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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Barn-find Pantera saved after sitting for 20 years

It looks shot to pieces after spending more than two decades abandoned to the elements. But now a long-lost 1972 De Tomaso Pantera is set to become a social media star-after being discovered in its resting place in Alpharetta, Georgia.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/auctions/barn-find-pantera-saved-after-sitting-for-20-years/
63 REPLIES 63
BossGreg
Detailer

This will always be a more interesting car than the field of common restored ones with shiny perfect paint. Hopefully this catches on more
cyclemikey
Detailer

Yes and no. Original cars with well-earned patina truly are, in many ways, more interesting than restored ones. But this isn't that. This is a rusted-out POS, and attending to only the mechanicals is kind of a silly stunt. That's a whole other deal, IMO. But to each his own.
GlidingPast
Pit Crew

It doesn't look "rusted out" to me. I suppose that it could be hidden under paint, but the body looks solid.

Dantheman
Pit Crew

When they were new they were covered by a 12/12 warrantee.
In northern climates they were using that warrantee to correct rust problems.

LarryD
Intermediate Driver

I'm inclined to agree with much of this. The "patina" this car exhibits comes from sitting unloved and unused for 20 plus years, not from 20 years of being enjoyed. The interior has been used up by spiders and mice, not from warm butts appreciating those leather buckets.
Musco03
Intermediate Driver

Agree Don't remember a original 72 with Pantera stenciled on its side and of course that stupid spoiler
RW68RSConv
Detailer

If you want to see pantina/POS, google "Holy Goat GTO"... pulled from a gun range that had a full mechanical-only restoration. I've seen this car in person and its a riot. THAT car is the definition of interesting - this car.... Restore it. For the reasons mentioned already: this is from neglect - outdoor neglect - not use, racing, or other story. But either way, this car will find fans and as far as investment -- in todays world with 'patina cars -- profits will be much bigger sticking to mechanical/interior resto only
buellerdan
Instructor

I understand that this look is catching on with the younger crowd and their muscle cars.
Hemmings Muscle Machines Editor Terry McGean wrote about the "as found" movement in his May 2022 column. Of course this has a great deal to do with keeping costs down.
Rat rods are no longer the sole beneficiaries of this type of build.
Catalyst
New Driver

If you think so then park all your cars in a field and see how interested it is in 30 years.
FloridaMarty
Instructor

Always liked them. Hopefully the restoring will include corrections to electrical and cooling unreliability.
Smilodon
Instructor

Hall Pantera. Look them up.
topside
Advanced Driver

Up to a point, I "get" the patina thing. This car is past that point, with visible rust-through, hack repairs & modifications, and an interior that nearly requires a haz-mat suit. Rather than glorifying the abuse and lack of respect it's suffered, I'd have to at least remedy the interior and the worst of the body issues.
Seems more of a marketing ploy for one's IG & FB accounts than actually honoring the car.
billyt
Intermediate Driver

This car deserves a rotisserie restoration. I'm not at all a fan of the "patina" look and a car of this rarity and caliber deserves and demands a full restoration. I hope they change their mind and do the right thing for this car.
Iso_Grifo
Instructor

I sure wouldn't keep that car in its patina. It's got that horrible sticker on the bottom, and a bunch of goofy 1980's add-ons like a pseudo-Boxer spoiler over the rear window, that ridiculous wing on the back, and some really bad added on front flairs and moulded in chin spoiler. This would be a very good restoration candidate to return to 1972 factory correct.
Zephyr
Instructor

One of the most beautiful cars ever made.
Smilodon
Instructor

Yes.
Maestro1
Technician

I think a total restoration should be done, attention paid to electronics and cooling as someone else mentioned, and take the wing off of it. It's absurd. With regard to market values, it doesn't matter. It' s a unique and interesting car to have; fix it and keep it.
Smilodon
Instructor

Rip that bad boy to bare metal, fix all ala Hall Pantera. Replace the old school 351C with the flat crank 5.2 Voodoo motor from a modern Shelby 350R. Rebuild the ZF transaxle, install a CenterForce hydraulic clutch and lightweight flywheel. Oh, a set of custom 180° headers and performance 'Vette cats used as mufflers, with 4" center dumps? Oh, hell yes. And paint it Torch Red, cuz, well, red.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

I love Pantera's! This car is certainly rough. It will take a bunch (of money) to fix it up. Good luck on that.
Tsker7t9
New Driver

I am probably in the minority with my way of thinking, but I really dislike the term "patina". I really don't care for the real weathered look or the made up "patina". Just my Just my $.02!
PRScott
Instructor

This is what Tim Horton died in driving home to Buffalo On the QEW in Vineland Ontario. Great hockey player, not such a great driver.
Bertone780
Detailer

He was doing double double the speed limit.
Paganini
New Driver

The patina represents the history of an appreciated and cherished work of art acquired over its lifetime. As a concert violinist for the last 50+ years I've owned 18th century Italian instruments in which scratches and blemishes were a part of the violin's history and to erase them would eliminate that part of what they meant to their owners so I get the patina perspective. However, this beautiful car has been neglected to the point of being an arguable historical ruin. It is in nearly as sad a condition as the Bullit Mustang because somebody didn't give a crap about it for decades. To honor and preserve the memory of their abuse is a disservice to the car itself, the men who designed and built the car, its first owner who saw it for the first time and everyone who appreciates them today for the works of art that they are.
Please do the right thing and bring back its dignity and glory inside and out.
GeorgeWA
Detailer

A forgotten and abused car with a rotten interior and totally rusted out body panels is NOT the definition of the word Patina…Cars like the Pantera deserve to be restored..While these guys are at it there are several systems in the Pantera namely the cooling system that should upgraded… Get to work !
Rick2
Instructor

Panteras were sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealers, not Lincoln-Ford dealers. At 18 years old it was my dream car in this color blue. But at almost three times the price of a corvette it was way out of my price range.
KeninFL
Intermediate Driver

This is not about the car which I like. I'd like to be restored, but not just mechanically.
That body and interior is not patina.
A pair of shoes worn enough to conform to a foot with wrinkles in the leather and wear on the sole is patina.
A crappy pair of sneakers with torn canvas, ripped eyelets and dogs..t packed into the shredded sole's grooves is not patina.
We need a more precise usage of the word "patina."
merlebalke
Advanced Driver

Patina, aka bad paint and rust.
Rixot
New Driver

Yes, but only surface rust on a solid body.
Crug
New Driver

Get ready to become close buddies with Hall-Pantera...also get yourself a good multimeter for tracking down all the quirks in the electrical system... hope that the ZF transaxle is working.... big repair $$$.... I still miss my 74.....lose the wing
Smilodon
Instructor

Hall will provide a nose to tail harness to cure the electrical gremlins, really good switches as well. As Tremec, ZF builds a great, if somewhat obscure transmission. The fake Lambo wing is truly an abomination.
RedRyder_SFZ
Detailer

I own fully restored cars, restomodded cars and I build rat rods. Here’s my opinion…take it or leave it.

Get it running, driving safely, clean up the interior/exterior, lose the wing and leave the body(as unpopular as it seems to be here). A good resto shop will have it for two years and will cost a fortune. That’s two years of paying to wait to drive a car that was once original. With wait times for parts and backlogs of cars waiting to get restored, 2 years is probably unrealistic. It’s easy to say “Get that body fixed!” “That car deserves it!”…when your wallet is firmly in your pocket.

This reminds me of Seinfelds Porsche and the Bullitt among countless others that remain in mostly original condition.

Let the next guy buy it from you for four times what you paid after you enjoy it for 30 years and let him fork over $100,00 for body work.

Beautiful car. I say leave it.

“Good work ain’t cheap and cheap work ain’t good” -Sailor Jerry
LewSchiller
New Driver

I agree to a point. If the goal is to keep and enjoy it needs to be made solid and the interior needs to be cleaned up - the seats recovered. Use it for a while and sell it on because selling "hope" is always easier and more profitable than selling a finished product.
Smilodon
Instructor

A rusted Pantera will break in half. It's not just a meme. It has happened, more than once. I'd wait two years to keep a really cool car from self destruction. I'd go five to bring this one back. I gots my GTOs to drive, I have the mature ability to delay gratification. And I don't quote liquor bottles to seem "cool".
GlockandRoll
Intermediate Driver

Good for them, can't wait to see how it turns out!
Musco03
Intermediate Driver

Wow! Same color as mine although a little more deteriorated to say the least. Great cars for a $10, 000 dollar sticker price at your local Lincoln Mercury Dealer.
Drove mine to California from New York and back and the only problem was a flat tire. Google Vail Pass and you will see the car. Of course I posted the photos about three years ago. As always great memories
JSievers
Instructor

ROUGH! I'm not sure this car was a bargain at the selling price. The tin worm has had its way with the body, and everything else looks rode hard and put away wet as well. Good luck to the buyers; they are going to need it.
SAG
Technician

had a friend who use to show his Maserati 3500 'superleggera'
_Concourses circa: 1990's, with the "weathered original finish" which there wasn't much left.
Bold choice, but great.
They call the Finish "Rat Rod" in American car shows today.
So why not keep the finish 'as-is', and keep the drive train to it's original configuration.
Smilodon
Instructor

Because it will break in half.
mbseaman
Pit Crew

Great find. Since it is a 1972, I wonder if the engine is the open chamber low compression version of the 351 Cleveland. The 1971 closed chamber head engine was much better and made more power and torque.
I had a new 1972 Ranchero GT with the detuned 351C 4 barrel engine. I had no idea it had the lower compression open chamber heads until later. Unfortunately, it, like many of the cars of that era was getting heavily rusted out after a few years. You rarely see 1972 Rancheros these days.
Carguy53
New Driver

No....No.....Never ever think that a very badly rotten rusted out monocoque body car deserves to be a Dream restorable project. It is and always will be a Nightmare scenario at best, even with the new Owners doing the work required (which is not possible to do properly with such a rusted damaged wreck) This is not a "Barn Find" It's really a "Submerged Riverbed piece of Junk". At best it could be patched with fiberglas and body filler, painted with a brush and roller and mounted on a restaurant/bar wall. It was worth 1500 bucks at most. PS I love Panteras but this WAS one and NOT is one anymore.
Smilodon
Instructor

No one believes me that this thing is so corroded that it WILL break in half, right behind the doors.
TonyT
Technician

Whew! The article teaser said that the partial restoration was going to be "unorthodox." Thought for a second that meant electrification... because, you know, trends. I have an idea: Take lots of pictures, have them laminated and display the photo collection with the nicely restored car. The new owners could take some of the really rusty, had-to-be-cut-off panels and entomb them in clear acrylic and display those as well. Might take longer and cost more, but the end justifies the means and they would end up with a better car.
buymark
New Driver

It's his car, so he's the only one who has to be happy. To each their own. IMO I never got the patina thing. Looking like a beater is a beater. What I never understood is Faux Patina. Why people spend time and money to FAKE making a car look crappy I don't know. And I have never seen a faux job that i couldn't spot from 20 feet. Seems pointless IMO.
Kewina50
Intermediate Driver

I guess I'm so far out of the loop I may never "get hip"! $33,000 for that nightmare? What's a nice one worth? I recall the sticker price to be around $10K new...I guess the thing to do was to buy one new, let go to hell and sell it for 3x the original price! Good Luck on the resto...you have bitten off a big bite...hope ya can chew it! Happy Motoring to then Hagerty Community!
RonWolfe
New Driver

All I can say is you cant fix stupid. Its a great idea doing a restoration however I know the patina things is hot right now. Not really my thing but to sit in and drive an old rat infested smelly rotten interior car. Fools. Thats all I can say
scootertrash750
Pit Crew

33.000? I didn't know the price of scrap was that good. Guess I better start loading some of the junk on my ranch and haul it off. unreal!
Smilodon
Instructor

Rotten, will break right behind the doors.
Smeghead
New Driver

How about a flat clear over everything? Looks like there's some thin metal, good luck! Ya gotta admit it has a Zombie Car look in present state, very cool idea, Who'd a thunk it? A Ratrod Pantera! But hey, I'm from Pittsburgh, (been spottin' Zombies fer 54 the last 54 years er' so.) You using the OEM 351?
Smilodon
Instructor

The unibody is, in a word, toast. No thickness of fake paint will save this. This thing WILL break, right behind the doors, as soon as power is applied. Spot all you want, stroke yourself, but you just have no understanding of engineering. This thing is at best a poor parts car. Period. It's not a "zombie car" or "ratrod", it's DONE. Spend your moron money as you will.