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Hello all,

I am new to the online Pantera community, but I have been around Panteras since I was born. My dad has had his 74' for 35 years and together we recently acquired an original 74' American GTS that we are bringing back to life.

At the moment I am having a wheel/suspension dilemma that I would like some feedback on. As everyone knows, the original Pantera GTS came with fiber glass flares that do not allow tires to 'tuck' under the fender well under full suspension compression. I would like to buy wheels/tires that are flush with the outside of the fiberglass flares (for aesthetic reasons), but I also want to run Koni shocks with OEM springs (spacers removed). My fear is that a wheel/tire setup that is flush with the outside of the flare will contact the flare under full suspension compression (i.e. when I hit a large bump). I definitely don't want to deal with the aftermath of that sort of incident. Does anyone have experience or advice on this issue, specifically related to the original American GTS? Will I have to put the spacers back under the springs, or perhaps move to a height adjustable coilover?

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
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Here is a suggestion if the suspension is still attached to the car. Extend the existing studs with a nut and cut threaded rod. Using an additional nut as a backstop for the wheel's mounting surface, bolt on your existing wheels. After removing the shocks, you can then jack the wheel through it's full range of motion and check for interference. I used this method to determine the optimum spacing for the 19" wheels I fit on my GT5. I didn't want to spend that much money on a set of custom bot anchors.

I was surprised to see how quickly the wheel is pulled in toward the wheelhouse when the suspension is under compression.
Hi Coolbreeze,
Congrats on your Pantera. What chassis number is it and what colors? Is it the original Yellow-gold? I am having a problem being sure that my painter is getting the right color to repaint mine.

I also have a 1974 US GTS (7217 painted in the wrong colors) that is currently being repainted in the correct original colors (Yellow-gold and black) and I sourced some NOS flares from Roland and am having them put back on too (which have been missing ever since I bought the car). I have the 15x10 inch Euro GTS Campy wheels on the back and with a 295x50x15 tire without flares the tyre is basically sticking out past the wheel arch, even at the top. It actually looks like the wheels are too big and in my opinion looks a bit cartoonish. You will notice that folks that buy the Campy copies in 17 inch etc have a different offset that moves the wheel in a bit to correct this visual problem (no flares), and the car looks much better. When I have the flares on then the rear tyre should be nicely covered, and I think the car will actually look much nicer for it. I am not going to try and get wheels that go out to the edge of the flares, so wont change my suspension at all. On the front things may be a different matter from a visual perspective. Here I have 225x50x15 on 15x8 inch Campagnolos. This tyre looks quite right without flares, fitting nicely under the wheel arch. When I have the GTS flares on the front, it may look like the front tyre is a couple of centimetres too far inside. I will have to see. One option would be to go with a 245 wide tyre, but they do not exist in the right profile for a 15 inch wheel, as far as I can see. It is however possible to get a 255 wide tyre in the correct profile to match the original tyre height, but that may be pushing it on the front (and an 8 inch rim). And they are hideously expensive. Everywhere I have read reccomends max 245 on the front of a 'narow body' Pantera due to clearance issues inside the wheel arch and the windscreen wiper motor cover etc. Anyway, for me the most important thing is that it is going to look original, and well, tyres well inside the wheel arches was pretty much the way things were in the 70s. If I ever find a 245 wide tyre in the right profile I will however be putting it on straight away. Nevertheless, I fully respect your desire for a meaner look, but I think that you are going to have to cut the steel of the wheel arches to get your tyres out as far as you want, unless you jack the suspension up.
Keep us posted on what you decide to do, and how it works out.
Cheers, Tim.
Thank you for all the great feedback, it seems like I have some measuring and pondering to do before I decide how to proceed. I'll give an update when I've made a decision on a wheel/tire/suspension combination that I think will work.


Yes, it is the Yellow-gold color, and it still has the factory paint. Overall the paint is in very good condition, considering the car's age. I'll submit another post a little later with the chassis number, I don't have it memorized yet. You can reference the pic below for the color.

Yellow-Gold 74 Pantera GTS

This photo was taken on the day we picked up the car. The number on the side is only a decal (thankfully) and has long since been removed. My avatar photo was taken in the late 80's, sporting Gotti wheels. A member of the Dallas club found the photo and gave it to me.

Regarding the wheel/tire selection, I will raise the suspension before I cut into the wheel arches. I want to keep the body all original. It makes me cringe to consider cutting into the body of such a rare version of the Pantera.

I also recently acquired a US spec 74 GTS and have been wondering the same thing. It's not clear to me how "functional" the flares are as far as allowing the wheels to be pushed further out. Further complicating the matter is I'm not sure how my flares compare to stock GTS flares. The flares on my car are molded into the body with no exposed rivets. I'm not sure if the body was cut at all when this was done. Do the stock flares mount at the lip of the stock fender or do they mount further up? If they mount further up is the stock fender left entirely uncut inside? Like Tim I have the 15x10 and 15x8 Campagnolos. They fit pretty well under the flares as is but I'm curious if they can be pushed out further. Like you I'm interested in lowering the car at least by the size of the spacer. JT's suggestion seems like a good way of testing fit so I'll probably try that when I have the suspension apart. Pass on your findings if you end up making those measurements! Thanks.


Regarding chassis number, mine is #6795.


I really like your idea here. I believe VW makes something for their cars out of butyl rubber or high durometer foam called a suspension limiter that sits under the bump-stop. I could probably fabricate something similar for my application. It would achieve exactly what you mentioned and the height could be custom tailored to my needs. Great suggestion.


The stock flares mount a few inches above the lip of the fender well, and the rivets penetrate all the way through the fender wall. These flares were a cosmetic addition to the stock body Pantera from the factory, and no metal was cut. On an unaltered US spec GTS, you should be able to put your fingers under the flare and feel the original metal lip of the fender well, once you get past the flare. A good test for you would be to remove one of your wheels and look at the internal wall of the wheel well with a flash light. If you see rivets penetrating through, chances are you still have stock flares that were only cosmetically altered on the outside. If you don't see rivets, the previous owner may have installed metal flares and done some bodywork to create a true flared wheel well.


I am unfamiliar with the nuances of the 79' Euro GTS. Regardless, it sounds like they decided to add the flares correctly on that model, and they actually serve a functional purpose. I would be interested in seeing a photo of the under side of your wheel well at some point, for my own educational purposes.

Hi Coolbreeze,
it is fantastic to finally come into contact with someone having a yellow-gold US GTS. They are very rare. Yours is only the third one Ive seen photos of, and there were only 30 of them in all. I think the vast majority have been repainted. I hope it is O.K. if I PM you at some stage to discuss the colour a bit more, so I can be sure mine is repainted correctly.
Cheers, Tim.

I agree with your comment about the butyl rubber. I will look for limiters made of something more durable at high temperatures.


Yes, you can definitely PM me when you are ready to paint your car. I need to have one flare repainted and when they match the color I can request some touch-up paint. I can send it to you so your painter can match it.

I dont know much about paint matching, but if there is a formula my painter can give me I could send that to you as well. I probably wont get around to repainting that flare for a few months though. When do you expect to paint your car?

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