1982 De Tomaso Pantera GTS – Factory RHD ***New Price***


Details

Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale an extremely rare De Tomaso Pantera GTS ‘narrow body’.

The history file for the car contains the original build sheets. These confirm this factory right hand drive Pantera GTS was ordered by the owner of Executive Cars, TE Williams, in Randburg, South Africa on the 16th March 1982. The car was ordered in ‘rosso fuoco’ (fire red) with an ‘ivory’ leather interior. The build sheet confirms this car retains its original engine and is therefore a ‘matching numbers’ example. There is also interesting correspondence in the file indicating Executive Cars was also planning on becoming a De Tomaso distributor in South Africa.

De Tomaso introduced the Pantera GT5 in late 1980 and the majority of GTS’ built in the 1980’s would have been ‘wide body’ cars. Therefore, this ‘narrow body’ GTS completed in March 1982 was most likely a special order and as a factory right hand drive car it is somewhat of a unicorn!

Little is known of the car’s subsequent early history in South Africa. The current Australian owner acquired this De Tomaso Pantera in South Africa in 2020 and subsequently imported it into Australia. There is an import approval on file dated 26th February 2020. The last South African owner advised the current owner that he was third owner of the car and he had owned it for a very long time. He also repainted it black in his ownership, perhaps 10 years ago.

Since the car was imported the current owner has spent almost $50,000 to make the car mechanically reliable. The major work involved a full engine rebuild. Other work included: the radiator was cleaned and repaired, the radiator mounts were replaced, new stainless steel water pipes for the cooling system were installed, the front ball joints and upper and lower control arm bushes were replaced, the front and rear sway bar bushes were replaced, a new alternator was fitted, a new starter motor was fitted, new engine mounts were fitted, new rocker covers were fitted and the Holley carburettor was rebuilt. When all this work was done the odometer read 59,511 km.

The car been sparingly used since the work was completed and today the odometer reads 59,583km.

This De Tomaso Pantera GTS has a real presence about it. Black suits the car perfectly and the Cromodora De Tomaso wheels and side decals provide perfect contrast.

Walking around the car, first impressions are really good. The black paint work still presents well, it has a strong depth of colour and a deep gloss finish. When you look closely you do notice the odd stone chip and some other small defects. Probably the most noticeable paint defect is on the top of the left rear quarter panel which looks to have had a repair. The glass and external trim are similarly well presented. The bumpers, lights and lenses are in good condition. The same can be said for the badges on the car. The wheels are in good condition. They appear to be the original Campagnolo magnesium wheels and they are shod with Nankang tyres – 225/50/15 at the front and 295/50/15 at the rear. The boot areas, both front and rear are clean, neat and tidy.

Importantly the car retains its original ID tag in the front boot area. The ID tag shows the original ‘Motore No’, which is correct.

Inside, the car presents well though the seats are showing some signs of light wear. That said they are still very comfortable and supportive. The door cards, centre console, dash and carpets are in good condition and present well. The timber work, which is a real feature, also presents well. The instruments are all clean and in good working order with the exception of the fuel gauge which is not working. After having familarised ourselves with the interior and made ourselves comfortable it’s time to see what this Pantera is all about. We’re excited . . . it’s time to fire up that Ford Cleveland 351 V8 engine and take the car out for a drive.

As soon as you turn the key and the engine fires up you immediately know this car means business. Woahhhh the sound . . . it could wake the dead! The engine sounds fabulous and you know that it means business. It certainly looks stock, but we are pretty sure it has a modified camshaft in it and other ‘go faster’ improvements. The owner says it has 400hp + . . . . Surprisingly, it settles into a smooth idle immediately, but it certainly has an edge. Once warmed up its time hit the road. One thing that immediately becomes obvious is that this is a seriously fast car! It is like a wild stallion waiting to be cut loose. You find an open stretch of road, drop down to second gear and give the accelerator a firm push and are immediately thrust back into your seat . . . hard, really hard!

Out on the road this car feels really good. It is incredibly tight on the road, with no rattles or squeaks. That’s not surprising, given all the suspension work that has been done recently The steering is direct and gives you good feedback so you know exactly what the car is doing. The ZF gearbox works well and the gear changes are smooth. The early Panteras were known for having a very heavy clutch. Fortunately, that problem was rectified in the later models and the clutch in this car works well and isn’t too heavy.

This owner of this Pantera has decided to go in a different direction with his car collection and reluctantly decided to sell.

De Tomasos are ‘good news’ and in recent times we have seen Mangusta and early Pantera values sky rocket. This is the case even in North America, where a Pantera is relatively easy to find. Factory right hand drive cars are few and far between and therefore this very late Pantera GTS ‘narrow body‘ presents a unique opportunity.

One thing is for sure, wherever you go, this Pantera will attract plenty attention. And, yes you will well and truly hear it coming before it actually arrives!

Highlights:

  • Rare, factory right hand drive matching numbers example.
  • Desirable ‘narrow body’ Pantera GTS.
  • Recent engine rebuild
  • Original build sheets
  • Ready for its next owner to use and enjoy.

Price $299,950.

 

Background

Born on 10th July 1928 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Alejandro De Tomaso grew up among a family known to be quite politically influential and very wealthy.

From an early age racing and race cars had been a real passion for De Tomaso. In 1945 he drove his first race in a modified Bugatti Type 35. In 1954 he was offered the opportunity to race for Maserati in the 1,000 km race of Buenos Aires and returned to win that race in 1955 a Maserati A6GCS.

That same year De Tomaso moved to Italy and started working for OSCA in Bologna as a test driver. In the meantime, he kept racing. In 1957 he won the 1,500cc class at the Buenos Aires 1,000 km race driving a new OSCA. In 1958 he drove an OSCA with a 750cc engine at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and finished a very credible 11th overall, averaging over 140km/h.

In 1958 De Tomaso built his first car. It featured the 750cc OSCA engine mounted in front of the rear axle, quite an unusual design for that time. Unfortunately, the car never raced as the Maserati bothers, who owned OSCA, forbid him to use the engine.

In 1959 De Tomaso moved to Modena and built his second car, an F2 race car, again which an OSCA engine which this time he was allowed to use. The car made its debut at Sebring in 1959. The car was called Isis after his wife. Unfortunately, mechanical issues forced the car to retire from the race. After many more adventures and attempts to produce various race cars, De Tomaso introduced their first production car in 1965, a two seater coupe named Vallelunga. The car remained in production until 1967 and 59 examples were built including the prototype.

In 1966 De Tomaso opened a new factory which allowed him to follow his dreams and expand production of his cars. In 1967 the De Tomaso Mangusta was introduced. The stunning Mangusta, which was penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro whilst working for Ghia, remained in production through until 1971 and 401 examples were produced. In 1967 De Tomaso acquired Carrozzeria Ghia and 1969 he acquired Carrozzeria Vignale. These acquisitions were not financially successful, however, they did provide an introduction to Henry Ford II, which ultimately had a big impact on his future.

The Ford Motor Company subsequently took a controlling stake in De Tomaso as well as Ghia and Vignale.

This relationship led to one of the world’s most iconic sports cars being developed – the legendary De Tomaso Pantera.  Designed by Carrozzeria Ghia’s American born Tom Tjaarda, the Pantera was built with the American market in mind. De Tomaso had the rights to sell the Pantera, except in North America, where Ford sold the car through their Lincoln-Mercury dealers. The Pantera was a huge success, with more than 7,000 cars built before production ceased in 1992.

Models included the standard Pantera, Pantera L (for the US market), Pantera GTS, Pantera GT5, Pantera GT5S and Pantera 90 Si.


Specification

  • $299,950
  • De Tomaso Pantera GTS
  • 1982
  • Two Door Coupe
  • Manual
  • 59,525 miles
  • 5,766cc

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