Friday, September 03, 2021

Automotif CCXLVII...

Loiter on the patio of one of the restaurants at 54th and College and sooner or later, one of everything will drive by... this very early De Tomaso Pantera. The earliest '71 models are identifiable by push-button door releases shared with the earlier Mangusta. Production using the old style manufacturing methods was having a hard time keeping up with the output required by Ford (to say nothing of indifferent quality control) so Ford invested a bunch of money in new tooling for the Italian maker.

The most visible sign of the cars made on the newer tooling are the flat-latch door handles.

You can tell it's a '72 from the flat door latches and the graceful chrome bumpers, replaced for the '73 models (called the Pantera L), with large rubber federally-mandated energy absorbing 5mph bumpers.

The blue and white De Tomaso logo is visible in the grille and the wheel center caps. The colors are from the Argentinian flag, where Alejandro de Tomaso was born.

The aftermarket wing looks nice on this car, and the sound crackling from those exhausts was that of a Ford 351 Cleveland V8 that meant business.