1973 DeTomaso Pantera L
RESTORED & Largely Original
Numbers Matching 351ci
Lowered Seat Pans
Original Color: Silver (1 of only 98 silver ‘73s!)
Original Interior: Black
Evolve Motors and Chicago Car Club are pleased to present this 1973 DeTomaso Pantera L!
What We Know:
We purchased this car from an older gentleman in Wisconsin who is a real Pantera fanatic. This car was the 18th Pantera he has owned, and certainly not the last. He had even been a previous owner of Jay Leno’s blue Pantera, the subject of one of his “Jay Leno’s Garage” episodes. We had a beautiful red Pantera here at Evolve Motors last year, and have been aching for another ever since that car sold. Since taking delivery of this car, we have had to do very little but enjoy it. The previous owner kept the car in tip-top shape. We changed the oil, mounted an original set of Goodyear Arrivas, gave the mechanicals a thorough once-over, and began driving the car. The previous owner routinely showed the car, taking home a number of small-time show trophies in the process. It’s easy to see why this car was always a favorite of the judges.
There were very few color options from the factory for Pantera customers. The overwhelming majority were red, and every once in a while you’ll encounter a yellow one. Factory silver cars are hard to come by, with only 98 silver Panteras produced for the 1973 model year. While it now wears a respray in a slightly darker shade, this car actually was originally a silver car, as shown on the Marti Report. Paint was done to a very high standard; the finish is fantastic. Show-quality. There are very, very few blemishes to note. There is a small chip on the forward portion of the hood (from raising hood into bumper), which we have touched up with color-matched paint. On the passenger side there is a 1” spot at the very bottom corner of the rear quarter, where it meets the rear corner of the door, that has a couple tiny blisters in the paint. We also note a small crease on the forward portion of the passenger side rocker panel, only visible with your eyes at ground level. Glass is all clear and crack-free and appears to be original. Weatherstripping is all excellent. Trim pieces, badges, rockers, and bumpers do not show any chips, fading, or wear. Black pieces all shine with a nice deep black. You will notice that the hood has slats in it, this was not a factory option. It is a very common upgrade, as it mimics the Pantera GT5. The front bumper was originally plastic on these cars; this car wears a more solid and less prone-to-fade fiberglass bumper. Correct Campagnolo wheels are in excellent condition, with no damage or signs of age, and wear correct Goodyear Arriva tires. Arrivas are in nice shape but are older, so we’d recommend mounting more modern tires before putting much mileage on the car.
Anyone who has spent time in or around these cars will tell you, the interior space is laughable. For anyone taller than 5’10”, an original Pantera is cramped and uncomfortable. However, this particular car has had the seat pans lowered by three inches. For taller folks, this is an absolute game-changer. It increases driveability tremendously. There’s a lot to like about the interior; original seats are in excellent shape. No scuffs, tears, or discoloring. Dash is near perfect, with only a very minor split mid-ship. Exceptionally nice overall. Gated manual shifter is satisfying to operate, and only adds to the classic Italian supercar experience. The AC is fully functioning and will keep you nice and cool inside the cockpit. Original Steering wheel was replaced by a Lecarra, which we love and meshes with the original interior perfectly. Pantera-branded floormats and forward trunk mat are in excellent shape. Side carpets appear original while the bottom pieces were replaced during restoration. Odometer reads 46,154 miles and is believed accurate based on known ownership history and overall condition of the car. All powered systems are functional; this includes pop-up headlamps, Blaupunkt radio (mounted sideways in these cars), all gauges, wipers, signals, interior lights, blower, defrost, and AC. Switches show in excellent condition. Turn signal switch is flawless and the clock spring works properly (known trouble-areas with Panteras). Overall, this is one of the cleanest Pantera interiors we’ve laid eyes on.
Under the Hood / Under the Car:
This car retains its original Cleveland 351 and 5spd ZF transaxle, engine number 87405151. As you may already know, Panteras had their share of mechanical nuances. Proper modifications were done to make this car an excellent driver. Cooling efficiency has been boosted by an updated radiator and hi flow cooling fan, along with a high flow water pump. It has an upgraded MSD pro-Billet Distributor and Coil. The OEM A/C condenser was replaced along with the cooling fan. Exhaust manifolds/headers are original and we believe the mufflers are original as well. The car runs nice and cool with NO overheating problems even in traffic and warm weather. It idles smooth and steady with a nice quiet (relatively) exhaust note. The engine is smoke-free and runs very well. We’re led to believe the engine was rebuilt when the car was restored in the late 2000s. The clutch engages smoothly on takeoff and surely has lots of life left in it. Shifts are clean and smooth, as to be expected from the ZF.
On the Road
One of our favorite things about this car is that many of the “factory nuances” have been massaged out. The car fires up with ease, does not overheat no matter what you throw at it, revs without any excessive smoke, and is really just a confidence inspiring driver across the board. The previous owner personally drove the car to a number of shows with his wife and was never let down with any mechanical failures. Our road tests further supports his claims. The 351 makes great power and, with its positioning just behind the driver’s head, makes its presence known. The car tracks straight both under acceleration and braking. This is truly a car that you can purchase and confidently take out for a long stretch of the legs. We do recommend replacing the original Arriva tires before doing so though, as we mounted them because of the fantastic look and of course the originality factor paired with the Campagnolo wheels.
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
See listing: GREAT 1973 De Tomaso L (from May 16, 2018)