[DeTomaso] Inspection Report - 2 cars for sale I the Seattle Area

Mike Thomas mbefthomas at comcast.net
Fri Jul 2 17:59:42 EDT 2010

A friend and I went for a drive to look at a couple of Panteras for sale in
the rural Seattle area this morning.  One was the aqua green car that has
been discussed.


Car #1: 1972 pre-L Pantera #3010. $28,000 firm.
(I'll have pics soon on the POCA site)

Originally a red car, the current owner (Bill) purchased it about 4 years
ago after it had been sitting in an airplane hanger, only occasionally
driven, the better part of 17 years.  After getting the car running, Bill
decided to take it down to bare metal, and get the engine rebuilt.  Very
little rust was found, the body has been filled, smoothed and primed.  The
front valence has been replaced, and a veeeery slight flare has been added
to the fender lips (though I had a hard time telling).  Bill used to be in
the body/paint business, and he says he and his buddies have spent countless
hours getting the seams, lines and corners right on the car, though it
evident a fair amount of bondo may have been used in the process.  There was
A LOT of chromed parts on the car (all hinges, suspension arms, halfshafts,
deck struts, springs, AC condenser shroud, etc.), but some time ago, and
much of the chrome is mottled.  All of the rear brake lines and every hose
in the e-bay is braided steel.  There is a stainless tank cover.  The engine
bay is clean, has at some point been stripped of it's undercoating and
repainted, but not filled.  Cleaned up, it would look nice as is.The
interior has been done up with classic 70's wood inserts in the dash and
door panels, and the seats reupholstered in a fuzzy fabric of some sort.  He
raised the lift, and the underside is quite straight and clean, and no
evidence of rust.

The doors, hood and deck lid are currently off of the car.  When he primed
the doors, apparently the stainless trim had been painted black, he didn't
realize it was a trim piece, and primed the window trim as well.  All the
parts seem to be there, including the original windshield still with it's
seal attached.  The rest of the parts are stored in various plastic totes
scattered around the garage and storage shed.

The engine is freshly rebuilt with ported Aussie 2V 58cc closed-chamber
heads, dual plane manifold (don't recall the internals).  The assembly is
not complete as the rockers and push rods have not been installed.  I has a
flat-tappet cam (he has the specs for the custom grind(.  Engine block and
heads are painted a battleship grey.  He'll be happy to give you the rest of
the build specs.  The ZF has been highly polished, and he said it shifted
very smoothly before he took the car apart.  The car does have 8" and 10"
original Campy's, but they've been powder coated something close to a
magnesium gray.

Our opinion is that before the final primer coat can go on, a lot of sanding
will have to occur (my friend said it looked like he had the pressure on the
gun to high, and there is a lot of orange peel on the primer, as well as the
occasional lump.  The interior is kinda porno-period correct, except for
being black instead of bright red, and the wood inserts are pretty tacky, so
some rework would probably be needed there.  Otherwise it's clean and in
good shape.  Didn't check op on any controls with the car on blocks and
nothing hooked up.

At $28K, he's trying to get some of his money back, but if you can do it
yourself, you're probably looking at another $10-15 to finish it the way you
want, making not much of a bargain.  The body does seem to be very straight
and clean, a huge part of any project.


Car #2 1971 pre-L #2209, color: aqua green. $35,900.

This is the car that was discussed on the forum recently.  It really is
stunning in the flesh with a good polish having been put on it.  It was a
one-owner car found in Indiana with approximately 21,480 miles from new, and
had not moved for about 5 years.  It has had a repaint, and the car is 98%
original.  The only things I could see that were not stock were the
Mindtrain exhaust (pre-L style, chrome flaking on one tip), the Hall 15"
Campy repro wheels with OLD Pirelli P7s, DeTomaso emblem polished valve
covers, and the black-painted rear deck.  I didn't speak directly to the
owner when reviewing the car, so don't know what kind of documentation he
has for the car on it's ownership.

As they only recently took the car in, they have yet to go through it and
get it running properly, so I was not able to hear it run or drive it (I
loaned him my ZF drain plug tool to change the ZF fluid).  The ZF moves
stiffly while shifting, but not overly so.  The clutch feels good.  The
interior in in fabulous shape, save for the stock steering wheel center.
The engine bay is very clean, though hanging with the overly thick
undercoating they put on so many of the early cars.  I was not able to get
under the car at all, but looking closely at the rockers, door jambs, engine
bay and valence revealed none.  The valence is slightly dented but whole,
and with a bit of easily fixed overspray from the aqua repaint.  The battery
had been removed from the car so it could not try any switches, lights,

Most all of the rubber bits would probably need to be redone, as well as a
thorough inspection of the trunion bushings in the rear, suspension bushings
and ball joints, brakes, cooling system, etc., but with the very rare color,
low mileage, one owner and what appears to be a very clean, straight body,
and a high degree of originality, this would be a great purchase.  Were it
not for the current market, I'd say this car is about $5-10K underpriced.


One challenge with both of these cars, and especially the first, is that
they are very much off of the beaten path.  I don't think the aqua car will
have any trouble moving once the word is out, but Bill's car will be a real
challenge to gather up.

Well, there you have it.  Forward any questions you may have and if you are
interested, I can give you contact information.

Mike Thomas
Panteras Northwest

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