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I would like to introduce myself. My name is Stephan and living in Yardley, PA. Being the proud owner of a 1972 Pantera, #4164 which I acquired in December 2023. The car was accidentally found on craigslist while looking for something completely different. Located in upstate NY, the previous owner disassembled the car and was planning on fully restoring it before he became very ill and had to abandon the project. Being an aviation engineer he was meticulous in planning out the project and acquired all parts needed for the restoration before the disassembly. I received boxes and boxes of new De Tomaso and aftermarket parts covering all rubber, clips, knobs, switches, gaskets, bushings, joints, new 17” Campy clones with Michelin, stainless exhaust, new steering rack, new ceramic coated headers, new radiator, stainless tubing, all electronic upgrades from Pantera Electronics, new windshield, AC front installation kit, too much to list… all receipts, binders with technical info, brochures, memorabilia, Marti Report, a rebuilt matching number engine including dyno pull sheets and a rebuilt and polished transaxle done by RBT with tall gearing. The Pantera collected dust for some time before the owner decided to sell it. Coming originally from the West coast, the car had survived in a decent state but will undergo a full restoration which has already started, replacing the typical metal components such as front valance and rocker panels to prevent any work to be done over the many years to come I am planning on keeping it. Also sheet metal is harder and harder to find, so I do it now. #4164 is scheduled to receive an Acid dip in June to remove all rust, paint, undercoat and to reveal all **** done to the car by the previous owners.

Stay tuned.


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A thank you to the forum for the warm welcome. I am certain that I will have many questions along the way. The first step for me was to inventory all parts, inspect them, bag and label them and determine if there is anything else that need to buy besides what came with the car that may become critical, no longer available etc. The second step was to decide on where to start on the Pantera. I decided that it was the front end. Thirdly what tools I need to do a decent job. After an initial inspection of the condition of the front I ordered the valance and radiator support from Jimmy Woods in the UK and the support wall and brackets from Hall. The old valance was surgically removed and the new one buttwelded in.  Here are the first pictures of an hobbyist attempt to rescue this beauty.

To be continued...



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  • Radiator support removed
  • New radiator support spot welded #1
  • New radiator support spot welded #2
  • New radiator support spot welded #3
  • New valance fitted #1
  • New valance with grill welded back in
  • Radiator support bracket spot welded
  • Radiator support rear wall spot welded

Doing my best. Spent some money on a real good spot welder and it was worth it. The results are presentable (for a hobbyist ). Currently finishing the valance welds and trimming in the outer edges to make them look like factory. Also massaging the fitment of the chrome surround of the front grille and bumperettes before dropping parts off at the plating company in the near future. All new parts welded in have drain holes in the highest and lowest areas to assure that the acid gets out and can be neutralized, later new paint and preservatives will go in. Hopping over to removing the outer rocker panels next. Let's find out what is lurking behind those panels. I am expecting the usual suspects.

To be continued...

Thought I would share one of my missteps on the valance.

I installed a Ron Davis radiator that lays down forward toward the lights.  I was excited to start driving the car and working the bugs out, so I didn't install the chrome grill.  I considered that a "detail" item that I would come back and finish later.  Turns out you need the radiator out or at least a vertical radiator to get to the small nuts that hold the grill in place.

At this point I have the grill on with aluminum zip ties until I have the patience to remove the radiator or fabricate a small tool to hold the 6-8mm nuts in place from the inside.



...I didn't like the 'Sheet-Metal Screws' holding the Front Grill on...So I went to 10-24 Steel Nutserts with 10-24 Stainless Oval-Head Phillips MACHINE Screws. Do NOT use 10-32 Fine threads, as Debris will Cause them to Gaull-up and jam.

The Nutsert head is too small for the Pantera sheetmetal holes, washers must be used, drilled for perfect fit, and Longer grip for the Nutsert. Or Nutsert with Larger HEAD (Available). Also the Grill holes, usually for a SM Screw, Must be drilled larger with a 'J' Letter drill bitthumbnail [2)thumbnail, or 7mm, for clearance. The OVAL Head screw is more Pleasing to the Eye, that a Flat Head. IMO

See photos, of drilling brass washers for perfect fit. Using Washer both front and rear of sheetmetal, requires a Longer 'GRIP' Nutsert. (Not Availble)



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Last edited by marlinjack

Last weekend put some time in to cut open the rocker panels and to check for the all over condition of the internals, A and B pillar, lower edge, frame rails, inner supports etc. As expected, the car is due for a full restoration. I am still happy for what I was able to find. This car has 52 years on the meter and so far no  previous repair attempts could be found. After removing the rockers and washing the rust off with rust remover the initial impression improved. The inner reinforcements are in excellent condition and can be reused. The chemical dip will take care of the surface rust. No holes in the front wheel house and rear frame rails. I'll keep digging.

to be continued...


Last edited by #4164

Switching it up between metal work and other tasks that need to be done. I started looking for a reputable upholstery shop near Philadelphia or surrounding areas. My interior was kind of beat up.The dash vinyl was burned, briddle and the gauge pods were sunken in from the heat out west sun many years ago. Also I had the chance and removed the funky light pod between the vents. I decided not to go with the original seats but will keep them just in case I will ever convert the car back to stock. The previous owner removed all interior components years ago and a close inspection revealed that everything needed an overhaul. I was super lucky when I contacted J&J Interiors in Bristol PA, only 10 miles from home. The owner Jim had an opening before a big boat interior project and I needed to drop off all interior pieces that needed new covering within one week. Everything had to be clean and repaired, ready for leather. The dash was a mess, the aluminum rivets were all corroded to a point that the brackets broke off and the glove box hardware needed some serious help including to close up a huge cutout for many radio types over the decades. A variety of switches were added for god knows what, all removed and closed up. Here are the humble beginnings of a new interior.


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  • Pantera center console
Last edited by #4164

I found some really nice Recaro seats. NOS, issued for Ford in 1989 and carrying the embroidery of Emerson Fittipaldi the Formula 1 driver. Those were exclusively used in the limited Fittipladi Ford Mustang "Equipe Edition".  The Suede and smooth leater setup of the seats will be tranfered to the entire interior. Also a picture of the finished center console with Suede on the gauge panel. Will post more pictures of the remaining interior pieces shortly.


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  • Fittipaldi Recaro Seats #1
  • Fittipaldi Recaro Seats #3
  • Fittipaldi Recaro Seats #4
  • Fittipaldi Recaro Seats #5
  • Finished center console
Last edited by #4164

Today I started on the rocker panel on the driver side. Good old elbow grease, hammer and dollies to transform the Hall rockers into factory looking versions. So far so good, took a few hours to reproduce the compound shape from the original rocker and to add the drain divots. Next step is to shape the end pieces as original.

To be continued.


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Last edited by #4164

Thank you Rene,

I appreciate the compliment. The interior wasn't exactly cheap but a Pantera is worth it.

Today I pre-fitted the passenger side rocker, again only held in place by sheet metal screws. I cannot ask for a better fit, especially from a handmade part. Gaps turned out really nice on both sides. Time to heat up the spot welder...


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  • Passenger side rocker pre fitting

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