Skip to main content

Replies sorted oldest to newest


It is actually a lot of fun to play in the snow with the Pantera when there isn't much traffic on the road. Nail the throttle, learn to control the car when it does weird things. We were in the middle of Vermont in a snow storm one year with the Pantera (we really don't go out hunting storms in the Pantera...the storm just happened to find us) and headed for a Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream tour. We were headed south on Route 100 and started to head up an incline in the road which was covered in snow. We were only going about 20 to 25 mph and about half way up the hill the Pantera did the slowest 180 degree spin I have ever seen. It was as if God Himself reached down and grabbed the Pantera and slowly spun us around so that we were facing in the exact opposite direction we were headed. My wife and I immediately realized that this was the Pantera's way of saying it wanted no more of this white weather. We stopped in the next town and stayed the night. The photo below was taken on the road in Vermont a short distance after the Pantera's change of heart.

Pantera in the Snow
Worked for Ford Motor Company, Parts & Service Division, and happened to be working in the Minneapolis, MN District Office 1972-1980 (height of Pantera selling, & service). Can tell many horror stories of how customers where told that the mid engine Pantera was so well balanced that "it would handle well in just about any type of weather", only to see a number facing the wrong direction in just about any type of weather (including dry).
Also, after being transferred to Detroit in '81, witnessed a number of Panteras being transported by Security to the "salvage yard crusher". They were "buybacks" as a result of sales misrepresentation, corrosion, etc.
DRIVEN!!! Love it!

To drive or not to drive, that is the question. Now in my salty and damp country, I would never drive my Pantera on bad days. But I've driven my Longchamp for 2½ years as my daily driver, all kinds of weather, salty roads. Technically and reliability wise it was very good, had some minor issues the first month, but once they were fixed, it ran without problems every day. I washed it frequently, especially in the winter, so every Saturday morning I had it out in front washing it, in all kinds of weather, passers by thought I was, well, something.

But...I must admit it has come with a price. It's clearly worn from the experience. I see rust bubbles 1-2 places that I'm sure there wouldn't have been if it had been a sun only car. And if I look in the engine room, it looks like shit, a lot of surface rust and dirt. One or two spots on my ultra delicate ivory Alcantara have also been the result of me and family in and out on dark wet evenings.

So, don't expect a show car to stay a show car if you use it. So do I regret that 2½ years? No way! It was worth it. If you haven't driven a classic car on a daily basis, you haven't lived...

I'll just have to restore it again sometime. I almost look forward to it...
Originally posted by Qrtlow:
Here is Al Axelrod (2013 Fun Rally guest speaker) driving back to Colorado in April after leaving Phoenix. Check it out, his car matches the frosty Coors truck in the background.

Sorry for putting this post here but I own one of those ft covers I bought it not thinking about my 1974 L type ft bumper ... anybody need it?
Originally posted by Rob Borruso:
Honestly spoken...that Coors pic makes me cringe. I like driving em, and hard too....but I think that's spitting in the face of the corrosion demon.. and he always wins. Frowner

I tend to agree with that statement.

Giving credit where credit is due, NO ONE in ITALY ever conceived of any of these "exotics" still existing 40 years down the road.

I'm not sure if you can point a finger at anyone and find intentional fault with the structural designs.

Unprotected steel on the interior structures of these cars, combined with monoque design philosophy and practice AND US rust belt weather and chemically treat winter roads just make a very poor combination for longevity.

In fact I will go even further and say that the condensation vapor that forms on the interior portions of the bare steel surfaces is really just sets of a chain of irreversible motion to a certain rusty death and often untimely.

I am still convinced that the only way you can even just slow that time clock down is to electrostaticly submerge the complete steel substructure and body sheet steel in a two stage vat primer, let it soak in there for a sufficient time, then put it in the oven for 40 minutes to cure it.

Then at least you have a fighting chance.

Anybodies sheet steel is already dying from the minute it is produced. This is simply a function of what an atmosphere containing 21% oxygen does to virtually everything, given enough time.

Those shots of a red car (I'm partial to red Panteras) in the snow, on a mountain road in the Rockies are MAYBE the most picturesque shots I've ever seen.

Granted they weren't intentional but personally I'll remember them for a long, long time...very positively! Big Grin
Originally posted by PanteraDoug:
Those shots of a red car (I'm partial to red Panteras) in the snow, on a mountain road in the Rockies are MAYBE the most picturesque shots I've ever seen.

Granted they weren't intentional but personally I'll remember them for a long, long time...very positively! Big Grin

Glad you liked them...I sure had fun taking the photos. Lifetime memories for my nephew and I for sure. The photos were taken 12 years ago and beleive it or not, my Pantera hasn't disintegrated into a pile of rust yet Wink

In fact, I just put over 75 miles on the Pantera today in our Winter weather (we only hit 50 degrees today....brrrrr Smiler I shouldn't have mentioned that fact....sorry to all you midwesterners, East Coasters, Canadians and condolances for the weather in your neighborhoods!

Within the next few weeks the Pantera will be closing in on 150,000 miles!
I have it on good authority that people who live in the southern climates get extremely bored of warm weather, sunshine and the general brown-ness of things. Some of them have been known to escape to the north just so they can see snow and their breath as they walk outside. OK, I'm not even convincing myself…

There is one great thing about winters though, and that is we can work on our cars with out really having "lost" any driving time.

Originally posted by INZOWHO:
It ain't green up here now.

Doug M

If you chop away in the ice, you can find some green frozen in there can't you?

We're kinda covered in snow here too. Too cold to work in the garage. Really need a road somewhere warm. Not hot. Just warm. Maybe to 30 or 35 degrees so I can shake off the icicles that used to be my breath?

Ooo, wait, the Sun. I've got to go catch some rays. Might be the only five minutes of Sun we get this month?

Personally snow is just for scenic photo shoots I think.

Not a bad time to be in LA or SD right about now. Plenty of good driving weather.
Honestly, it's great to see people driving these cars.

I doubt they are ever really what you'd call an 'every day driver' - especially if you live where winter comes for several months a year. But every now and again you end up in situations where you just can't help it.

For all those doubters out there, a properly set up Pantera handles great in the wet. Even at speed. And if you have to drive in the snow you should know that it is dependable and reliable and safe - so long as you understand 'limits.'

And as Coz once told me "they don't melt in the wet."

Those who know me, know how well maintained and clean my car is - inside, out and under. So trust me, they can survive the odd outing in salt and snow. After all, they can survive rocks, bugs and other debris at 160 mph. These cars were meant to drive.

And I love owners like FAST who understand proper maintenance and therefore get to put them to the test and enjoy the other side of appreciating and building these cars. DRIVING THEM!

Love the pics!


Images (1)
  • winter
It is true that Panteras do not melt in the wet or the snow.

The water drains built into the car are small and tend to clog easily.

Winter driving exacerbates this with the frozen slush that can built up on the body works.

If you put the car in a good hot water car wash with a full chassis wash and make sure it is dried throughout before exposing it to sub-freezing temps, it will last as long as if you were washing the car regularly at home.

The problem is often you can't was it often enough in these conditions.

In conditions that I have here now, that would mean putting the car into wash daily.

In addition, the open velocity stacks and screened jet covers on the Webers do not get along well with these types of car washes.

You have to get the rock salt off of everything. galvanic action with the steel and the salt in these conditions just accelerates corrosion. Even the polished stainless steel reacts with it to some extent and becomes dull as a result.

Also snow and ice do not get along well with these types of low profile, wide tread pattern tires.

What will get you through it well though is the original skinny tire configuration the car was delivered with, and probably the 7/8 inch wheels being the best overall compromise for all driving conditions?

Counting in my head, I come up with 6 people that I specifically knew who used their Panteras new as their only and every day cars, right here in the greater NYC area.

The cars are quite capable of very wintery use although you will never get the car clean again in all the cracks and crevices IMO. Wink

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.