For a car that rough to reach 63% of it's value may be just that someone got caught up in a bidding war, or they just have more money than they know what to do with.
I think restoring the underside and mechanicals (and I suppose at least SOME of the interior -- like the seats) is not doing the car justice. If it were a rat rod or hot rod, maybe, but it's not. Restore the thing to it's former glory!
An interesting side note: The Pantera killed the AMX III. AMC execs were going to make a limited run of 50 or so AMX III models. Then Ford dealers got the Pantera. The AMX III was similar, but would cost a lot more. AMC execs decided to not produce the AMX III, as even at the high price they would need to sell at it would have been a money loser, and since you could get a similar car (two seater, mid engine V-8, Italian style) from Ford for a good bit less, they just didn't think they could sell 50 a year for 3-4 years.
How come nobody ever finds a Mangusta, predecessor to the Pantera? I agree, leaving it looking like a candidate for a rust-tolem commercial is not fitting for any car. I filled in the holes in my Austin Mini with fiberglass filler, but I never had the money to fix it right. Surely, this Pantera should have the rust properly repaired. I
Living in Detroit (rust belt) and working at a L-M dealer that sold these vehicles, we were plagued with Panteras' that needed major repairs. Some of the problems were, leaky a/c systems (freon), rear axle u-joints (not cv style), rusty and noisy rear axle bearings. Besides frequent repair needs, lot of drivers had problems with the pedals. The floor area was so narrow it was sometimes hard to depress only one pedal if you had more than a narrow footprint.
Yay! Someone that knows the reality of these! Hall Pantera became a powerhouse by addressing all these issues, and more. Spend $20+k on an undrivable POS, drop another 20+k, and Hall will provide the car that Lincoln Mercury should have in the early '70's. Me? I want one with a flat crank 5.2 Voodoo motor and a built ZF. 180° headers and Corvette cats for mufflers. 4 inch center dumps, no powered anything, no stereo, acrylic "glass" save for the windshield, and Sparco seats&harnesses. Sigh.
When I was 14, I went to the Lincoln Mercury dealership in Indianapolis (not naming cuz lawyers) and saw this in a vivid school bus yellow. No dorkish wing, clean and it hurt my heart. I salute Hall Pantera for fixing the original issues on most early Panteras. But the one that grabbed my heart was full of flaws, and glorious.
When I was young and struggling financially with family obligations and college costs, I had to drive beat up, rusted Junkers out of necessity. With all due respect, you folks can keep your "patina". I haven't worked my butt off for years to go back to driving something that looks like crap.
Of course, the new owners can do whatever they wish re any body restoration. As for me, I would compliment the interior restoration with a full body restoration---but that's just me. IMHO, the car will not have the appearance of a resto-rod or even a resurrected classic if left in its present form that makes it appear as a POS---a place in history it definitely does not deserve. Some cars can get away with keeping their original "patinas," but the classy Pantera doesn't seem to fit into that category.