The Glorious De Tomaso Pantera Is Very Hard To Drive

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Screenshot: Carfection (YouTube)

I can’t tell you how happy I am that people are talking about De Tomaso again. The P72 is gorgeous and striking, but let’s not forget the other gorgeous and striking De Tomaso cars that came before it. Namely, the Pantera.


Carfection and Jalopnik pal Alex Goy recently had the great fortune to get behind the wheel of this stunning Pantera for a new video. And the car is lovely like you’d imagine a ‘70s-era supercar to be. Airy greenhouse, futuristic and American-enticing luxury touches, a mid-mounted, big-displacement V8.

And, like almost all other ‘70s supercars, driving it is no walk in the park. Today’s cars, with their assisted steering and braking systems and almost total lack of manual options, are easier to drive than picking your nose. Driving the Pantera is so not like that.

Look at how open that cabin is! Screenshot: Carfection/YouTube
Look at how open that cabin is! Screenshot: Carfection/YouTube

Everything, according to Goy is “heavy” and “difficult.” The steering is totally unassisted, so if you need to parallel park the Pantera, you’d better have lifted some weights recently. The brakes are “there... but they’re just a bit spongy. You’ve got to leave a lot of braking distance. Don’t try and brake in a hurry.” The clutch is “so heavy. It’s so heavy.”

And the gearbox, well, it’s divine. Gated manual, hooked up to a big and lazy V8 engine. Sounds great. Always have, always will.

I remember once when I was in college, I attended a car show and saw a Pantera there. It was the first one I’d ever seen in person. I was smitten. And it was for sale, too! The owner wanted $50,000 for it. Good deal or nah?


Anyway, Carfection’s video is full of great De Tomaso history, too. You should give it a watch.


Rollin Hand

A company like Superformance or Factory Five needs to get on making Pantera kits. Modern Mustang drivetrain with power steering and good brakes would be just about perfect.

And I am sure I could afford one and have enough spare time to build it. That’s totally possible. Totally.