1971 De Tomaso Red Pantera
Here's Italian sport car produced by De Tomaso. It's a the Pantera replaced the Mangusta
, was designed by Tom Tjaarda released in 1971 come in black interior and red on exterior powered by a Ford 351 cu in (5.8 L) V8 engine that produced a severely underrated 330 hp.
Summary by owner:
1971 Pantera #1842. It has the original Ford 351 Cleveland engine and ZF transaxle. Finish in the engine bay is among the best of the Panteras. Complete suspension rebuild with all new bushings/ball joints and powder coat paint. Billet replica Campy wheels by Boyd Coddington with new tires. AC conversion to R134A with rotary compressor. AC condenser moved up front of Hall Phoenix radiator. Complete shift linkage rebuild with polished stainless u-joints and spherical trunnion bearing. Holley double pumper carb, high torque cam, roller rockers, Edelbrock intake with torque plates, Hall headers, and high flow exhaust. Full MSD ignition. Spicer half shafts. ZF transaxle safety wired by Hall. New leather and carpet. New rubber in windows, doors, and deck lids. Sound deadener in floor, doors, and firewall. Original California plates with current registration.
Details are below:
This is an early Pantera with small bumpers (later came the L series that have the large, mandated 5 MPH bumpers and corresponding hardware).
Upswept exhaust (the L series have horizontal exhaust to clear the large rear bumper).
Stock body - no fender changes, tails, air dams, or ground effects.
New paint in original color. Underside of front deck lid is the original paint and has not been sprayed over.
Gas cap and plumbing were originally in the engine bay and have been relocated to driver side of car.
All shiny trim pieces have been professionally powder coated in black.
Removed unsightly factory coating down to bare metal.
Fabricated sheet metal covers for all unneeded holes in engine bay from the factory (there are many) and welded them in place.
Smoothed engine bay by initially applying fiberglass body filler over spot welds and seams. Followed with regular bondo sparingly.
Primed and painted engine bay.
Fabricated thick gauge polished aluminum shroud for gas tank and firewall.
Smoothed and polished Edelbrock intake.
Fabricated polished aluminum faces for cylinder head ends.
Polished stainless expansion tank and overflow tank.
Polished ZF transaxle, and powder coated steel components.
Powder coated Spicer half shafts.
Powder coated ZF mounting hardware.
Powder coated shift linkage.
Installed polished dual element air cleaner and new K&N filters.
Installed polished aluminum float bowl cover for Holley carb.
Installed polished aluminum valve covers with Pantera logo.
Stainless fasteners used throughout engine bay.
Painted engine black.
Retained all factory emissions systems.
Disassembled, cleaned and inspected engine.
Retained stock pistons and valves.
Replaced piston rings and deglazed cylinder walls.
Had crank ground and polished. Replaced bearing inserts.
Replaced cam with RV/Towing version to maximize torque.
Replaced lifters, valve springs, and valve seals.
Installed roller rockers from Ford Racing.
Replaced oil pump.
Relocated oil pressure sender to port near front of engine.
Installed liquid filled mechanical oil pressure gauge at visible top port on engine.
Installed port plates on intake and exhaust to help maximize torque.
Replaced distributor with billet MSD magnetic pickup.
Installed MSD box.
Installed MSD tach adapter.
Installed Holley double pumper carb with polished fuel bowl.
Installed Hall headers.
Procured exhaust from later Pantera with larger diameter pipes.
Opened said exhaust cans and reduced baffling.
Modified said exhaust to point tips upward like early Pantera can tips.
Installed slip on chrome tip covers.
Engine Performance and Sound:
Engine cold starts consistently on first try.
Compression and oil pressure are excellent.
No smoke on startup, neither blue nor black.
Retained heat riser in intake manifold and port plates to ensure quick engine warm up.
After warmup, engine has healthy sounding idle along with some rumble.
Engine performs well, especially at low RPM's due to focus on maximizing torque.
Engine also rev's well with limiter set at 6500 RPM in MSD box.
One of my friends says the car pulls like a freight train.
Reduced baffling in exhaust cans allows engine to reach full potential.
ZF Transaxle and Spicer Half Shafts:
Minimal work has been done to this ZF.
Replaced readily accessible seals on output shafts.
Torqued all accessible bolts to specification.
Confirmed that safety wire was in place on ring gear bolts.
Powder coated output shaft plates.
Polished the ZF.
Disassembled, cleaned, and inspected Spicer half shafts.
Replaced all four u-joints on Spicer half shafts.
Powder coated Spicer half shafts.
Shifter and linkage rebuild:
Disassembled, cleaned, and inspected shifter.
Shimmed the shifter with thin brass to remove slop.
Replaced rubber trunnion with spherical bearing.
Precision fit brass sleeve onto shift linkage where it goes through the spherical trunnion.
Replaced both stock u-joints with polished stainless needle bearing units.
Replaced bushing in ZF external linkage receiver, along with rubber boot.
Replaced shift gate with good quality shift boot.
The car now shifts precisely.
Suspension, Steering, and Brakes:
Removed and replaced bushing in all eight a-arms.
Powder coated all eight a-arms.
Replaced all four ball joints.
Replaced rear wheel bearings and stub axle nuts.
Powder coated front spindles.
Powder coated rear carriers.
Installed adjustable alloy coil over shocks from QA1 in rear.
Installed Koni shocks in front.
Rebuilt steering rack and replaced rubber boots.
Installed collars to remove slop in collapsable steering column.
Replaced outer tie rod ends.
Replaced all eight sway bar bushings.
Powder coated front and rear sway bars, and brackets.
Disassembled, cleaned, and inspected brake calipers.
Powder coated calipers.
Replaced all rubber in calipers.
Installed new brake pads.
Had rotors resurfaced as needed.
Installed braided stainless flexible brake lines.
Wheels and Tires:
Wheels are billet Campy replicas by Boyd Coddington.
Front wheels are 16" and rear are 17".
New Khumo Ecsta XS tires with interesting tread pattern. These tires are also used on the Dodge Viper.
Front tire size is 225/50ZR16.
Rear tire size is 335/35ZR17.
Fresh DeTomaso logo wheel centers.
Air Conditioning and Radiator:
AC converted to R134A refrigerant.
Condenser relocated from engine bay to front side of Hall Phoenix radiator.
Hall fans (thermostatically controlled) changed from pusher fans to sucker fans.
Installed York to Sanden compressor adapter bracket.
Replaced York compressor with 7 piston rotary Sanden.
New custom AC hoses.
New accumulator with high pressure cutout switch.
Installed relay to run radiator fans when AC is on.
Panteras came with vinyl surfaces on the dash, seats, console, door panels, etc.
All of the vinyl (except for the door armrests) has been replaced with leather in this car.
This includes the dash, seats, console, door panels, and other panels.
Sound deadener applied to floor, door skins, and firewall.
New carpet and jute.
New seat rails.
New rubber in windows, doors, and deck lids.
All gauges, lights, and switches function correctly.
This car was originally owned by a gentlemen in Santa Maria, California. He apparently took the car to Hall in Paramount, California for some pretty cool upgrades (radiator & fans, Spicers, stainless tanks, side mount gas cap, intake manifold and carb). In 2006 he sold the car to another gentlemen in Santa Barbara, California. I bought the car in 2008 from the fellow in Santa Barbara. It was in non-operational status per the DMV and I trailered it home. But the car was complete and unmolested, and was a good starting point for this project. The car has less than 1000 miles on it since the restoration.
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