Sunday, December 14, 2008

De Tomaso Pantera Italian Racing Car

Picture of Classic Sports Car
Detomaso Pantera, originally uploaded by Martin Vincent.

The Pantera was a sports car produced by the de Tomaso car company of Italy from 1971 through 1991, the last one delivered to a customer in 1992. The word "Pantera" is Italian for "Panther". The car was designed by Tom Tjaarda and replaced the de Tomaso Mangusta. Unlike the Mangusta, which employed a steel backbone chassis, the Pantera was a steel monocoque design, the first instance of de Tomaso using this construction technique.

The first 1971 Panteras were powered by a Ford 351 in³ (5.8 L) V8 which produced 330 horsepower. The ZF transaxle used in the Mangusta and was used for the Pantera. Another Italian exotic that shares the ZF transaxle is the Maserati Bora. Power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes and rack and pinion steering were standard equipment. The 1971 Pantera could accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.5 seconds according to Car and Driver.

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