HOW TO BUY A PANTERA
Contact your local
POCA chapter to let them know that you are looking for a Pantera. Most chapters have a monthly get together where you can see various models up close. Your local chapter will also have a list of events where you can see more Panteras and meet more owners. When you do find a car that you are interested in buying, we should be able to provide you with some information on the history of the car and have someone inspect the car with you or for you.
Is a Pantera Right for You?
Before you get too far down the road, you should decide if a Pantera is right for you. If you are looking for a sports car that you can just drive with occasional stops for gas, a Pantera might not be right for you. Panteras are exotic cars. Most of them are over 40 years old. Most are well maintained, but even a "no-issues" car requires some maintenance beyond what you would expect with a modern Corvette or Viper.
If you have experience with owning older cars from the muscle car generation, exotic cars, or other limited production cars, a Pantera should be well at home in your garage.
Where to Look Panteras and other De Tomaso cars usually are not found in the places where you might find a late model car. However, there are several sites commonly used:
Of course, this is only a short list of the many places where you can find Panteras.
Pantera parts and service vendors often have cars for sale. Contact the various vendors directly to see what they have.
Any dealer specializing in exotic cars may have Panteras, though availability is usually spotty at best.
When You Find a Car
When you find a Pantera that appears to meet your needs, you should arrange to see that car and take it for a test drive. If the car is too far away for you to visit, contact the POCA chapter in that area to see if someone can take a look at it for you or at least give you some of the local history of that car.
Also check the registries to get the car's history. Not all cars are in a registry, but some good information may be there for you.
POCA is now developing the Official Detomaso Resgistry which will be available to POCA members in the
members only section of this website.
Do not bother with Carfax or other car reporting companies. Panteras are too old to be in their databases.
What to Pay
Pantera prices range from about $60,000 to $300,000 or so for most of the road-worthy Panteras from 1971-1992
The Panteras from after the Ford years ( 1971-1974 ) can demand higher prices. The factory-built Pantera race cars with race histories fetch much higher prices.
Panteras are bought to be driven. Though there are some concours-level, collectible originals, most Panteras have been modified. "Numbers-matching" is not important to Pantera owners, so that does not affect the price much.
The modifications that tend to increase the price of a Pantera are the engine upgrades, new interior and paint, and new wheels and brakes. A tastefully-done engine bay that shows well can push up the price significantly.
Early Panteras with low mileage which have been maintained to stock configuration are commanding auction prices from $75,000 - $150,000.
What to Look For During an Inspection
The things you should inspect when buying a Pantera are the same as with another other used car: overall condition, rust, signs of accidents, etc. You should start the car, push every button, and pull every lever.
In addition to the typical items, there are some Pantera-specific items to look for.
Here is a collection of lists written by various people in the Pantera community
12-Step Program to Pantera Ownership
Provides a simple overview for those aspiring to be Pantera owners.
Pre-Purchase Inspection Checklist
Basic steps to inspect a Pantera (adapted from an email from Mike Drew)
Shane Ingate's Buyers Guide
I have included the "Buja and Garnett" Buyer's Guide that was on Shane's website here in downloadable MS Word format since Shane's website is presently offline.
Mike Dailey's Buying Tips
- Buyers Checklist
- Odometer Statement
- Bill of Sale
Mike's site is an excellent resource for anyone searching for a Pantera. Pay particular attention to the section on corrosion.
Corrosion - How bad it can be - Johnny Woods Restoration
Johnny Wood's extensive restoration of his car. Surely one of the most beautiful Panteras in the world today, it required extensive fabrication to eradicate the rust.
Bruce Nardoci's Buying Tips
A letter to anyone thinking about buying a Pantera. Comprehensively covers most everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask.
AsaJay's Pantera Shopping Checklist
AJ's checklist of what to look for when inspecting a Pantera for sale.
Pantera Buyers Guide
By Matt Bradley, on the Pantera Club of North Texas website.
Five Arguments for a guy to use on his wife to justify the purchase of a Pantera
By Wallace Wyse, Pantera International Editor in Chief
And, once you've found your car...
The Best Fixes for Under $20