can find I'm not sure exactly what makes a GTS a GTS other than it's post Ford. Would that be a draw back ?
Since the car is L/H steering I would assume it was intended for export. If so would it be considered " grey car " ?
If I go serious on 9193 you guys have any contacts I could hire to give it a once over ? I do not have the time now for a trip to Long Island.
Last, you all have some absolutely beautiful machines.If they run like they look I'd you guys are true masters of the Pantera craft. Good craft masters are very hard to find today.
Last of the last, I may not know squat about Panteras but I do know general aviation / light aircraft inside out. If any members need help or advise please contact me at smaviationdoug@gmail.com and I'll try to pay back the help you've offered.
Thanks again.
According to the ad 9193 is a 1979 car. The euro GTS's actually had performance modifications. Higher compression, solid lifter engine, bigger wheels, suspension improvements. The US GTS's had cosmetic add ons like fender flares, paint scheme, etc.

http://www.panteraplace.com is a great resource. In the technical section, near the bottom, is a link to a good buyers guide. There's also a registry at http://www.provamo.com but you have to register a De Tomaso (ANY De Tomaso, yours or not) to become a member.
The later cars were basically custom built to order, you could have anything you wanted at a price!

There are also stories of customers paying for upgraded engines etc. and later tearing into it to find it was bone stock...
Punkdog, do not be deterred by 9193 being a "semi one-off car". On the contrary, this makes it potentially more valuable on re-sale, which would help you justify/recoup the costs of the restoration. It being a special order car will make no difference to the ease with which it can be restored. You will not have any difficulties finding parts. We have great vendors that, between them, stock any replacement part you could conceivably need.

Husker, I understand that 9193 is advertised by the owner as a 1979. My point was that I believe this to be an error, for the reasons I set out.

What you say about the Euro vs. US spec GTS Panteras is absolutely correct for the Ford-era cars. However, as far as I know, post-1980 GTS imports into the US were equipped similarly or identically to the GT5 and GT5-S in terms of the mechanical and interior upgrades that came in 1980. I am aware of only one (unconfirmed) L in the 9000 series (9047). In other words, starting with 9001 the GTS effectively became the "base" model and not an upgrade. In terms of the differences between European and US GTSs in the 9000 series, my impression is that they were built on a custom order basis, at such a low volume, and brought to the US under so many different circumstances that I would hesitate to make a generalization about the respective equipment and trim levels.
I had my neck out on this one but I bought the car and it is amazing. Much nicer than I hoped.
I have bought cars in the past that had been inactive for log periods but never have I seen one like this. The rubber ( molding and hoses ) look almost new. The only part of the car that show age is the leather interior which I think can be restored with some TLC.
All the brake calipers were frozen so I had to remove them to move the car into my garage.
Have not had any time to work on anything for the last 3 weeks but now I do.
Fingers crossed that the engine will come to life without a hitch.
This car is an absolute survivor and being so probably deserves to be left in it's original condition.
Any thoughts or advise are welcome. Specially concerning leather restoration and caliper rebuilding. Not yet sure what calipers are on the car. Need help jacking as my floor jack will not slide under the car.
Yahoo fun project in the garage. I love machines.
Will post photos when I can move the car.
Thanks all.
Congratulations, Punkdog! I hope the car will be as rewarding for you as it has been for the rest of us here. I also hope you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was when I first bought my Pantera by the incredibly supportive De Tomaso community. I have made many friends across the world as a direct result of participating in various De Tomaso events and on this forum.

There are a number of maintenance and upgrade checklists available for new owners, and I would urge you to use them to make sure your car will be safe and reliable. I recommend "Unsafe at Any Speed?" by Ted Mitchell, "Best Fixes for Under $20" by Banzai Runner, "Pantera Upgrade and Technical Information" by Garth Rodericks, "Pantera Woes" by Dave Doddek and "How to Buy a Pantera" by Cory Gehling. PM me with your email address if you would like me to send any of these to you.

Also be sure to check out Mike Dailey's web site "The Pantera Place":


Be sure to subscribe to the DeTomasoList email forum at:


And last, but certainly not least, take time to dig deep on this De Tomaso Forum and don't be afraid to post questions.

You will need to always be aware when ordering parts that late model Panteras have many differences from Ford-era cars, and some vendors are better than others at knowing the difference. The onus will be on you to make sure you do your research beforehand or you can find yourself running into expense, delay and hassle returning parts that are wrong.

Best of luck, and be sure to post photos and updates!
Oh, and, as for the floor jack question, there are two solutions. Either buy a low profile floor jack (readily available at most auto supply outlets) or get some buddies to help you push the car on to a couple of planks to raise it enough to get your current jack under it. I highly recommend the former option.
I bought a couple of long, low profile floor jacks from Harbor Freight. With some 2x6s or 3/4" plywood cut for load spreading I can lift either under the A-arms or at strong mount locations (not the body jack points). A hole in the right place or a notch allows safe, good load spreading pickup. I also have aluminum ramps/stands that I can drive one end up on then lift the other end with the two jacks. This puts the car plenty high for me to work under it. Of course, when lifted up with the jacks, put some stands in place for safety.
Firstly congratulations and welcome to Pantera ownership, which is just the entry to a larger and friendly community of like minded folks!

The HF low profile jacks are what I have too, got them on a discounted weekend with 25% off coupon and they are cheap as nuts.

Depending on the state of the leather some conditioning cream may be all that's required to make it supple again, for a deeper restoration I have had some prior success with the strip and redye treatments, albeit a lot of work to do right.

If you have vented discs calipers may be a GP3 style which are more than capable, rebuild kits harder to come by but available, I think they cross reference to an Aston Martin.

Hey Punkdog,
CONGRATULATIONS! You got your car before I got mine back although I am picking mine up a week from Friday (finished or not). I am aching to drive it again as I am sure you are for driving it for the first time. When you get it running, let's get them out together sometime, maybe a Supercar Sunday meeting in Woodland Hills, followed by a run through Topanga Canyon and the S.M. mountains with lunch at the beach. Have fun!
Supercar Sunday is a great ongoing event thanks to Dustin the organizer and all the people that show up. From Panteras, Packards, Pintos, Porsches. Everything and anything that drives. A great way to start a Sunday. Like tberg said, it is the gateway to Mulholland Highway and the Santa Monica Mountains. I'm there most every week. Come on out!

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