Owning the oldest known example of the car is the experience of some enthusiasts, but that seems to be the case with this yellow 1971 De Tomaso Pantera. It was the first year of production for the Ford-powered mid-engine exotic, and with VIN ending at 1006, it could very well be the oldest surviving Pantera. And it’s selling in Florida for an asking price of $250,000.
Claiming a car was the earliest or first to run is always tricky, but there is strong evidence to support this Pantera owner. According to the list in eBay, the car was the sixth built in total, including the prototype. Seller says the first three are display prototypes without the machine. Numbers four and five were reportedly used for crash tests. None of these are known to exist, which brings us to the yellow car here with its VIN ending in 1006. The seller says there is documentation with the car returning to its first Italian owner, as well as the original shipping booklet.
Photo courtesy of eBay Motors
After searching the internet for more information, we came across an old forum thread at Panther International talking about the VIN 1006. The details listed there match what we saw in this auction, suggesting that this Pantera classic could be the earliest model of all – production or prototype.
This is where it gets even more interesting. The VIN plate includes a separate identification number for the engine, which is listed as 0004. Apparently, the engine was removed from the previous prototype and installed in this Pantera. This was mentioned both in the auction and in Panther International forums, and it’s also in line with Pantera’s early production days, where various parts were still being refined to get the car into the hands of eager buyers.
As for this car, the odometer shows 32,202 in the photo but it’s reportedly in kilometers. The auction listed 18,000 miles, and it also mentioned a two-piece grille, a different steering wheel, De Tomaso badge on the dashboard, Ghia badge on the fenders, and rear hatch release on the stall door as unused prototype options. on other production cars. De Tomaso worked with Ford at Pantera, producing a Ford-sourced 5.8-liter V8 engine that produced around 330 horsepower.
If this is indeed the earliest surviving Pantera, it’s hard to gauge its worth. For now, it appears that $250,000 is the price for the new owner to bring it home.