Pantera #2263 : Documented history of the first factory Pantera Group 4 2263 / 8263

This is the documented history of 2263 / 8263 that will be published in several parts over the next days.

First off, #2263 was the very first De Tomaso Pantera Group 4 built. It was kept by the factory and driven by Herbert Muller. It was first shown to the public during an official launch presentation to the press at the factory on the 31st of January 1972.

#2263 was then tested by Mike Parkes during extensive development sessions on track at Modena, Vallelunga and Monza in February and March 1972.

The first race of the car happened during the 24 hours of Le Mans tests on the 18th and 19th of March 1972. Herbert Muller drove #2263 and broke the lap record and top speed for a GT car.

Second race was the Euro GT championship at Montlhery, near Paris on the 15th-16th of April 1972.

Third race was the Monza 1000 km on the 25th of April 1972. Herbert Muller would lead the race in front of the works Ferrari 312 PB under pouring rain until he hit a slower Dino while passing it, and damaged the car in the front right and rear right.

After the crash the car was taken back to the factory. It was then decided by the factory to ask for the total reimbursement of the car to their insurance company which disagreed. They just claimed it was a total loss, whereas on the period pictures it seemed in rather good condition except the front and rear right damages. An agreement was finally found with the insurance company.

The car was then left as is in the backyard of the factory for 7 years. In 1979, the German De Tomaso importer ordered several cars from the factory including a GT5 demonstrator. #2263 was used to build this rather special GT5 demonstrator. It has to be noted that #2263 having being paid back by the insurance company, it should have been destroyed. But it hasn't. Instead, it was stamped with a new number 8263, and converted to street GT5 specs. As such, the factory could claim #2263 was destroyed, which is exactly what they did.

Note that very few Pantera have a chassis number starting with an 8. These numbers were never affected to new cars and used by the factory when they needed to renumber a car. 8263 is as close as it could be from 2263. The number 8263 has not been chosen by accident.

The car then stayed in Germany and Switzerland for more than 3 decades and lived its life as a GT5 road car.

The car as we found it in 2016, in GT5 specs :

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Original Post
I do not care whether or not 8263 was built from 2263 onwards but how do you explain that all, or almost all, the profiles are lightened, are there other road cars with all these lightenings?

Can not we imagine that De Tomaso who declared that they had destroyed 2263, did everything with the documents to scramble the tracks if they reused this chassis? I say "if", I do not say that it is the case I do not know absolutely nothing, I wonder, that's all.

OFFICIALLY you are absolutely right, it's a street car! But technically ??????
Next part :
If the punched holes are a strong evidence that our car is an original factory Group 4 Pantera, we have found further evidences which match that fact.
The fuel Filler. On the factory Pantera Group 4 the fuel filler was located on the right side of the car whereas the road cars had the fuel filler on the left side. When we discovered the car in 2016, it has a left side fuel filler, but removing the right ornament we discovered that the original right side fuel filler hole had been filled when the car had been converted to a road car in 1979. Again this is strong evidence that the car is an original factory Group 4.

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The oil hoses pass.
All factory Pantera Group 4 had a front oil cooler. So as to route the oil to the engine, oil hoses were mounted underneath the car. On the original Group 4, a pass was cut under the floor so as to allow the oil hoses to be routed to the engine.

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The original Group 4 paint.
When we took the GT5 bodykit off the car, we discovered the original paint of the car underneath, with distinctive black at the bottom and V108 red paint on the top, the exact same paint 2263 was painted when new.

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The rollcage holes.
We also found some pretty interesting traces of a rollcage previously fitted in the car. Of course, a rollcage has nothing to do in a road car, but again our car being the first original factory Group 4 later converted to a road car, no surprise that traces of a rollcage have been found.

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Give it a rest. It is plainly obvious that 8263 was built on a Group 4 chassis. Could it be 2263, maybe. From everything Eric has posted about this car it sure seems possible. You have presented your side of this discussion plenty allow him to present his.

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