THANKS......NOTICED YOU ARE FROM MELB FROM THE SITE...........YOU SAY EASY TO CONVERT, HERE OR U.S./COST ANY IDEA, WAS TOLD AROUND $15000, SEEMS A LOT ?.........LOOKED AT ONE IN MELB-WASN'T IMPRESSED BOTH IN CONDITION OR PRICE AT THE TIME[WHICH IN HINDSITE I DONT REMEMBER EXACTLY-AROUND $100,000]AND ALSO ON THE NET...............PREFER NOT TO CONVERT!,OUT OF RESPECT TO THE ORIGINALITY OF THE VEHICLE..........AT THIS STAGE LOOKING AT ALL OPTIONS AND PREPARED FOR THE LENGTH OF TIME IT TAKES TO FIND HER........HAVE 3 ALFAS SO APPRECIATE THE GENRE OF THE MARQUES........THANKS FOR YOU HELP.......DAVID,
joules"Racing is Life, anything before or after is just waiting" - Steve McQueen
RHD steering racks are all but impossible to come by. You would also have to cut a dash and re-fiberglass etc. all in all not an easy task and one you'd want done by a competent shop.
If a conversion is your preferred route and you find a Pantera here in the USA you might consider talking to the vendors to see who can do the conversion this side of the pond prior to shipping. They at least have Pantera knowledge and parts readily available.
When I lived in Australia I had a Corvette that had been converted to RHD, whilst looking for that car I saw some real dodgy looking conversions.
From a NSW owner, I was told that the left-to-rhd conversion is pricey partly because the rack most often used in Panteras is adapted from a RHD Ferrari 308-series, and also because you guys must have a certified automotive engineer inspect and verify the conversion before the car can be registered. Of the ones I've seen, there are two methods: first (and best IMHO) is to cut the LHD pedal box completely out and weld it back in on the right. That, along with a RHD rack, reportedly works smoothly and looks 'factory'in photos. The second, more dicey way, is to leave the original brake & clutch master cylinders in place and fabricate 4 ft long extension shafts, with bearing block carriers, that go from the LHD setup clear across the cabin to a rhd brake, clutch & gas pedal assembly. If I was a 'certified engineer', I'd look long & hard at this method before approving it..... The dash and console, being thin fiberglas, should be easily cut and pasted for either side, then reupholstered. And you're correct- there was an Aussie company operating up through 1985 that imported hundreds of knocked-down, engine-less Panteras, mostly GT5 and GT5-S cars into the country, assembling and converting them as a matter of course. One thing I'm not clear on: is RHD MANDATORY over there, or is it simply a matter of trying to be comfortable while driving the car from the unfamiliar opposite side?
If the car is 30 years or OLDER it can be driven LHD. This is why I have not and prob won't do mine. The extension shafts , and chain drive steering in theory works, but in reality, makes for sloppy steering and spongy brakes. that is why it doesn't get done much anymore. And yes all work like this has to be approved by an authorised automotive engineer. even to get a LHD pantera registered here it has to be inspected and passed by the same guy. I used to do conversions back in the days, and they are a fair bit of work, trying to re engineer everything and make it all look like it was supposed to be there.( and work properly !!) A dodgy conversion is the quickest way to ruin an $100,000 car !
My 1973 RHD Pantera has the bars that run across the bulkhead. It's not nearly as scary as it sounds because De Tomaso actually engineered it quite well with bronze bushes and thick enough tube so that you cant feel any flex. I recently installed a brake system on a LHD American Pantera identical to the set up on my RHD car and it felt the same to drive.
If anyone needs a right hand drive steering rack a friend of mine Geoff Peters here in the UK has two brand new ones available. They came from Roland Jaeckel in Germany so they are top notch quality. Contact Geoff on email@example.com or me on johnnyrwoods@aolcom
You have to look around and put the word out. go through all the mags and so on. There's a nice black RHD in Sydney a white RHD in Vic a few red LHD in Vic a couple yellow LHD in vic. However I still brought mine in, that way I got what I wanted.
THERE ARE 51 DE TAMASOS ON REGISTER IN AUSTRALIA, DONT KNOW INFORMATION DATE OR UPDATE... FIGURE LONGCHAMPS INTO THAT EQUATION ETC.ETC. AS TO RHD OR LHD I'LL NEED TO RE-FIND THE REGISTER............THOSE AFORE MENTIONED RHD IN OZ,ARE THEY FOR SALE? IF SO CONVERTIONS OR NOT?...............DAVID T....
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