Midsouthern Restorations

1972 DeTamoso Pantera

Rare sports cars always draw attention and that is what happens when ever people check out this 1972 DeTamoso Pantera powered by a Ford 351 Cleveland mounted behind the cockpit as a mid engine configuration. This car came from a customer in Cincinnati. The owner wants to freshen up the car drive train and plumbing. Once the motor is out and resealed it will be restored to stock appearance and picture of motor and transmission shown are what this will equal. Before we pulled the motor we decided to enter it at Hunters Auto Expo in Nashville so car crazy people there could see what the mystic of the Pantera is. The mid engine sports car placed first in the sports car division and brought home a three foot tall trophy. Just has work was to begin we received a phone call from the producers of the TV show “Gears” with Stacey David, asking if they could use the Pantera in an upcoming episode as a back drop. The owner agreed and car was delivered. Watch for it and stay tuned here for updates when actual work begins.

While the car is parked out front, people with camera phones have been blocking traffic. The inside pictures were at RTP studios and once there we are checking out Stacy’s work shop for his popular TV show.

Project Pantera is under way. Once the seats were removed one can see the padded protrusion between them. For all of the people not familiar with Panteras and the Ford motor here it is. The motor and transmission came out the top. Once on the engine stand the 351 Cleveland 4-V Cobra Jet mystic is revealed. Nice four bolt main block and huge exhaust and intake ports and valves. Not much is wrong with this motor except a real loose timing chain. It will clean up nicely and economically.

The 351 Cleveland is all back together after a valve job, new timing chain, and oil pump. The correct valve covers and “DeTomaso” badges were found along with original air cleaner. The headers have been jet hot coated and the transmission cleaned and detailed. A new clutch was installed, as well as new stainless steel cooling tubes.

The Power plant and transmission has been installed and all attempts have been made to keep as factory original has possible. The freshened up motor runs out great. There were some cooling issues and a new radiator and fans helped in that department. Once it was completed it was delivered to a car show and owner drove it home.