Pantera #9250 - and GT5 history

Mmmm...I could be wrong but somethings not quite right with this car....I think the chassis number possibly belongs to another car and I think the GT5 didn’t start that early they were in the 300s not the 200s chassis ...centre console doesn’t look right either LHD to RHD ? ...
Taz, would the front trunk show anything ie factory moved the box to the RHS on the later cars but extended from the LHS on the early cars and not sure but on the RHD cars wasn’t the handbrake leaver moved forward or have a recess so your knuckles didn’t hit the centre tunnel?
Auction says "passed in", I guess that is Australian for "withdrawn"?

I'm not sure where the LHD reference came from, the registry shows this car as only RHD? The center console is probably correct, the heater controls and handbrake location didn't change until late 9200 numbers.

That all said given the write up it is very possible this car came into Australia new as a LHD roller and was immediately converted by Metro Cars Pty.

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Unfortunately, Domenic could not provide any information on the car's past other than that it had previously belonged to a De Tomaso importer/dealership called The Toy Shop, which was owned by Paul Halstead. Paul owns, and has very successfully campaigned, #9242. I wrote to Paul in 2016 to see if he could shed some light on #9250, but he did not reply.

If someone in Australia feels like helping to unravel this, here is a link to Paul Halstead’s web site:

http://www.go2hal.com/pantera/bio.html

A video of #9242:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOS0_btUjfI

A video of Kevin Bartlett outclassing the competition in #9242 (really worth watching):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE3yVGtt1YU

An Interview with Bartlett:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMjz_D3GVkc
According to Matt Stone and Rob de la Rive Box, the first “factory-noted” GT5 is #9250. Matt and Rob state, in their book Pantera Buyers Guide, that prior GT5s were "probably recorded as modified GTS units from about late 1980".

Bill Van Ess, who created the first De Tomaso registry, wrote of this car “This is supposed to be the start of the GT5 version. Birthdate 1/1/80”.

Franz Krump who really knows his stuff, wrote here on the PIBB back in 2005, “The First GT5 was shown at the Turin Motor Show in 1980. It was a white car and had chassis number 9250.”

We know the Turin Motor Show car was white, left hand drive and had no wing because we have photos of it. Here is the photo from the Wallace Wyss book:

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The problem I have with all this is that, based on its VIN sequence, #9250 is a 1982 or 1983 model. It is possible that it was repainted, converted to right hand drive, and had a wing added, all this I can believe, but I can’t get past the VIN sequence problem and the fact that there are some 36 GT5 Panteras with a lower VIN in the registry.

So, unless someone can get a hold of Paul Halstead and ask about the provenance of #9250, we will probably never know whether it is in fact the Turin car and the first true GT5.

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Philippe:

Can you please confirm the build date, date it was sold by the factory, original colour, RHD vs LHD and whether it came with a wing?

Answers to these questions would help confirm whether this could be the Turin GT5.

Ideally, if your records contain some kind of notation of this being the first true GT5, it would solve a big mystery and finally enable us to pin down how many GT5 Panteras could have been built.

- Peter
Phillippe please provide Peter with the information you’ve promised; i.e. the list of Paris show cars and the data for the early GT5 wide bodies.

I would like to add a few words which may help avoid confusion:

(1) Early GT4s (1978 - 1979)
The first wide body Pantera evolved over a short period of time. It seems the Pirelli 345/35VR15 tires became available in 1978 and both De Tomaso and Lamborghini revised their cars to take advantage of them quickly and simultaneously. The wide body Pantera began as a GTS custom ordered equipped with Grp4 flares, Grp4 type wheels, and 345/35VR15 Pirellis. Pictures of a GTS thus equipped can be found in Wyss’ 1981 book on page 126 and his 1991 book on page 231. The Pantera thus equipped quickly evolved into a distinct model and was given the name GT4. A silver (or is it blue?) GTS with Grp4 flares, referred to as a 1979 GT4, can be seen on page 71 of Norbye’s Pantera book. I’m not sure if Peter is interested in these “earliest wide bodies” which sported Grp4 flares.

(2) Latter GT4s/GT5s (1979 - 1980)
Then new bodywork was developed for the GT4 in 1979, i.e. the GT5 bodywork with "running boards" and the deep front air dam we are all familiar with. So there are actually a few wide bodies out there with GT5 bodywork that have data plates referring to them as a GT4, I’ve seen pictures of a red one, I believe it was in Spain. Norbye refers to the red wide body with GT5 bodywork on page 72 of his book as a GT4. Finally Norbye refers to the white GT5 displayed at the 1980 Turin show (page 120) as “the latest GTS”; how’s that for confusion? However I believe by then the name on the data plate had changed to GT5 ... same exact car as the latter GT4 just a new name.

(3) Chassis number verses build date
The Panteras of this era were not necessarily assembled in order of chassis number; it is possible that 9250 was assembled before 9249. I’m not saying that’s the case, but it is possible. So it would be helpful to Peter if assembly date information is included with your findings.

(4) Post Sale GT5s
Owners were so impressed with the wide body GT5 bodywork and the wide Pirelli tires that a good number of GTS, Gp3, and "early GT4" Pantera owners transported their cars to the factory and had them retro-fitted with GT5 bodywork; in other words Panteras originally sold as other models were revised by the factory to become GT5 Panteras "post sale". So while they have lower chassis numbers and earlier build dates such cars cannot possibly be considered as among the earliest GT5s.

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Thank you very much for the information that you have provided, Philippe. By providing the VIN of the Salon car, you have enabled us to calculate the maximum number of GT5 Panteras that could have been produced. In one stroke you have dropped the number I have been working with by 58!

I will recalculate the GT5 number as soon as I have some time, and post it here, but I expect many people will be surprised by how low that number has now become.

I have a number of other questions for you, Philippe, and I will post them here as soon as I can (I'm travelling on business and just grabbing bits of time between flights).

Thanks again.

- Peter

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My records show three GT5 Panteras earlier than #9159 in the Vin sequence. Perhaps these are later conversions, but it would be nice to confirm that:

#9149 - Pantera GT5 Gr 3 - Germany
#9134 - Pantera GT5 - USA
#9127 - Pantera GT5 - Sydney, Australia

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Phillippe they were simply called "GT4". You may want to refer to my comments on the previous page.

The wide body street Panteras were "born" in 1978, and 1978 through 1980 was an evolutionary period.

The factory used the term GT4 only a short time, perhaps a year and a half, no more. 1978 - 1979. They were GTS with Group 4 fender flares, Group 4 wheels, and just released Pirelli P7 street tires in 285/40VR15 front and 345/35VR15 rear. I believe the flares, wheels, and tires were offered as an option package for GTS Panteras. So GTS/4 is meant to indicate this.

Then in 1979 new body work was developed with "one piece" fender flares for each side, connected by running boards, and a deep front air dam that ties the two sides together. This of course was the GT5 bodywork. It was in response to the bodywork Lamborghini had developed for the Countach.

One or more GT4s were built with this bodywork then De Tomaso changed the name to GT5, circa 1980. So there are one or more GT4s that look like GT5s. I would suspect your list of GTS/4 cars includes both type of cars, those with Group 4 flares, and those with the new GT5 bodywork. But that is only my guess.

It would be worth Peter's consideration that the first Pantera (or first few Panteras) with GT5 bodywork was/were designated GT4 or GTS/4 by the factory.

At some point in this period De Tomaso decided that instead of building the wide body GT4 with GTS equipment, it should be offered as an "upscale" premium model ... with the best Group 3 brakes, the best Group 3 shocks & springs, and the best pleated leather interior with plush seating, etc.

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