1972 DeTomaso Pantera – $49000

Matching numbers, 50K. I have owned the car for 11 years and have replaced and restored from top to bottom. Car was stripped and painted 8 years ago. Steel flares with mods. 351 Cleveland rebuilt from the ground up. Dyno at 421 HP. Upgrade on brakes, cooling, MSD. ignition. Performance cam, holley carb., Kinesis wheels, Michelin pilots. Too much to list. Don’t miss this beauty.”

The DeTomaso Pantera. Expensive, exotic, and unique; the bizarre and somewhat shortlived ‘70s supercar is just one of many that most car enthusiasts forget about… until they see one. Eye fetchingly low and incredibly aggressive in its design, the Pantera was the cool combination of American Tom Tjaarda’s excellent design skills and the Italian firm’s unhinged sense of realism. After all, launching a small-block, Ford V8-powered, mid-engined, Italian supercar in the midst of the oil-starved early seventies and maintaining it as a viable business through the recession of the 80s wasn’t exactly DeTomaso’s brightest idea. And as a car, it wasn’t exactly stellar. Although brilliant at times, it was famously unreliable, leading to Elvis Presley shooting his personal ’74 Pantera on multiple occasions.

Now, hopefully a few decades’ passage has sorted out the Pantera’s various mechanical and electrical gremlins, because this is one awesome car. Equipped with just 330 horsepower in its earlier guises, the Pantera still managed to sprint to 60 miles per hour in a respectable 5.5 seconds, and one can assume that this one’s 421 horsepower should shave some time off that. Additionally, the upgraded brakes, cooling, and ignition (that last bit, specifically) should work wonders on the car’s ability to run all the way to 60 miles per hour, and beyond, reliably. However, its steep price tag of $49,000 might cause more than a few to balk, especially given the car’s modified nature. But one should remember that it’s nearly as engaging as its contemporary competitor, the eyeball-conquering Lamborghini Countach, albeit more reliable and easier to drive. And even at a grand shy of $50K, it’s still cheaper than a myriad of vastly less impressive vehicles.


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