I've always preferred the cleaner lines of the Mangusta. Tom Tjaarda design as it was intended. Later iterations lost it's classic lines. The GTs are an abomination, although I'm told they're the most refined.
I've only heard bad things about their reliability and ergonomics. I've had the pleasure of being in one and that engine really howls.
I owned a fairly stock 71 pre-L for about 4 years. Good car for the money. Tons of low end torque, and good straight line acceleration. Would smoke my carbed 308 which I owned at the same time.
Did not do that well in the handeling department. Not as well put together as a Ferrari but very easy to work on. Some people complain that they have a kit car feel.
Ford engine parts were inexpensive however Pantera specific parts were about the same as Ferrari.
A muscle car in mid-engine form. Good club support. I enjoyed messing around with the car but it was something that I enjoyed having for a while but was not a keeper. People sock a ton of money in these cars modifying them and wind up with $75M Pantera's. Doesn't make sense when you can get a nice Boxer at that price.
The gentleman who bought mine Mike Daily has a very nice web site dedicated to the Pantera.
Panteras are great, I own a GT5S, little else compares in the looks dept. noise is fantastic and handling if they are properly set up(factory original) is textbook mid engined stuff, my car ia one of the late models 1987, hand built by that time, not sure about the earlier cars, nothing else quite like them, addictive!!
Drew is correct on a number of issues, the car did not handle well and you can easily spend a few bucks, but for logical reasons! Early in the car's life someone stole the original Campagnolo magnesium wheels and the owner replaced them with Weld Wheels that had totally wrong back space and the car had very old H rated tires. The wrong backspace totally messed up the suspension and steering geometry. Someone had run into an immoveable object that smashed part of the lower front A arm mount. This caused the car not to have equal weight on the front wheels and less weight on the diver side back wheel.
After getting the A arm mount fixed, correct very wide wheels, modern z rated tires (335/35ZR17s on the back and 245/45ZR16s on the front), new shocks, springs, Euro ride height (lower than US cars), rebuilding the complete suspension using Graphite polyurethane bushings, rebuilding the drive train, uprights, new ½ shafts and rebuilding the brakes it handles pretty darn well. I’m not complaining about all the work, because it has been well worth the effort. I also knew before I bought the car from Drew that I would be rebuilding a lot of stuff. Any thirty year old car will need some rebuild work if it hasn’t already been done.
I did most all the rebuild work myself by doing one small project at a time over a leisurely five year time span so the car was on the road most of the time. Now that all the work is done the car handles very well and drives like it is on rails and is very fast.
The totally stock 71 Pantera had a tested top speed of 160 MPH and a 0 to 60 time of 5.5 seconds. It could stop in 112 feet from 60 MPH. Most of the Panteras that you see on the road today no longer have stock engines and will be around 4.6 seconds 0 – 60 or better. In the Pantera community modified engines are the norm.
In 1981 Popular Mechanics Magazine did a big million dollar performance car test of all the major exotics. The stock $60k 1981 GTS Pantera was the overall winner. The Pantera ran the slalom test in 8.91 seconds, the 512 in 9.00 seconds and the 308 in 9.49. The Pantera lap time was 1:55:9, the 512 was 1:57:2 and the 308 was 2:03:0. The overall order was Pantera, M1, Porsche 928, Countach, 512 and then the 308, etc. Sterling Moss and Phil Hill joined the PM staff for the test. Those of you that have raced at the Pocono Raceway know that the Panteras do pretty darn well on the track!
Stephen is correct too! The Pantera is very addictive, if you don’t want to own one stay away from them!
Wow! Found this old thread and it is sure interesting to read my six year old thoughts. Pretty much feel the same and still own the same Pantera. With the car evolving over time it has been a joy that just keeps getting better. There is a link on the Pantera Place website that details its evolution. It’s been extremely easy to learn the cars systems and a pleasurable process rebuilding everything.
In June of this year I will celebrate 13 years of ownership and have discovered it is just one of those amazing Italian super machines you never get bored with. Puts a smile on my face every time I drive it!! God bless Alejandro de Tomaso!