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1974 De Tomaso Pantera

The Highlights


• Iconic Italian mid-engined sports car
• Distinctive sleek styling
• Outstanding condition
• Upgraded engine

The Background


By the late 1960s, Ford was in need of a high-performance GT sports car with which to compete against the likes of Ferrari and Corvette. DeTomaso also had eyes on the American market, so a Ford-De Tomaso joint project was a natural fit. Work began to produce a new concept: a mass-produced exotic that combined the muscle of an American V8 with Italian styling flair. 

Launched in 1970 as a replacement for the De Tomaso Mangusta, the Pantera (the name is Italian for ‘Panther’) became the company’s most popular car, with more than 7000 units made across a twenty-year-plus production run that ended in 1992.  

Designed by Carrozzeria Ghia’s American-born Tom Tjaarda, the mid-engined sports car was the first De Tomaso to use a monocoque construction. More than three-quarters of the production was sold by American Lincoln-Mercury dealers from 1972 to 1975; after this agreement ended De Tomaso kept manufacturing the car in ever-smaller numbers into the early 1990s.

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The History


CNF 242 M was manufactured in 1973 but first registered in the USA in early 1974. The vendor purchased the car from Lombardo Motorcars in Berlin, Connecticut, in March 2014, and believes he is the car’s third owner.

In 2016 the vendor sent the car to Valley Gas Speed Shop in Andover, Hants where it underwent a major performance upgrade: the engine was stroked out to 396 cu.in. (6.4 litres), it was fitted with TrickFlow heads, roller rockers, a Holley 750 CFM carburettor and assorted upgrades, with a total spend in excess of £10,000. It also had an upgraded aluminium radiator fitted, and stainless-steel piping from front to back. 

The car started life in silver paint, but at some point while in the USA it was repainted in Aston Martin Asteroid Grey. 

The owner has done less than 2000 miles in the car since purchase, and no more than 1000 since the mechanical upgrades. Consequently, he feels he can no longer justify keeping the car. 

The owner believes the odometer reading to be genuine but has no accurate means of verifying this. However, the car’s condition would seem to back up this assertion.   

The Paperwork


The car comes with big file of paperwork, including all the receipts detailing the work done at Valley Gas Speed Shop. There are lots of additional receipts, and other paperwork associated with the vendor’s purchase and importation.

There’s a Marti Report from 2016 detailing the car’s history and provenance. There are numerous other manuals and brochures, including the owners’ manual and an original technical handbook.

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The Exterior


Since its arrival in the UK, the owner has kept the car in a dedicated, specially constructed ‘man cave’ in part of his large garage. The car’s exterior condition is certainly testament to how effective this has been in preserving the car’s immaculate condition. 

The paintwork looks fantastic, with only two minor chips visible – one on the nearside door and the other on the offside wheel arch. You have to look hard to see either! On the front bumper, there is very small split on the top at the nearside. Additionally, the chrome on the nearside rear repeater light is just starting to come away in one corner – see the pictures. All in all, the paintwork, brightwork and badges are in outstanding condition. 

The car has been fitted with Boyd Coddington replicas of the original Campagnolo wheels, but the owner has the original wheels in storage (see pictures) and will supply these with the car. The replica wheels fitted are all immaculate and appear as-new. The Michelin Pilot Sport 335/35 ZA 17 tyres are in similarly good condition with plenty of tread left.  

Even a cursory glance around this car shows that CNF 242 M has been lovingly cared-for and cherished throughout its life, and it looks impressive from every angle.     

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The Interior


Again, the interior of the car lends credence to the vendor’s assertion that the mileage is genuine. The seats, dashboard, switches and dials are all in fantastically original condition. The leather on the seats shows very little patina, while the top of the dashboard has not faded or cracked. 

The carpets have been protected under overmats and are in very good condition. The door panels are also in excellent condition, with only slight patina. There is an original Blaupunkt radio/cassette player (which works) with, curiously, a microphone attached.

The owner still has the original liner for the boot, that sits above the engine (we removed this for the photography, see pictures), although by his own admission this does not look as good as the rest of the car. 

Under the bonnet is a modern battery and the original tool roll, which appears to be largely complete. The lining in the floor and sides of the under-bonnet compartment shows some wear, but no more than one would expect of a car of this age.        

The Mechanicals


The car starts readily and the engine note is fantastic, with a deep, healthy rumble. The vendor assures us that the car is superb to drive, with outrageous power and taut handling. Unusually for a car of this age, everything mechanical and electrical appears to work as it should – the pop-up headlamps flip up when asked, the electric aerial works on the switch, as do the electric windows. 

The engine bay looks as good as one would expect of a car that has had a £10,000-plus mechanical upgrade and done few miles since. It’s all clean and tidy. The owner has kept the original heads, crankshaft and all other engine components and these will be supplied with the car (see pictures). This offers the new owner the chance to restore the car to original spec.  

Underneath, everything appears to be in good order and there is no evidence of rust.  

The Appeal


Combining smooth, linear torque from an American V8 with Italian looks and handling, the Pantera remains a motoring icon. 

There can be very few examples around in this condition – it’s clearly a car that has been lovingly cared for throughout its life, and there is every reason to assume that the indicated mileage is genuine. As the photos show, this car really is in a class of its own. If a DeTomaso Pantera is your heart’s desire, this is the one to have. 

The performance upgrades can only enhance what was already a supreme driving experience, but the option remains to return the car to original spec should the new owner wish to do so. 

As well as the car, the original wheels and engine components, the vendor is happy to include in the sale a range of DeTomaso automobilia that adorns his garage, including the bonnet from a former Pantera racing car – pictured. 

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1974
  • Make De Tomaso
  • Model Pantera
  • Colour Grey
  • Odometer 19,124 Miles
  • Engine size 5800
  • Town Newbury
  • Location Berkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
23 bids
  • Re-sour•••• £70,000 30/11/21
  • LeeGrif•••• £65,500 30/11/21
  • philip-•••• £65,000 30/11/21
  • Re-sour•••• £60,000 28/11/21
  • Pishdep•••• £48,000 27/11/21
  • gary-so•••• £44,250 27/11/21
  • Pishdep•••• £44,000 27/11/21
  • louis-g•••• £39,000 27/11/21
  • Pishdep•••• £37,500 27/11/21
  • gary-so•••• £33,000 27/11/21

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