Here's my "10-step" program to Pantera ownership:
1. Join your local Pantera Owners Club and POCA (http://www.panteraclub.com/
). Get to know other Pantera owners in your area. They will will prove to be invaluable in answering questions, pointing out what to look for/avoid by actually showing you their cars, and may know of cars available that have not yet been advertised. They will also serve as an excellent sounding board for your price expectations - they'll help you determine if you (or a seller) is "a dreamer," or if a car sounds like a good value. They may even volunteer to go help you "check-out" a car!
2. Get to know other Pantera club members and their cars!
3. Learn everything you can about the cars - models, differences, upgrades, corrosion, availability and cost of various parts and upgrades you may need.
4. Thoroughly read Mike Dailey's "Pantera Place" website (http://www.panteraplace.com/
), which is an excellent starting point to begin your Pantera education. Then, follow the links to any other Pantera websites (both vendors and owners) and use a search engine (i.e. Google) to look for any other owner or vendor sites to continue your education.
5. Regularly check any website advertising P-cars for sale (ebay too - but NEVER bid without actually inspecting a car, or having it inspected by a trusted club member/expert).
6. See as many cars as you can - make appointments to inspect any and all cars within your price and geographic range (a $100-$200 round-trip plane ticket to inspect a car is cheap compared to the investment you're planning to make). My search ranged from Sacramento to San Diego, and included trips to Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix, AZ. I also planned flights to Seattle, Ohio and Chicago, but they proved unneccessary.
7. Follow up all leads that appear on this board, and let people know what you're looking for. I found a 71 for sale that's not yet advertised merely by telling a friend behind the Parts Counter at my local Ford dealership that I was looking for a Pantera. He knew of someone who has owned one for 19 years and is planning to sell.
8. Visit PI Motorsports in Orange, CA. They probably have the single largest collection of P-cars for sale under one roof anywhere in the nation. It's extrememly valuable to compare them side-by-side, expecially if one or two appear to be what you're looking for and you go for a drive.
9. And remember: There will always be another car. Don't get swept away when looking at a car thinking that a certain car is the "perfect" or "only" car for you. There will always be another one, it just takes time. And perseverance.
10. Last, join your local Pantera club and POCA, and get to know other Pantera owners and their cars! It should have been the first thing you did. Good Luck!