Found On Craigslist- $1,000 Per Mile Pantera

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The De Tomaso Pantera is one of the few exotic cars that owners seem nonplussed about modifying. These days it is more rare to come across one that hasn’t had its engine quad-turbo’d, or bodywork group-fived. So it comes as kind of a shock to find this pristine example from 1974 that not only is as-original, with only 135 miles on the clock, it is original.

That's like a pretty girl sitting home on a Friday night- what a waste.
That's like a pretty girl sitting home on a Friday night - what a waste.

Now, a 35 year old car with so few miles may make your head swim with thoughts of dried-up seals, seized bearings and brake failure, but the seller is ready for this and notes that original does not mean un-maintained:

We have just completed a full mechanical service and cosmetic detail on the car to awaken it from its years in storage. The car was fully inspected and every system serviced including changing all fluids, belts, hoses, and filters. Only period correct OEM parts were used in this process.
The engine has been fully serviced including rebuilding the carburetor and replacing the oil pan gasket. New plugs, filters, and all new hoses were installed. The exhaust system has been cleaned and Jet coated to match the original finish and new exhaust gaskets installed. The transmission was serviced and it’s fluid replaced. The clutch master and slave cylinders were replaced.
The brake booster, master cylinders and brake calipers were all rebuilt and new brake hoses installed. Wheel bearings were re-packed and new wheel seals installed. All new upper and lower control arm bushings have been installed. Our four-wheel alignment has set the suspension to factory specifications.
The air conditioning compressor and clutch were replaced and the system converted to modern 134 refrigerant. It works better than new.
Our detail department then spent over 200 hours cleaning and detailing every square inch of this car. The interior exterior and even the bottom of the car are in “AS NEW” condition.

Now comes the biggest heartbreak of all, for while many Panteras have fallen to the whims and personal tastes of their particular owners, diminishing their value, and keeping prices for the marque relatively low, something of this providence must command a premium, and that it does, as its seller is asking $1,000 for each mile so far covered.
Now, it’s unlikely that you will come across another Pantera of this caliber any time soon, and so, if you really like Panteras (and I REALLY like Panteras) then $135,000 may not be too much to ask for this white knight. That said, you’re spending that much for the uniqueness that the time-capsule condition affords. That means you’d never get to enjoy the car without diminishing its value, and if driving it is a goal, why not start with a cheaper, and less unique version?

You could eat off that disk.
You could eat off that disk.


Los Angeles Craigslist

39 Comments

  1. I wish they still made interiors like that. Nice and simple, practical and yet still roomy and comfortable. Heck, I wish they still made CARS like that! Sigh…

    1. Happy belated birthday, joshuman! Hopefully you had fun and didn't wake up in a strange place with a strange woman. Well, unless that was the goal, in which case I hope you did.

  2. There are a lot of bad ideas at work here. First of all, investing hundreds of hours to "clean and detail" a car you're about ready to sell, well, that's nuts. Your basic high-end auto dealer, or Ducky's Car Wash, can probably do it in about ten. OK, forty, max. What was so dirty it took 200 hours to clean?
    And, "period correct hoses and filters"? What does that even mean? They ordered 1970s Oil Filters from the manufacturer to see if they could old ones? The story is full of bad ideas. Somebody is losing a lot of money on this car, and you're absolutely right, you can't enjoy it as it is offered. Bleargh!

    1. "Period Correct" means pretty much what you assumed. But it's a very important component in restoring a car to original – or "points judging" – condition.
      Need a new battery? Can't get a DieHard – you have to get one of the same dimensions and rating (better make sure it's a filler-type if the OEM was too), and see that the labels match.
      Need filters? Forget Fram: better find the reproductions that match the printing that was on the car when it left the assembly line.
      As the seller mentions, this can go on for virtually any routine serviceable part.
      And even non-routine service, too. Rebuild a motor? There are folks whose jobs are to know every last minute detail of every visible bolt. If the casting stamp on the head is off, or the plating is wrong, they'll know.
      That said, I wonder if Panteras really command that kind of devotion or knowledge. It's obvious the seller made every effort to ensure this is the most original, time-capsule example you could hope to find, and I commend and salute his efforts, as it's a wonderful car deserving of such affection. Unfortunately, as others have said, it makes it a somewhat dubious investment, unless you want a turnkey concours-quality car that you don't intend to drive "as intended".

    2. Exactly what I was thinking. Replacing 35 year old gaskets and filters with 35 year old gaskets and filters that aren't dirty is dumb. It's like my historic society telling me that I can either replace rotted siding with poplar or leave the dead aluminum siding. There are superior products to be used and it's insane to ignore 35 years of product advancement. Replacing the rubber however, well that's a good thing.
      That said, I would trade bodily fluids or the body parts of friends and family for ANY Pantera.

    3. Just to put it in a sad, sad context, this car has had more of its life being detailed than being driven (by a factor of about 50, presumably).

      1. Nor do I. This shop is an amazing place, but they really dropped the ball on this car. They should have left it alone, but in addition to the 134-a foolishness, they coated the headers,they added SS caliper brake lines, added Gates green stripe hoses, and also as noted changed every little service part they could take off…for a car that will only be driven into and out of the enclosed trailer. They could have just removed and freshened and reinstalled everything and it would have still worked fine. They removed all the original pieces that made the car original and lowered its value to a true collector. But they did not do any upgrades to make it desirable for someone who wants to drive the car. Not sure just what their intended market was. Oh, and the steering wheel emblem is upside down.

  3. I ran this through the engineerd Fair Market Value (eFMV™) calculator to see what would happen. Well, let's just say the laptop sitting next to the eFMV™ WOPR-like computer is feeling a little violated after the eFMV™ became overly amorous.
    Before leaving the room to give them some alone time, I did get this:
    According to Autotrader Classic, the average sell price for 1973-74 Panteras is $76,000 including one asking $125000. I added $5000 for rarity, $1500 for low miles, $5000 for it being a classic, $2500 for it being magical (how does one remain undriven and unmolested for so long? Black magic?), and $1500 for general awesomeness. This gives a fair market value of $91,500.
    The other $43500 is pure, unadulterated love. Can you really put a price on love?

    1. The Autotrader Classic figure of $76K is waaay over reality. You can still find survivor/drivers for $30-$35K if you look and the stars align for you. $76K gets you one VERY nicely upgraded, new engined, new paint Pantera in today's market.

  4. well , when they first came out they sold for $10,000.00 most sell around 20, to $25,000 today..so why not buy a ferrari 308 for around the same price. and 10 to 15 years older…the new pantera company should re-issue the old car w/w.o the targa top…and modern interior and modified engine..fuel efficient.. the masarati merak 74 also looks like it…you never see these cars anymore..only big bulky boxy giant ass cars..all looking the same…im a poor guy anyone willing to let me rent to own?? eargazmz@yahoo.com good luck!

  5. forgive me the dream makers full name is Tom Tjaarda creator of the de tomasso pantera amongst other amazing designs.

  6. Hello! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Appreciate it!

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