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Looks like you are missing a spring on the lock latch.

When you do install, fit an emergency cable by drilling a small hole in the side of the pedal box, that way if you main cable ever breaks you can still get it open without destroying the hood. See the lower emergency cable in this photo.

Front Hood Latch | The De Tomaso Forums

Last edited by joules

I agree you can use a Fiat latch and they run about about $20. Check out eBay Italy.

but the Fiat version seems to vary in one small area from the OEM Pantera version.

note the bottom release latch arm in the two photos above, one having one hole and the OEM Pantera unit having two holes

The arm profile is also different but other than that the latches do appear to be exactly the same.


Last edited by lf-tp2511

Remember there is a '72 Ford-published Tech Service Bulletin on adding an emergency front-trunk-latch-release cable. If the stock latch or cable malfunctions, the early 'factory fix' was to remove the grille and reach inside with lights & a long rod to somehow trigger the release catch. On later cars, the grill cannot be removed from the outside. And if there's a spare tire or much 'vital debris' up front, the job is near-impossible.

EVERY owner NEEDS that TSB publication! Available cheap from the vendors or as usual, from the POCA Archives.

The TSB advises "local manufacture" of the emergency release cable, meaning 'make one yourself' or have a shop do it. It hangs down in the cabin just above the accelerator pedal, with a washer or some other little weight-thingy on its end. It requires a drilled hole of indeterminate size in the side of the pedal toe-box (on left hand steer Panteras).

The hole if large enough also makes it far easier to change the clutch pedal master cylinder e-rings on the pedal support rod. My drilled hole is 7/8" OD. A removable plug or grommet could be added, too.

Depends on how it got Ford Engineering's attention. FoMoCo had a problem with 351-M-powered Lincoln sedans (Motorcraft carb) stalling in curves. The wife of Ford President Lee Iaccoca's big new Lincoln stalled going through a roundabout, and she wasn't strong enough to restrain the moving car without engine boost to the power brakes. The Lincoln plowed off the road and took out a roadside fruit stand!  It was in a few Detroit newspapers, and you better believe THAT little problem was jumped on, fixed and officially included on all further Lincolns in only a few days!

The Pantera hood release cable problem probably resulted in similar bad publicity but 50 yrs later we can't trace it. Likely it had something to do with the driver of a high-profile car- maybe Elvis?- not being able to access a dead battery on the road so the car had to be towed, but that's only a guess.

Hmmm.... has anyone actually hear of someone having a cable failure incident? Adding a second cable is not too hard, but as long as the cable/attachment is inspected, and is ok, is the redundancy really needed for something that does not get used much? 

It just seems like you could easily apply the redundancy theory fix to so many other systems on this car??!!

So many things on this car really have me puzzled, especially after reading the stuff on this site, but that is part of its charm, right??!!

Had a cable failure. Well sort of a cable failure. The cable pulled through the hole in the release handle so when the handle was pulled you were pulling on the cable AND the sheath so no tension was being put on the cable. And I had heeded the advice of the forum and installed the emergency release long ago. If I hadn't had the emergency release I hope I would've figured out the problem before damaging anything.

That reminds me of having the same hood cable failure on an old '58 Ford sedan, which also had a front-hinged hood. It took me a day to cut a hole thru the inner splash panel after removing the left tire, so I could reach up and trigger the latch. Then I fabbed up a hole cover with 3 sheet metal screws. Guess everyone in Ford Engineering forgot about those earlier cars. According to the Service Rep where I got parts, my cable failure was not unique. NO ONE would butcher a Pantera like I had to do with that old commuter.

...JB1490 is Correct! I have a 74L with the Front Grill mounted with Screws easily accessible from outside. IF one were to have their cable snap, and there is No second, back-up cable, I believe one could remove the grill and Reach-Up with a 10mm?? Open-end wrench (perhaps a 'Ratcheting' Box-End-Wrench) and loosen/unscrew the Hinge Bolts, off the Hood itself. You just need enough Hood movement, forward to slide the Pin out of the Latch...approximately, only 1/2" at Most.

A Note: I do have custom fans mounted to the Radiator, so the Original Fan Motor MOUNTS were completely removed Years Ago. Accessing the Hinge Bolts will depend on Your Situation.


Last edited by marlinjack

I agree the one hole version is what you from Fiat get but looking at all the other offerings from the specialized vendors ,that is exactly what you will get from  them as well . I don't see any two hole offerings any more  .  And even with that it is at three times the price.

So when your original latch finally spreads from the repeated closings and does not latch properly you might as well buy the Fiat. Same factory , same manufacturer and highly likely same machine  it is made on.  Probably the same bloke making them . You can always drill another hole .......!

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