I found this car in North Carolina. I am the third owner. Originally this car was bought at Winston Salem Lincoln Mercury in 1972 by a doctor who owned it up until the early 90’s. He sold it to the guy I purchased it from. The neat thing about this car is that it was built and finished on the day I was born, so the car and I are the same age.
The car has 49,000 original miles, sports the original fly yellow paint with black trim, and black interior. The car has its original 351 Cleveland engine backed by its original ZF 5 speed transmission.
Since I’ve had the car, I’ve replaced the original 15 x 8 inch Campo magnesium rims with 17 x 8 Campo polished rims in the front and 17x11 Campo rims on the rear. I think this really sets off the car. I have also upgraded the cooling system, replacing the original radiator with a racing aluminum Fluidyne radiator. Other than that I have not done much to it.
The history on this car is interesting. Ford wanted to compete with Ferrari and Corvette, so he teamed up with Detomaso, an Italian designer/racer who was behind of some of the Maseratti designs. The first car designed was the Mangusta (Mongoose) which was only for the year of 1970. Then came the Pantera (Panther), retailing for approx $10,000 at your local Lincoln/Mercury dealer. The Pantera lasted from 1971 to 1974 until Ford pulled the plug. Detomaso continued to make the Pantera in Italy until 1989.
They made approx 6,500 cars in four years, which in overall terms is a small amount. All were made in Italy. The best part is it’s all Italian with all Ford running gear so all parts are easy to get and the car is relatively easy to work on.
I can honestly say that this is the fastest car I have ever driven. Stock, the car put out approx 338 horsepower, achieving 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds. The original owner kept excellent records from the 1970s until 1993. He had the engine professionally rebuilt in late 1993 and added some modifications. First, the car has the rare 1970 Boss 351 "quench" heads, MSD setup, Keith Black pistons, aluminum edelbrock intake, Holley carb...really the list goes on. No expense was spared (over $10,000 in receipts in 1993 dollars on the rebuild), The car sports around 450 horsepower and goes from 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds.
The sound of this car is like no other. The factory headers straight out the back like it was designed and it handles fantastic. The speedo goes to 200 mph and I honestly think it will get close to that.
Future plans are to repaint it the factory yellow, drive it, and enjoy it!
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