[DeTomaso] The Pantera Wedding

Bill Lewis lotus0005 at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 20 17:37:03 EDT 2013

Larry, you kill me!!!!   --BILL L

> From: larry at ohiotimecorp.com
> To: garth_rodericks at yahoo.com; detomaso at poca.com
> Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 11:54:15 -0400
> Subject: Re: [DeTomaso] The Pantera Wedding
> Garth,
> Please let me know if there is an opening in you family to adopt a slightly
> older son...
> Good Dad!!
> Larry (I was 17 too) - Cleveland
> -----Original Message-----
> From: detomaso-bounces at poca.com [mailto:detomaso-bounces at poca.com] On Behalf
> Of Garth Rodericks
> Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2013 4:48 PM
> To: DeTomaso Mail List
> Subject: [DeTomaso] The Pantera Wedding
>  << His first concern was that his son had never driven a manual
> transmission car much less the Pantera. >>
>  << He had never driven the car on the street, only in the parking lot when
> he learned to drive a stick. >>>
> And THIS is why I let my kids drive my cars.  My 17 year old daughter wanted
> to learn to do a burnout earlier this year, so we took the 66 Mustang out to
> a large deserted parking lot with no lamp posts or planter boxes one evening
> where I taught her the correct technique to do a burnout (never side-step
> the clutch).  I demonstrated a couple of times and then put her behind the
> wheel. She stalled it the first couple of tries, but then got it!  I let her
> do 5-6 nice burnouts, then had her do some donuts to see how the car felt
> when it slid.  She drove home with an ear to ear perma-grin!
> The day I got the Pantera back on the road  few weeks ago, after it's 5 year
> engine rebuild, she wanted to go for a ride and was 'joking' that she wanted
> to drive it.  So, I took her for a ride and  found a nice industrial park
> area with little or no traffic, wide streets, and not too far from home, and
> let her drive. I insisted she do a couple of quick take-off's and stops, as
> well as stab the gas while we're rolling along in 2nd gear, to get a good
> sense of how the car feels and responds and how different it is from our
> other cars.  Another perma-grin!  And texts to her brother and sister who
> are away at college that she got to drive the Pantera first!
> It's our responsibility to share these great cars and our automotive passion
> with the next generation. Otherwise, who will we pass the torch to?
> Cheers!
> Garth
> #4033
> -----Original Message----- 
> Tom Shinrock tmshinro at aol.com 
> Thu Sep 19 13:02:34 MST 2013
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> ________________________________
> I've got a similar story. First an aside.....When my two sons were learning
> to drive I taught them to drive a manual transmission with the Pantera.   I
> figured that the torque would make it easier because it would be hard to
> kill the engine if the clutch was released a little too quickly.   We went
> out to a large parking lot where I worked on a Sunday and within 30 minutes
> they had it down.  Now on to the story. Back in 2002 my oldest asked if he
> could take the Pantera on this senior prom date.   I was initially
> reluctant.  I told him that he would be adding to the stress level driving
> the car and it would put a damper on his prom experience.   He had never
> driven the car on the street, only in the parking lot when he learned to
> drive a stick.  He reassured me that he could handle it and it wouldn't ruin
> his date, so I said yes. I drove the car to the high school for the grand
> march and after it was over he and his date took the car and drove it to our
>  house where they were meeting up with some other seniors for pictures
> before they drove to a restaurant for dinner prior to the dance.   You
> should have seen his face when he drove away in the car from the high
> school.   He made it back home just fine and all the mandatory pictures were
> taken.  When they were getting ready to leave for the restaurant, which was
> all the way on the other side of town, I told him to take the highway that
> goes around the city so he wouldn't have to drive in stop and go traffic.
> All the kids pile into their cars and my son leads the way in the Pantera.
> I watched the Pantera disappear in the distance and thought about how neat
> my son was feeling. I actually was attending a father-daughter campout about
> 30 miles away that weekend and came into town for the picture session and to
> see him off.   After he left I got in the car and headed back to the
> campground.   I was about half way to the campground when my son calls me
> and
>  said the Pantera broke.  He said he came to the second stop sign and the
> car wouldn't move when he let out the clutch.   He said it was parked on the
> side of the highway.   I told him to catch a ride with one of the other cars
> so he could make his dinner reservation and I would turn around look at the
> car.   He was understandably upset.   I told him to not let it ruin his
> evening and have a good time. He had only driven less than 5 miles from the
> house.  I found the car on the left shoulder of the divided highway.  I went
> to start it and it fired right up.  I put the car in gear and let out the
> clutch and nothing.  It was as if there was no clutch.   Luckily it was very
> close to home.   I went home and got his mom and I took our van back with a
> tow strap.   The car was very close to a cross over so it was a simple
> matter of hooking up the tow strap and pulling it across the highway and
> back home.   Since the highway was divided four lane I didn't have
>  to worry about holding up traffic and we only had to go on the highway for
> about a mile before we turned off to go on the back county road to our
> house.   Not a bad tow at all. After I got the car home I noticed that the
> transaxle inspection hole cover was missing.  I went back to the
> intersection to see if I could find it and I was looking for the telltale
> black stripes on the road from a burnout that blew the clutch.  I didn't see
> any stripes and I couldn't find the cover either.   I went back to the
> campground and finished up the weekend with me daughter. When I got back
> home on Sunday evening I started the interrogation with me son.   I asked
> him if he had tried to get scratch by popping the clutch.  He said no..that
> the clutch just quick working after he pulled away from the stop sign.   I
> had my doubts about his story but had no evidence to disprove it.   I had
> the car shipped to Cory Gehling (about 200 miles) to have him fix it.   I
> explained
>  what I thought had happened and that this was the orginal clutch that came
> with the car when I bought it 15 years prior.  Up to that point I had no
> clutch problems. When he looked into it he said that I had a rear main leak
> and the clutch fragments were soaked with oil.   He thought that the clutch
> had been getting oil on it from the leak and it finally decided to let go
> when my son was driving the car.   He suggested that my son's driving
> probably didn't have direct cause on the failure so just chalked it up to
> one of those things (although I still was suspicious).   I had him replace
> the seal and put in a new clutch and everything was good after that. Seeing
> my son's expression as he drove away in the Pantera was worth the pain and
> expense after the years past.  It was a once in a lifetime experience for
> him....and his date was duly impressed! Tom
> 5186 p.s.   My second son was a year behind his brother and when his prom
> came around he asked me if he could drive the Pantera.   I told him that he
> didn't need the kind of stress his brother went through the prior year and
> he would probably be better of if he didn't.   I offered him the use of my
> Porsche 944T if he could show me that he could drive it.  Remember that he
> learned to drive a manual with the Pantera and all its grunt two years prior
> and hadn't driven a stick since.  The 944T has nowhere near the torque off
> of idle and the clutch is trickier than the Pantera.   We went out to test
> drive the Porsche and he repeatedly killed the car when he took off from a
> stop.   After about 30 minutes it wasn't getting much better so I told him
> to do himself a favor and just take his mom's car and have good time.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charles Engles <cengles at cox.net>
> To: detomaso <detomaso at poca.com>
> Sent: Wed, Sep 18, 2013 8:41 pm
> Subject: [DeTomaso] The Pantera Wedding Dear Forum, The Pantera Wedding
> Story A man had a Pantera.  A nice mild mannered and well regarded man had a
> Pantera.   His son was engaged to be married.  The fiancé had the idea for
> the departure from the church to be in her future father-in-law’s Italian
> sports car driven by her soon to be husband.  She was enchanted with the
> idea.  The son approached the father with the Big Plan.  Dad voiced some
> lukewarm support, but was nonetheless very concerned. His first concern was
> that his son had never driven a manual transmission
> car much less the Pantera.  He had never been interested.  He didn’t care
> much about cars.  His second concern was the little voice about his
> Pantera’s well known ability to obey Murphy’s Law. He brought his problem to
> me and I counseled him.  I agreed that the Big
> Plan was a Bad Plan.  We discussed other options that did not involve manual
> transmissions and that did include other automatic transmission sports cars.
> He remembered that he still had his mother’s classic Jaguar sedan in storage
> that could work well. I also pointed out that fitting a newly married bride
> in her elaborate
> wedding dress in the passenger seat of a Pantera might be difficult enough
> to dissuade the bride.  That strategy was well taken. In preparation for the
> event, it was found that the Pantera needed a new
> battery.  After it was installed it was found that the hood wouldn’t close
> and latch.  No obvious cause was found, but removal of the latch spring
> permitted closure and latching.   A small victory over Murphy. Optimism
> increased.  The son practiced driving a manual in the Honda, but
> never in the Pantera.   As the day drew closer, a test fitting of the
> bride-to-be in the Pantera, showed that she didn’t think that there would be
> a problem even with her wedding dress.  Rats. On the day before the wedding,
> there had still been no Pantera practice for
> the groom.  Finally, there was an intense session and a satisfactory, but
> not skillful performance was accomplished.  He only needed to drive it three
> blocks on residential streets and didn’t even need to shift out of first.
> The Pantera was cleaned up.  What could go wrong? Dad decided to get the
> Jaguar anyway.  He went to the storage facility.
> Problem number one: four flat tires.    Problem number two: the keys
> couldn’t be found at home nor anywhere hidden in the car.    Anxiety was
> building. On the day of the wedding, the Pantera was strategically parked
> near its
> “stage entrance” with the windows cracked open in the summer heat.  Dad had
> two sets of keys to prevent another Jaguar disaster.    One hundred and
> sixty seven people attended the wedding.  The ceremony moved
> along to the dramatic departure of the happy couple.  People moved outside
> the church.  Dad went out to start the Pantera and position it in front of
> the door for the bride and groom to drive away. Dad in his tuxedo walked
> over to his Pantera and put the key in the door to
> open it.   It wouldn’t open.  He checked that it is the right key.  Further
> quick frustrating tries didn’t work.  Nonchalantly, he quickly went to the
> passenger door.  The same problem: unbelievably, the door key isn’t working
> to open the doors.  The couple has appeared at the church door.  Everyone is
> looking at Dad as the rice and confetti and streamers are being consumed.
> In short order the unexpected pause in the departure becomes more obvious as
> the flying potpourri does run out.  One of the bride’s family members tries
> to help the increasingly upset Pantera owner.  He proceeds to try to use the
> ignition key in the door lock producing some harsh words as Dad reclaimed
> his keys.  Finally, a brain storm happened.  Someone ran inside the church
> and retrieved a coat hanger.  Dad proceeded to open the Pantera through the
> slightly open windows.  With the Pantera finally open, it started
> immediately and the bride and groom took off a bit later than planned.  They
> also left behind a lot of mixed feelings in Dad about the whole affair. The
> next phase of the celebration was to be downtown.  The Pantera’s home
> garage was on the way to the reception.   Dad picked up the Pantera three
> blocks away, which had wisely been left unlocked.  It started up and he
> headed home as night was very quickly falling.  A short distance into the
> trip, Murphy struck again.   Dad was calmly driving along when he had the
> incredibly helpless feeling of watching his headlights spontaneously sink
> into the hood as darkness engulfed the front of the Pantera.   No
> headlights.  No taillights according to the chase vehicle behind him and no
> flashers.   In a moment or two, they unexpectedly spontaneously came back
> up
> ..followed a few minutes later by another failure of the lighting system.
> This happened about ten times over the eight mile trip home. Finally, with
> Murphy’s Pantera safely stored back at home, Dad went on to
> the reception and reflected on the departure debacle.   It seems that his
> first gut reaction was right about not wanting to use the Pantera in the
> wedding and he sure as hell wished that he been able to find the damn keys
> to the Jaguar. This is a true story.  Respectfully yours,  Chuck Engles
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