THE EXOTIC BRUTE
The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of.
We are talking big and heavy on this one, a centre engined two seater sports car with a cast iron 5763 cc V8, straight from Detroit U.S.A., mind you that does not mean it's sluggish, more like very fast. With road holding like a roller skate and you do not have to be superman ( i.e. Arms like ) to drive it. Ok it's not very sophisticated but then it's very reliable and parts are cheap also just as fast off the mark and at the top end as all the other super cars.
Details : - Manufacturer De Tomaso
Production 1971–1991. 7260 produced.
Designer Tom Tjaarda under Ghia
Engine: 351 in3 Cleveland (5.7 L)
Power: 330 hp (246 kW)
Curb weight: 3,123 lb (1,417 kg)
Wheelbase: 98.4 in (2,499 mm)
Front track: 57.0 in (1,448 mm)
Rear track: 58.0 in (1,473 mm)
Length: 158.0 in (4,013 mm)
Width: 67.0 in (1,702 mm)
Height: 43.4 in (1,102 mm)
Brakes: Front 332 x 32 ventilated and cross-drilled; Rear: 314 x 28 ventilated / '71 Panteras had 15" wheels, and brake rotors were smaller than 300 mm (11.8 in).
Maximum Speed: 159 mph (256 km/h).
The styling business call this shape ' DIHEDRAL '
That’s the section across the bonnet forms an angle similar to that between aircraft wings.
What is a Pantera
It's a super car all right, along with Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and "may be, just may be" Aston Martin.
It's creator was Alessandro De Tomas who came from Argentina and had a fairly successful racing career, he raced in the States and Italy where he became associated with the Osca project along with the Maserati brothers and by 1963 he was building his own cars [ In very small quantities ].
By 1966 and the coming of his Mangusta the world began to notice this V8 engined coupe ( Italian for mongoose -- a cobra eater ! ).
In 1969 De Tomas offered a package to Ford U.S.A. who snapped it up, but demanded further development and engineering to meet Federal Safety and Emission laws. So Ford & De Tomas got to it and in six months the resulting min-engined car was ready. First off known as the Cobra or 351, with a nice body shape from designer Tom Tjaarda, Ghia's directors of styling.
The whole car was developed and tested in conjunction with Fords engineers at Dearborn U.K., and that counted for an awful lot in getting it right in such a short time scale ( Of course it did, British Know How, sorted things ).
What resulted was an exclusive, devastating, rakish, fast and good looking car that was very usable and not in the least temperamental. The car has a look of Italian coach builder about it, without some of the frills others in its class seem to have (i.e. Lamborghini ) .
The car made its public debut in Modena in March 1970 and was presented at the 1970 New York Motor Show a few weeks later
With the V8 throbbing and a delightful burble from the exhaust there is no way you would pass this car without stopping to look it over.
Inside you would see room for two and nothing else, with a first class finish for this type of car.
Some of the minor controls may be in odd positions but once again it's all there in the limited space available.
Instruments are grouped on console and angled towards driver with a Ferrari type gate gearlever,
Air condition is standard and necessary with the amount of glass area and close proximity of the engine.
Now for the technical side of things, well we know about the V8 engine.
Gear box is a ZF 5 speed unit. Clutch, a dry plate diaphragm-spring hydraulically activated unit, The final drive is a limited slip differential. Body and chassis construction are Monocoque integral- construction in steel. Suspension front and rear is independent double wishbones coil springs / damper units and anti roll bar. Steering is rack and pinion. Brakes by Girling internally-vented discs 11.3" front & 11.7" rear, with separate front / rear hydraulic systems using direct acting vacuum servo. Wheels, Magnesium alloy 8" wide front & 10" wide rear.
So what does all this give you, 330 bhp @ 5400 RPM (No screaming engine here ) 0- 60 mph in 5¾ seconds and a 159 mph top speed with 15-22 MPG, ( Not bad so far ).
Now lets open the engine / drive compartment (It's at the back so is it the boot ? ),
Well there is plenty of room to get to the ZF gear box and final drive.
But wait one the engine is disappearing under the rear window,
Hence changing plugs is a real problem and changing fan belts means out comes the engine.
But remember this long life engine needs very little maintenance and was designed for hundreds of thousands of miles without much more than oil changes.
Once you place the "get you home" spare wheel ( Which is deflated and has an air bottle to inflate it ) and the good tool kit in, it's full with "no room at the Inn" for anything else.
Driving it, well much as I would love to relate that experience it's going to be hearsay.
So lets get started Getting in is now more difficult than say a TR4 or an E Type, the seats are not soft more firm and comfortable, which leads to the steering wheel and gear change which are just right, the pedals are not perfect with the clutch being very close to the centre bulkhead (It's not tunnel "no drive shaft" but part of chassis ) due to original design being for left hand drive.
Head room is OK and rear view quite good for such a small window.
Starting the engine is felt more than heard as the soundproofing is first class,
a passenger in an early Pantera recorded that the mechanical noises emanating from the transaxle were more intrusive than the well restrained engine noise.
When being driven on a nice day it gives the impression of a well engineered car that the wife could drive and would be no trouble in town and if she did put her foot down heavy, it would go off at a rate of knots with a pleasant engine sound to let you know you were moving fast but with out any fuss, and the easy driving extends to cornering, it's just a no fuss car that does the job.
Mind you it does under steer which can be a problem in the wet if you happen to be pushing the car hard as it will tend to go straight on.
Which brings us to braking, this seems to require high pedal pressure but this slightly disguised the amount of work they are actually doing and how quick the car is slowing.
If your in the mood for getting out of the way of all the idiots on road and have space just put your foot down and you will pass everything else without fuss but watch the taco because this engine does not scream when over revving.
What sets the PANTERA apart from other super cars then.
Well mainly the power unit, not like some of the aluminium 4 cam V12 specially built engines that the plugs foul up at low rev's ( So it's no use in town ) and the car cough's and splutters ( very embarrassing when sitting in a car every one is looking at ) and you have to pay an expensive mechanic to keep tuning it.
Then if something does go wrong its high cost for parts ( Also months wait if its from Italy ).
The heating and ventilation is first class plus air conditioning is standard. A lot of the super cars do not have air conditioning and can not have it fitted even if you want it, ( So you do not roast, as in some of it's competitors plus you can demist the windows when it rains ) as some super cars are mobile green houses in the sun, and a high speed run will produce so much heat in the copit you think your on fire ( Especially if it's front engined ).Ask a Austin Healey 3000 owner to take you on long high speed run and you will know what hot feet are. So air conditioning is not a nice extra but a necessity in a super car for it to be liveable with. (Try driving a TVR even with aircon your feet burn after long term trips in traffic, and in a hard top on a summer day you melt).
A total of 1,007 Panteras reached the United States that first year. Unfortunately, these cars were poorly built, and several Panteras broke down during testing on Ford's own test track.
What else, It's put together really well (from 1971 on ) and being steel body work it is not to expensive for repairs ( Not expensive like aluminium and now plastics parts ).
So basically the PANTERA is an affordable no fuss super car you use all the time
The final word I want one. ( I know that's three words )
That's All For Now Folks
All The Best
As a point of interest De Tomaso also built saloons and coupe’s cars and I’m a lover of owing a sheep in wolves clothing ( like the Renult Quadra) I have included some pictures. One other thing if you read the Maserati Quattroporte article the series III was based on the PANTERA LONGCHAMP ??
De Tomaso Deauville
De Tomaso Deauville
is a large four-door sedan first exhibited at Turin Motor Show 1970. The car was powered by the same 330 hp, 351 in³ (5763 cc) Ford Cleveland V8 as the De Tomaso Pantera. The car had a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) and featured styling similar to that of the Jaguar XJ.
The Deauville had an independent rear suspension very similar to that used by Jaguar, and ventilated discs in all four wheels. It shares its chassis with the Maserati Quattroporte III
The De Tomaso Longchamp is an automobile which was produced by the Italian automaker De Tomaso from 1972 to 1989.
The Longchamp was developed from the De Tomaso Deauville four-door sedan, using a shorter wheelbase chassis with the same suspension, engine and transmission. The two models were the only front-engined production cars produced by De Tomaso. The Longchamp was first exhibited at the 1972 Turin Motor Show and was initially offered only as a two-door 2+2 coupé. It was designed by Tom Tjaarda of Ghia and was influenced by his previous Lancia Marica prototype. The taillights were the same units as were used for the Alfa Romeo 1750/2000 saloon.
The Longchamp featured a long hood to accommodate a 351 in³ (5766 cc) Ford Cleveland V8. The 351 Cleveland, a popular engine in late 1960s Ford "muscle cars," was the same as that used in the Pantera. It produced 330 hp (246 kW) and gave the Longchamp a 240 km/h (149 mph) top speed. The engine power was later reduced to 270 hp (200 kW). The standard gearbox was a 3-speed Ford C-6 Cruise-o-Matic automatic gearbox, however around 17 cars were equipped with a 5-speed ZF manual gearbox. The suspension was independent front and rear with coil spring and wishbone suspension. Steering was power assisted rack and pinion with vented disc brakes all around, the rear discs being positioned inboard. The interior of the car was quite luxurious and it was almost fully covered with leather.
Production of the Series 1 began in 1973. For 1980 the modernized series 2 was introduced, with slight modifications occurring later as well.
A Longchamp GTS variant was introduced at the 1980 Turin Motor Show, featuring wider wheels and flared wheel arches and minor suspension setting differences to better utilize the wider Campagnolo wheels with Pirelli P7 tyres. A Longchamp cabriolet variant ("Spyder") also appeared at the 1980 Turin Motor Show. It was made by Carrozerria Pavesi of Milan, and a small number were built to GTS specifications. Pavesi also converted a number of older coupés.
A total of 409 Longchamps were built (395 coupes and 14 spyders) between 1972 and 1989, with only a couple per year built during the last years. The vast majority are of Series 1 specifications. Some claim that production actually came to an end in 1986, with later cars being sold from stock. The Maserati Kyalami was very similar to the Longchamp, although no body panels were actually shared. The Kyalami also used a Maserati V8, rather than the Ford unit favored by De Tomaso.