De Tomaso Pantera Group 4
- The only Gr. 4 of 14 built De Tomaso “Works car”.
- Winner of the 1st Giro d'Italia and Italian GT Championship in 1973.
- Exceptional condition, race ready for the incoming season.
- All original documents of the time plus FIA HTP valid until 2028.
- Suitable for all major historic events such as Le Mans Classic, Tour Auto, Modena Cento Ore and others.
- Certified by Mario Casoni and Franco Berni, De Tomaso racing department head in period.
The "Pantera" was born between 1969 and 1970, due to a marketing idea of Ford, which wished to produce a top car with central engine to utilize the benefits generated by the success of its GT 40 in motor racing.
The realization of the car was given to an Italian firm, De Tomaso, and the car was presented in Spring 1971.
The technical staff was directed by Giampaolo Dallara: he created a monocoque body, while the engine was a V8 Ford Cleveland 351 di 5763 cm3 (equivaent to 351 cubi inches) fitted with a big Holley carburettor and a ZF gearbox 5 speed, giving a power of 330 cv.
After 1974 the factories in North America of Ford stopped the production of the Cleveland 351 engine, so De Tomaso first utilized all the engines remained in stock in Unites States and Australia where they were in production and stock until 1986, when the engine was substituted with the younger Windsor 351 produced in US.
The first serie of the Pantera was produced until 1990 in 7258 units with the 80% of its production sold in US.
A second edition of the car was created in 1991, based on a deep restyling made by Marcello Gandini and the utilization of a new V8 engine of 4942 cm3 and 305 cv. The new car was produced in 41 units only until 1993.
In 1971 Alejandro De Tomaso built a racing version of the car to compete against Ferrari, Porsche e Chevrolet Corvette in the new Group 4 FIA and a small number of cars was built: at the beginning six Pantera GT4, road legal and, immediately after, eight Pantera Group 4, for racing purpose only. The cars had small differences between themselves and were produced from December 12, 1971 (chassis #2263) and December 22, 1972 (chassis #2874). The fourteen cars were sold to private teams and drivers such as Andrè Wicky Racing, Herbert Muller, Vincenzo "Pooky" Cazzago, Aldo "Alval" Valtellina and the dealers De Tomaso for Spain (Escuderia Montjuich), France (Franco-Britannic) and Belgium (Claude Dubois).
The starting point for the competition car was the chassis Tipo 874A which was lightened through a big work of perforation of the sheets steel. Particular reduced suspensions were applied with several possibilities of regulation, new antiroll bars and Köni adjustable dampers, anch'essi regolabili; the steering was more direct, the disc brakes bigger and ventilated produced by Lockheed, two fuel tanks of 60 litres each and Campagnolo wheels in magnesium of 15 inches of diameter with width increased to 10" front and 14" rear for which a modification of the slot of the dampers and the application of external cambers locked with rivets.
The original body in steel was without bumpers, anti rust treatment and acustic soundproof. Bonnets and doors were in light alloy, while in the interior there were the dashborn, the racing seat, a smaller steering wheel and the rollbar. Such work had reduced the weight of the car up to about 1100 kg, creating scare into the other competitors and pushing Porsche to make some pressure to FIA in order to impose a minimum weight for the GT4 cars of 1250 kg.
At the beginning the factory ordered a small serie of Ford Boss 351 engines elaborated by Bud Moore with competiton camshafts and springs, titanium valves, racing pistons and bigger oil sump, while crankshaft and rods were original. The cubic capacity was of 5763 cm3 identical to the normal engine while the compression was increased to 12.0:1 and the carburettor was a four body Holley Racing 1150 CFM, the clutch was mono-disc reinforced and the gearbox a close five speed ZF. The first engines produced 440 HP at 7000 rpm, later increased to 470 HP for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1972, allowing the car to reach 290 km/h on the Hunaudières.
For the 1973 season the Factory produced the racing engines by itself, giving them a dry sump lubrication and four Weber 48 IDO dual carburetors, worked heads (maintaning the compression at 12,0:1) and a specific racing camshaft, crankshaft and rods plus a new exaust system. The result was an increase of the power to 490 HP at 7000 rpm which needed the use of a reinforced ZF gearbox.
The first racing event of the Pantera Group 4 was at the spring test of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1972, where Herbert Muller and Mike Parkes was fifth overall and the best of their class with the car entered by Escuderia Montjuich. The real debut in a race was in April 1972 at the second round of the opening season of the FIA European Trophy for Grand Touring Cars, where three cars ove tre (chassis #2824, #2263 and #2343) raced the Euro GT GP Paris on the Monthlery circuit getting the second place with Jean-Marie Jacquemine, entered by the team of Claude Dubois), the thirteenth position and a retirement due to engine broken. During the season the car won its class in the 1000 km di Monza (chassis #2342), of Spa (chassis #2860) and Zeltweg (chassis #2861), valid for the World Car Manufacturers Championship. The last race of the year was at Nivelles for the round of the European GT Championship, where it won (chassis #2859).
The factory prepared two cars for the 1973 season: one for the first races of the season (chassis #2872) and a second as works car (chassis #2873), sold to Jolly Club and managed directly by the factory. At the wheel there was the works driver Mario Casoni. The cars had more powerful engines and they were entered at the two first rounds of the European GT Championship driven by Mike Parkes (#2872) and Mario Casoni (#2873) at Imola and Nivelles. At Imola Parkes made the pole and was the overall winner while Casoni did not started due to engine problems. At Nivelles Parkes made the pole again but he retired in the race due to a tyre problem while Casoni did not started due to electrical problems. After this race the factory sold the car (chassis #2872) to Andrè Wicky Racing who entered the car at the third round of the European GT Championship at Hockenheim for Clay Regazzoni, while Casoni was entered as usual by Jolly Club with his car #2873. Regazzoni won both race 1 and 2 while Casoni was fifth in race 1 and retired in race 2. After a pole at the Coppa Intereuropa – 6 Hours of Monza together with Pino Pica Casoni won two rounds of the Italian GT Championship at Casale circuit and, finally, was entered to the 1st edition of the Giro automobilistico d'Italia with Raffaele Minganti as navigator. They were overall winner in that one which was in period the most important road race in Italy, after the Mille Miglia.
In the following years, the Pantera Group 4 were entered in several races by private teams who got interesting results but never significant wins and, in 1976, some of the cars were converted according to the new specifications of the Group 5, giving to the car a new life of races and wins.