For $24,000, Go The Full Cleveland

With its Italian body, American engine, German transaxle, and an Argentinian having backed putting them all together, today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Pantera is like an international buffet. But will its price make it all you can eat?

Speaking of food, it seems that 66% of you felt that the price of yesterday's All-Trac engined 1993 Celica GT spoiled your appetite. Or, maybe it was just past its best by date. Either way, it was served up with a tangy side of Crack Pipe loss.

You know, it's hard to say which was the worst de Tomaso-branded car ever foisted on the car-buying public, contenders being the Dodge 024 de Tomaso, or the Daihatsu (gesundheit) Charade which was similarly branded. It is however, safe to say that his Pantera is one of the best known and most beloved of Alejandro de Tomaso's self-named products.

For $24,000, Go The Full Cleveland

This 1973 Pantera is a rare find- a seemingly intact and original car for Camry money rather than Lexus cash. With most Panteras pushing fiddy gees, and few looking as they did upon leaving the factory, that might make you sit up and take notice. At least it did so for me.

Described in the ad as running and drivable, this blade-bumpered Pantera is also said to need a few things, and that's where its cost of entry potentially becomes less attractive. While apparently movable under its own power, the seller says it needs a leaking clutch cylinder repaired (master? slave?), and more concerningly, it needs wipers.

For $24,000, Go The Full Cleveland

There's also the issue of rust which is present in the rockers - a common Pantera malady - as well as the need for a new coat of enamel, or whatever they spray cars with these days. From the engine shot, two other issues are immediately apparent. First, the fiberglass trunk well is not in attendance, however that could have just been yanked out for the engine pic. More disconcerting however, is what appears to be a hood pin mounted in the back cross member. Does that mean the engine lid - one of the car's more complicated body parts - has had holes drilled through it with chrome washers riveted around them? If so, ugh.

There are no interior shots made available, although the duplicate front boot pics in the ad are no doubt appreciated by trunk fetishists everywhere. The interior of the '73 Pantera is awash in vinyl and brittle hard plastics, neither of which hold up very well. Fortunately there's a number of options for renewing the interior decorating, at a price of course. Without pics, it's hard to gauge what that tab on this car may be.

For $24,000, Go The Full Cleveland

My family used to own a '73 Pantera - black on black - and I can attest to how scarily fun these cars are to drive. The low compression 351 Cleveland pumped out 266-bhp and the dog-leg ZF five-speed's heavy effort, along with a similarly demanding clutch made mastering the car a rewarding experience. I can fully recommend that should the opportunity to purchase a Pantera present itself, one should definitely take advantage.

The immediate question of course, is should someone avail themselves of this particular Pantera opportunity at its $24,000 price? What do you think, is that a price that would make this Pantera worth panting for? Or, does it have too many needs to engender much want?

You decide!

Michael Scott Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

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