When midlife crisis hits and the only cure seems to be an Italian mid engine car - then the Pantera is the perfect drug!

Having built a 68 Mustang previously the thing I know was that I wanted a car that could handle, not only red light races but corners as well!

And since I really love those massive wheel arches on the Group 4 cars my mind got set on building a full out race car.

Or, well, maybe. Wouldn’t it be nice if I was able to drive it on public roads? Or even Historic Racing? Or why not all of the above?!

Anyhow, finding a car that I wouldn’t feel bad about converting to a race~ish looking car had begun!

In late 2017 I followed a lead from a Swedish Pantera forum and eventually found 4899 - in a garden shed, where it had been sitting for the past 20 years! Engine blown, only bits and pieces left. Floors all cut out (the classic ”previous owner restauration” condition).

But all vital parts, well except the engine, was there. And the rusty areas didn’t seem to bad. (Amazing what a thick layer of undercoating can hide!)

Since I don’t have the skills and tools to weld and fabricate the task went to Tokan at Stockholm Speed Industry.

As of now, the first part of the build, getting a rolling chassie, is about done.
The next stage will be to put her back on the road, spring/summer 2020.

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As I found it - didnt look to bad, right?

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Engine bay looks great. And once we welded it to the frame (the whole body was off by an inch from left front to rear right,) we test fitted the Group 4 flares.

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But once we started cutting the rockers we found three(!?!) layers of rusted patches, just welded on top of each other. And the frame rails was just.. well, nothing. So we started from gound up.

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Car was sent off to media blasting and came back as the love child of Dr Frankenstein and a wannabe TIG-welder. A blind one at that!

EVERY single panel of the car was either rusted through or/and had been patched, welded, patched again. And in some cases, as with the rear frame rails, they hadn't even bother welding. They where just folded and tucked into places behind the wheels.

At this stage there where two possible routes to take. One to the scrap yard and the other to the bank for more money!

 

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That nice looking engine bay was in fact 2 inches of bondo! Took the blaster two days to remove it all.

It was clear nothing could be saved. And since that was the case the guys at SSI could go all out! The floor was reveresed, so its completely flat underneeth and all rails are on the inside. Full restructuring of inner and outer rocker panels. Full roll cage. Completely new rear wheel structure, tho following the original look but with a twist.

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Also test fitted the pedal box ( http://pengineering.com.au/product-pe-pedal-box ) and seat, full custom Tillett FIA approved carbon fibre. (https://www.tillett.co.uk/ )

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The whole front was cut out. (Or rahter fell out after media blasting). The car has seen some frontal damage as well so the nose need remodeling. A fuel cell will be fitted up front later on.

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Resting on BBS E50's (10x16 front and 14x16 rear) with Good Year rubber, Intrax dampers and AP Racing calipers. Also sourced a Cleveland XE block and CHI 4V heads. But we'll see how the engine ends up. There are lots of ideas. Custom flat crank is one of them...

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So, end of build part #1. Next up is body and final fabrication. Just need to sell my last kidney..

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Last edited by George P
Original Post

Wow.... that's all I can say. What a fantastic work with all the ups and downs. 

Keep going and thanks for sharing this with us. 

And the award for "Pantera Humanitarian of the Year" and "Most Improved Pantera" goes to Ogren! 

Thank you for saving another Pantera from the crusher, and for posting up pics of the fantastic work that's been done! 

Keep the updates coming!

Thnx for all the kind words!
I can't take credit for the actual build, only the crazy ideas
Hopefully stage 2 of the build can start soon, and when it does I'll make sure to update.

Finally starting on stage 2 of the build.
Since the car had seen some damage to the front, we rebuilt both fenders and the nose section. Also got the new, outer rocker panels in place.

Some new, tweaked, design of the front headlights will be tried out.

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Wow. Major undertaking. 
i like the vent behind the front wheel arch. 
is the chin spoiler lower than the front wheel?  Prob optical illusion

tajon posted:

Wow. Major undertaking. 
i like the vent behind the front wheel arch. 
is the chin spoiler lower than the front wheel?  Prob optical illusion

@tajon it's just a mockup right now. So that is not the correct ride hight

I hope those 15" wheels are only place-holders. 16" tires are as difficult to find as 15"s and some big brake setups won't clear 16" wheels.  Recommend 18"s if you don't care about originality. If you do,  contact Oyvind Bakken in Norway at <dagny-kr@online.no>  and see if he sold his original 10" x 15 and 14" x 15" ten-window Campys from a real Gr-4.

bosswrench posted:

I hope those 15" wheels are only place-holders. 16" tires are as difficult to find as 15"s and some big brake setups won't clear 16" wheels.

No placeholders, however, they are for track use only and not street legal. 
These are 16” but tires are not that hard to find, goodyear-motorsports.de supplied me with these racings slicks, but they have the full range, even street legal radials suitable for these dimensions. And on longstonetyres.co.uk/classic-car-tyres/de-tomaso/pantera.html ”original” spec tyres for even 15” are now available. 
Even tho this car is heavily modified I still like it to resemble a Gr4 to some extendt. And those E50s are spot on. 

But would love to get my hands on a set of original Campys for street use. I guess he wont let them go for cheap tho 😬

Ofc caliper choises are limited with smaller rims, but the AP CP2279 (front) and CP2270 (rear) fits easily and should do the job. Again, only for track use.

But I guess we’ll see how it turns out in the end. Plans change over time. 
Have been three years in the body shop now, and just recently did the first test spray of the colour..

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Pretty sure that's an aftermarket crapsman, it looks like that car has been in a serious side impact. Hopefully you were aware it had been in an accident when you purchased it, finding that kind of stuff out the hard way is disheartening.

Last edited by joules

Ogren, on Anders Hellburg's GR-3 website (www.scuderiadetomso.se) in Sweden is a copy of most of the GR-3/4 parts homologated for the real racers. One thing is an illustration of extended mounting lugs on the frame for the front lower a-arms. The actual part is no longer available but the photo shows the factory preferred lower mounting holes are roughly one bolt diameter lower than stock. This changes the front instant-center and alters the handling. Passenger car mount lugs are too short to extend the bolt hole enough so welding is needed, but the stock holes are unaltered if you prefer that alignment. Something to consider, seeing all the work you've done already.

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