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So now I’ve driven the Longchamp on a daily basis for a month, and here’s a small summary for those interested. I guess we all in a way dream about driving our exciting car daily, but practicalities get in the way. Like reliability, like where to park it safely, like noise and lack of comfort. Biggest problem where I live is the weather. And unfortunately, since I said goodbuy to my Jeep Grand Cherokee on Jan 31st, it’s been below zero almost all the time. No snow though, so clean roads except for the occasional salt. Tech tip: How do you know if your car is smothered in salt, so it needs immediate washing? Easy, wet your finger, touch the paint, taste your finger. If it’s salty, start washing.

On Feb 1st I went to my garage to go to work. I expected all to be OK, because everything worked some weeks ago. I had just changed the rubber for the rear opening windows, hoping I had stopped that leak. And it started, and off I went. Took some time to get reacquinted with the heating controls, but funnily enough, since then they’ve been on full heat all the time. I only adjust the heat by using low or high fan.

The car drove well, to work and back. I also found a good place to park. Normally in the company Jeep, I’d just park closest to the door, but I found another area with more space between the cars, to avoid dings. Funnily that area seems to be used by enthusiast cars, which in this country means Beetle conv, Cadillac CTS etc, big Audis, those that care about their cars. Felt better to park there.

On a rainy day, the windows started fogging (but no leaking). The heather could clear that up, but that meant less heat for my feet, which is marginal already in sub zero temperatures. So when I got home and the heated garage had cleaned the windows, I fixed that. Tech tip: Use very very little dish wash liquid on a clean window, you’ll have no mist for 6 months.

Things that need fixing started to pop up. A rattle in the left door at exact 1600 rpm. The brake pedal started to squeak. The key got hard to turn from cold, when the car had been sitting outside all day. Air vent fell out. Small things, but with that, and the fact I was playing with the ignition timing, static and vacuum (yes, I live by my homepage, I can’t stand a not perfectly tuned engine), it felt like there was something to fix every day I got home. Tech tip:

The worst was the alternator occasionally stopped charging. Thankfully it happened on the way home, and revving it helped. So out fixing it, thank god my garage is heated. Turned out the thick wire was loose, fixed that. And the day after, it charged more than ever before. Other things included brightening warning lights, mending headlamp washers, fixing door jamb switch. And of course washing it whenever possible. So a lot of fixing to do, but it never failed to get me there. And one thing that never worked properly before now works perfectly: the clock. Think about it, a perfectly working original Veglia clock, when I retire I'll ebay it and live off the money I get... Wink

So how is it to drive? Perfect. Great handling, enough power, comfortable interior. And that sound, f...... fantastic. No other car in Denmark sounds like that on a freezing morning.

Best experiences?
1. In general people look at it approvingly. I haven’t had that ”what’s the mileage?” or ”what a polluter” crowd yet. One guy guessed Lamborghini at the gas station. When I said DeTomaso, he said, ”oh that guy didn’t get a good break”. I didn’t ask. Fueling the car happens quite often. And while I always enjoy the look on the guy’s face waiting behind me, when I go to the other tank, the mileage is a bit low. 5.5 km/l, you can do the math.
2. Another good experience was when I drove to a work related party in the other end of the country (it’s a small country). When about to leave to drive home at night, our 50+ years old HR woman asked if I could give her a lift. Couldn’t really get out of it, so I said yes. When she saw the car, she said vauw!. And when I started it, she said vauw again. I drove her to outside her house. The next Monday when we met at work, she told me she hadn’t (in the -5 degrees celcius) hurried into the house, she had stood outside listening to the Longchamp disappearing in the distance...
3. Last but not least, when I set off a car alarm at the airport, just idling by. Smiler

So in general, can this be recommended? Maybe.
Against: You have to be prepared fix something at least weekly. And it does wear the car, so if it’s in showroom condition, maybe don’t do it. My Longchamp does not look like it left the showroom floor (did DeTomaso have a showroom?) yesterday, it looks like it left the showroom 3 years ago. That’s how I like it.
For: This feeling I sometimes got in the Jeep, coming to work, not remembering the trip at all, that never happens. Every drive demands concentration and is an experience in it self. ”Getting there is more than half the fun”. Damn right!
burn rubber
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Hello mikael, bought my Pantera in Sweden and driving it to Belgium was the drive of my live It was over a 1000 km on a hot day with no airco ( removed for the weight) stood in a traffic jam for over an hour ( had to drive with the door open for some cooling) and loved every minute, meanwhile my wife drove behind in our car, she had never driven more than 25 km from home and now did more than 1000 km. She said the look on my face whas priceless driving the Pantera.
Here’s status on the second month. And don’t worry, I won’t do this every month. In the second month some things seem to work better. Electric windows are fast, clock is perfect, locks are better, it’s as if the daily use has shed some age of this car.

Not all is perfect of course. I wasn’t impressed with the heat for my feet. One day I took apart some of the console, and found out that some of the cables for the heater and direct/deflected were a few mm out of adjustment. Correcting that made a big difference.

Fueling the car is getting more expensive, even though I managed 15.5 mpg last time. Prices are up, hopefully democracy in Africa soon will lower them. In Denmark, most places can’t handle more than DKK999 ($200), so when I fill up the two fuel tanks, I have to use my card twice. When I complain to the clerk that they should remove that limit, he says, quite a big fuel tank you must have, then I say no, I have two. Then he looks at me as if I’m from another planet. Planet DeTomaso perhaps?

The A/C was suddenly in demand. But it didn’t work at all, and I have a new shaker and it was filled 2 years ago and was the difference between a great and a tough trip to Modena 50 back then. So was it leaking? I could hear my thermostat click, but when checking the compressor, it didn’t engage the clutch. Must be wiring. And yes, a connector under the battery tray was dirty, taking it apart and cleaning it, and the A/C worked.

I have the standard 333-180 thermostat, but now the engine doesn’t fully heat up. A new thermostat would be the obvious remedy, but this is the third time I change then. Works perfectly for many months, and then doesn’t heat up properly. It’s a Summit sourced flowkooler, are there any other brands of higher quality available?

One morning in the rain the left wiper blade fell of the car. I quickly stopped the wiper not to scratch the windshield, and drove back to find it. It had been run over. I could move the right blade to the left arm, and remove the right wiper arm, and drive to work on one wiper. The reason was that the standard connector wasn’t really right. I looked through my box of connectors, found a “H2” marked connector that fits perfectly. So back to two wipers.

Yesterday driving home there was a queue on the freeway. My idle was terrible. When you're the author of a decent idle is a matter of pride, anything else is embarrassing Wink. And when I wanted less heat, that cable broke. So this morning was spent fixing that and washing the car.

Am I getting tired of it? No, not at all. Slightly fewer problems, still the same joy, I’m driving instead of just commuting. With better weather it’s also less wear on the car. I do get a lot of attention from other drivers. Especially a group of classic Fiat 500s, they almost fell out their windows. And when I fuel it, two tanks, people come up and talk to me, nice, but not if you’re in a hurry. But I try to take the time to be a DeTomaso ambassador. MPG is a challenge and prices are increasing, but the SPG (Smiles Per Gallondancing) is still better than most cars on the road. And setting of car alarms twice is worth it all.
I'm still amazed at people's reactions to the Longchamp. I kinda expect it with the Pantera, but the Longchamp is just an old square sedan, not blindingly fast. But I do get a lot of reactions, and want to share two of them.

On a ferry, I was sitting in the car waiting to get to shore. When I started it, a teenage girl, while in the process of getting into the back seat of her parent's Nissan Micra, stopped, turned to me and smiled and gave thumb's up. I assume she meant the car, but you never know these days Cool

Yesterday I parked in the middle of Copenhagen. A guy came running to me, apologized for taking my time, but this must be the most beautiful car in Denmark he said! And the sound is great! Turns out he has a Countach and some other stuff. I mentioned the Pantera as well, and he said Wow, he wanted one of those for his next car!

"Spreading DeTomaso awareness across Denmark" Smiler
Very cool experiences. Typical of the reasons I enjoy owning older unique cars over newer "better" ones. You always know that an old unique car has a unique (and often old Wink) owner and an expensive new one sometimes just conveys the owner is either wealthy or heavily in debt.

Keep spreading the word Mikael


Good write-up and nice stories.

I gat similar responses to my Longchamp wherever I go.

Most recent, now a year ago as the DT's off the road right now for engine rebuild) was when a ricer , a Skyline GTR from memory comes up alongside and say, "nice looking car, what is it"? Then, do you want a race - I just smile and pull away at normal speed.

We have far too many speed cameras here in London.

Longchamp GTS 3061
Since autumn is approaching and I got a good offer, I've bought a winter-car, non-DeTomaso. That means that soon my daily driving in the Longchamp will take a winter break. So I thought I'd just round off this experience, let you know how it was to drive after the initial experience and repairs.

I'm glad to say that it's still fun to drive, I look forward to it every time. And that's pretty amazing, normally if you buy a fancy new car, the joy is great but it wears off, just like the joy of marriage Wink. But I can truly say that for me it hasn't worn off yet. Maybe the occasional drive in my wife's 2.0L Chrysler Stratus helps, compared to driving that car (the lack of power described by a friend: "when you push the accelerator it's like stepping in a dog turd"), my Longchamp feels like a super car.

But one thing has changed. There are no more repairs. I can't remember doing anything else than washing it for months now. At the start there was something almost daily, later it was enough to spend Saturday mornings fixing, and lately nothing. Maybe the occasional engine tune up, I live by my web page. But in the last couple of months, nothing. Maybe it's like taming a wild horse, when it realizes that you're persistent, it slowly gives up and just does what you tell it to do? Wink

So no more snow for the Longchamp, and probably no more parking in the center of Copenhagen. But I still want to drive it most days, it won't become a garage car again.
Just felt like updating about driving a DeTomaso on a daily basis. Actually there's not much to report, and that's the point. Those that remember my first postings when I started using it on the daily commute etc., every Saturday I had to fix 2-3 things. Nothing major, the Longchamp never let me down, it always got me where I wanted to go. But maybe the side window struggled to roll all the way up, or the heater cable needed adjustment or whatever. And of course I washed it by hand at least weekly.

But the frequent repairs became less frequent, and this spring when I started using it as a daily driver again, it was just turning the key and drive. And there's been nothing to fix since. It just goes to show that these beasts can be tamed, if you can fix stuff yourself and don't have to go to a garage, and you keep at it, in the end you'll win. And have fully functioning car.

Of course things will break in the future, but probably no more than on any other car nearing 100k km.

And allow me to beat this drum again. It's so great to drive a classic every day. It puts a smile on my face every day. I've had more fancy company cars with 250-300HP, but I got used to them after a few months. Not the Longchamp.

I even smile when I'm in stop and go morning traffic. Maybe on the right is a guy in a small crap car. And on the left is a guy in a nice fancy BMW or Audi, but his car is depreciating so fast you can almost hear it. And what can that BMW/Audi do that the Longchamp can't? 300HP, torque, Alcantara, automatic transmission, power windows/brakes/steering, fabulous handling? I got it all. All they can brag about is automatic climate control, while I have to turn a knob... And my Longchamp makes the sound they all want.

So conclusion: If you don't have a DeTomaso daily driver, get one! I have more enjoyment out of my Longchamp than my Pantera, simply because I drive it 10x as much
burn rubber
Climate is becoming damp and soon salt will be on the road. So soon it's over with daily driving of Longchamp until spring. When the Longchamp is parked for the winter, I'll install the orig tri-y headers I bought from the old factory. Hope they fit. Some say the engine has to come out, I doubt it, maybe raise a bit? Hopeful thinking maybe, and if engine comes out, I may take it apart and upgrade a bit. With the excellent handling you can never have too much power in this car.


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