Configuration: Longitudinal mid-engine
Engine: Ford 351 Cleveland V8
Displacement: 351 cubic inches
Horsepower: 330 at 5400rpm
Torque: 370ft/lbs at 400rpm
Max RPM: 6150rpm
Transmission: 5-speed transaxle
A Little History
The 1972 de Tomaso Pantera is the earliest supercar on display, and the first attempt at blending Italian body-styling with American muscle. The car was designed by Tom Tjaarda, an American-born man working for an Italian company.
The Ford 351 Cleveland V8 engine featured in the de Tomaso was chosen from earlier American muscle cars, and picked over other American V8 engines for its higher revving capability. This allowed the car to have more of an Italian appearance, with the strength of classic American muscle.
Interestingly, this de Tomaso is the only supercar on display that has a transaxle clearly visible in the engine compartment, despite the fact that all the supercars have transaxles. A transaxle is a combination of the rear axle and the transmission, built into one piece. It was designed to not only place the engine in the middle of the car, but also to create better weight distribution.
The interior features black leather seats, steering wheel, dash, and center console. The gauge cluster and radio are located on the center console, unlike any other supercar currently on display.
The de Tomaso on display has won awards at four different Concours Italiano, a competitive car show held annually in Pebble Beach, California, where cars are graded on their factory originality and cleanliness. It won:
1. August 15th, 1997 2nd place Concours Class award.
2. August 27th, 1999 1st place Concours Class award.
3. August 18th, 2000 2nd place Concours Class award.
4. August 19th 2005 Best de Tomaso award.
Did You Know?
• Tom Tjaarda, born Stevens Thompson Tjaarda van Starkenberg, is a Dutch-American, Detroit-born designer. His father, John Tjaarda, designed the 1936 Lincoln Zephyr.
• Tom Tjaarda created the concept of center console and center-mounted guages. This could probably be considered the highlight of his career, as it was featured prevalently in Ferraris, Fiats, Chryslers, Lancias, Fords, Aston Martins, and Saabs, among others, through the early 2000s.
• The Panteras were sold through the Ford dealership network in only the United States. In the end, only 7300 cars were produced throughout its 20-year run.