Greetings, this is my first public post and almost certain that I will have picked the wrong place to post it, but here goes: My first impression of a 351C  Pantera was at a car show about 35 years ago when I was a youngster just getting into the muscle car scene, it just so happens that at this show many cars would wide open throttle there cars when leaving the show and my #1 most memorable blast was from a rebuilt 351C carburated Pantera that I inquired about during the show. I remember that the power band was so wide and strong, a first and second gear blast was so impressive that I remember it to this day, I have seen many very fast worked and stock muscle cars accelorate, but nothing was quite like this. This memory along with much of the knowledge shared on this forum has convinced me to put a 429/521CJ  650hp/tq on hold to finally build a 351C quench 4v for my 1970 Torino  in my near retirement years. I now am thinking that the 521 is overkill for weekend street fun but the 351 is a long awaited treasure to be experienced on the street and maybe Watkins Glen NY  track some day .Thank you all!

Original Post

351BRO, Thanks for the story. There are few things in life that strike so deep that we carry the memories forever.

I, too, have a vivid Pantera memory which heavily influenced my automotive journey. The year was 1972. I just got my driver's licence and was getting into cars. At that point I was thankful to have a car with 4 wheels that ran. Fancy sports car were just a fantasy. Some friends and I were driving down Route 22 in Springfield New Jersey heading east. About a mile into Springfield the east bound and west bound lanes split to form an island of stores. The first store was the Lido Diner. Right in front of the Lido was a U-turn from the west bound lanes to the east bound lanes, The U-turn was a perfect sweeper to test the handling limits of your car (we never did that, LOL). So, while driving down Rte. 22 I witnessed a Pantera enter the sweeper, fly around the U-turn and floor it out of the turn. The Pantera was practically out of sight within a few seconds. Those images and sounds are burned into my memory forever. I knew then and there that mid-engine madness was my future. The funny thing is that I have no recollection of who I was with or what car we were in. vintage-photos-of-nj-diners--c9bb852e9fea95c7

Attachments

Images (1)
racecarmike posted:

Watkins Glen is a fun track. Always enjoyed racing there. 

Ditto..also loved F1,Trans Am Can-Am IMSA GTP WSC World Challenge and 6 Hours there.

Besides Carnegie Deli ( Now Closed ) the two things I miss most about living in NY

Great stories! 

I’ve loved the styling of the Pantera ever since I saw my first one in the mid 70’s. I don’t remember when that was exactly, but I instantly became fond of the car’s beautiful Italian lines. One of my earliest impressions or memories of the Pantera came when I was just a young boy, probably about 10 years old.  One of my dad's co-workers had a Pantera.  At a company picnic he told the story of driving it from Oregon to California in the mid-late 70's (possibly when he bought the car) and that a Porsche Turbo Carrera came up alongside him on the highway and wanted to race...  He said the Porsche downshifted and he just mashed the gas pedal until the Porsche was a mile behind.  I already loved cars and was immediately smitten!

In 1983 I attended the Nor-Cal Shelby Club's first "Mini Nat’s" at Sears Point Raceway. I was there to look at Shelby GT350’s and generally anything Cobra. However, I remember admiring two Panteras that were at the event. I even recall how much I liked those Campy wheels – unbeatable uniqueness and style!

Five years later I was living and working in Santa Barbara, California and stumbled onto a beautiful Pantera (possibly an L-model) on the "Showplace Automobiles" used car lot on Chapala Street. The car was maroon with a black interior, and I was "in love." Anyway, I paid a number of visits to the car and began price negotiations with the dealer. However, I was also saving to buy my first home and decided I needed a house with a garage before I needed another car, especially one so deserving of a garage.

Fast forward to sometime between 1997-1999 and I saw a Pantera on a trailer at the Monterey marina. The car was an orange 72 that had been subtly and tastefully upgraded for track use, and it was beautiful! It had just started raining, but the owner graciously spent 10 minutes getting wet while telling me about the car. He and his wife were trailering it to Arizona to attend a driving school, and I believe they were subsequently heading to the POCA Fun Rally in Las Vegas. I wish I could remember their names or where they were from. On that wet afternoon I decided right then and there that I would have one, but it wasn’t the right time and I was soon preoccupied with my busy life, career and family again.

However, every year I attend the Monterey Historic Automobile Races with my brother, and continued to admire the Panteras in the PI club corral at the track - it was always a highlight of the event for me.

Then in 2002 I was looking for a fun car and was contemplating purchasing a used Porsche 911 or BMW M3.  My wife objected to the cost to buy and likely maintain either of those marques, and then I remembered the Pantera. I was pleasantly surprised to find that at the time a decent Pantera could be had for less than I was contemplating spending on either of the other cars, AND it cost less to insure!  The search was on, and six or seven months later the Banzai Runner Pantera became mine!

Here I am in Paso Robles with Al Manning, the former owner of #4033 for 25 years, on the day I purchased her in May of 2003.

purchase3

Attachments

Images (1)
Last edited by garth66

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×