1974 De Tomaso Pantera GTS: A Rare Low Mileage Gem

In this episode of Muscle Car of the Week, we take a closer look at the 1974 De Tomaso Pantera GTS. While not traditionally considered a muscle car, this Italian sports car has a fascinating story and unique elements that tie it to some Ford muscle cars. Join us as we delve into the history and features of this remarkable vehicle.

Low Mileage Rarity

The 1974 De Tomaso Pantera GTS featured in this Muscle Car of the Week episode is an exceptionally rare find due to its remarkably low mileage. With barely any miles on the odometer, this particular Pantera is effectively a brand new car. Such an opportunity to witness a well-preserved specimen of this caliber is akin to stepping into a time machine.

Produced by De Tomaso in Italy, the Pantera stood out among the sports cars of its time. Unlike other cars that aimed to fill a specific market need, the Pantera boasted unique features and design elements that set it apart. Its mid-engine configuration, with the engine positioned behind the driver but in front of the rear wheels, offered an exceptional driving experience. Coupled with the ZF transaxle, which connected the rear wheels directly to the transmission, the Pantera delivered impressive performance and handling.

Ford’s Involvement

While the Pantera carried distinct Italian styling, it had a surprising American connection. The Pantera’s power came from a mid-mounted Ford 351 V8 engine. This meant that owners could have their Panteras serviced at their local Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. The design of the Pantera was the work of an American designer employed by De Tomaso, and Ford treated the car as one of its own. In the United States, all the parts were assigned Ford part numbers, while other countries had their own parts catalog.

Between 1971 and 1974, approximately 6,000 De Tomaso Panteras were manufactured. The production of these cars evolved over the years, with later models addressing initial technical issues. While the early Panteras faced some challenges, Lincoln-Mercury dealerships provided dedicated service and updates to ensure customer satisfaction.

Italian Styling, American Power

The Italian styling of the De Tomaso Pantera combined with the American power under the hood created a unique fusion. The Pantera’s sleek and exotic design turned heads wherever it went. It captured the essence of a personal exotic sports car while maintaining a connection to its American roots. With its compact size, the Pantera offered surprising interior space, making it a comfortable and thrilling driving experience.


The 1974 De Tomaso Pantera GTS boasts signature wheels that perfectly complement its striking design and high-performance capabilities. These wheels are a testament to the meticulous attention to detail put into every aspect of the car. Crafted by Campagnolo, a renowned Italian company known for its racing wheels, these wheels are not just visually appealing but also engineered for optimal performance. The combination of sleek design and lightweight construction enhances both the aesthetics and the handling prowess of the Pantera GTS.

The Pantera GTS proudly showcases its original Campagnolo rims, which exemplify the exceptional craftsmanship and engineering prowess of the era. These rims are forged using premium materials, such as aluminum and magnesium, to ensure strength, durability, and weight reduction. The intricate design of the rims not only enhances the visual appeal of the Pantera GTS but also improves its aerodynamics, contributing to better stability and handling at high speeds. The Campagnolo rims on the Pantera GTS are a testament to the fusion of style and performance that define this iconic sports car.

Campagnolo, the esteemed manufacturer of the Pantera GTS’s wheels and rims, has a rich racing heritage that dates back several decades. Known for its association with high-performance racing cars and bicycles, Campagnolo brings its expertise in crafting wheels that can withstand the demands of extreme driving. The inclusion of Campagnolo rims on the Pantera GTS not only enhances the car’s performance but also pays homage to its racing roots, ensuring that every Pantera GTS owner enjoys the thrill of driving with a touch of racing history.

The collaboration between De Tomaso and Campagnolo in designing the wheels and rims of the Pantera GTS was a marriage of form and function. The Campagnolo rims perfectly complement the sleek lines and aggressive stance of the Pantera GTS, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication. Furthermore, the wheel-rim combination optimizes the car’s performance by reducing unsprung weight and improving overall handling dynamics. The Pantera GTS’s wheels and rims are a harmonious integration of aesthetics and engineering, accentuating the car’s allure and delivering an exhilarating driving experience.

Gas Crisis and Changing Preferences

The 1970s witnessed a shift in consumer preferences due to the gas crisis. High-performance V8 cars fell out of favor as fuel efficiency became a significant concern. The Pantera, with its focus on speed, aesthetics, and handling, didn’t align with the practicality sought during those turbulent times. However, it’s worth noting that the Pantera wasn’t designed to be an everyday economy car but rather an exhilarating and visually striking personal sports car.

The 1974 De Tomaso Pantera GTS retained its power and performance despite the challenges it faced. The car was equipped with a Ford 351 Cleveland V8 engine, which delivered impressive horsepower and torque. The engine specifications were similar to those of the same year’s Mustang, making the Pantera a force to be reckoned with on the road. Its lightweight construction and powerful engine combined to offer a thrilling driving experience.

Interior Highlights

Inside the Pantera GTS, you’ll find a meticulously designed interior that showcases the perfect blend of style and functionality. The attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the cabin, from the placement of controls to the choice of materials. It’s a space where comfort meets performance, providing an immersive experience for both driver and passengers.

The cockpit of the Pantera GTS is thoughtfully laid out, with the driver’s needs at the forefront. The speedometer and tachometer are positioned prominently in the instrument cluster, ensuring quick and easy access to essential information. This setup allows drivers to keep their eyes on the road while staying informed about speed and engine RPM, adding to the overall driving confidence.

One of the notable features of the Pantera GTS is its intelligently designed center console. It houses additional gauges, including the ammeter, fuel gauge, and temperature gauge, providing comprehensive monitoring of essential vehicle parameters. The placement of these gauges within easy reach of the driver ensures that crucial information is always at hand, allowing for a seamless and engaging driving experience.

Comfort and convenience are paramount in the Pantera GTS. The interior is equipped with user-friendly controls for the air conditioning system, allowing occupants to personalize their climate preferences and enjoy a pleasant driving environment. Additionally, the car’s vent system is ingeniously designed to provide targeted defrosting, ensuring optimum visibility even in challenging weather conditions.


While the 1974 De Tomaso Pantera GTS may not fit the conventional definition of a muscle car, it possesses the heart and soul of one. Its distinct blend of Italian styling and American power makes it a captivating and sought-after vehicle among car enthusiasts. Despite its initial challenges and the changing landscape of the automotive industry, the Pantera GTS remains a symbol of performance, design, and automotive innovation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *