In an ocean of Camaros, Novas, Mustangs, 'Cudas, and all the other common players in the musclecar segment of our hobby, it's easy to get the "been there, seen that" attitude. If something a bit different is a breath of fresh air, then Dan Graham's '71 Pantera is a freaking hurricane. First off, you just don't see many Panteras in the musclecar world. From a U.S. standpoint, they were only offered from '71 to '74 (when Ford dissolved its business relationship with DeTomaso). But it was fun while it lasted. In a strange way, we need to thank Ferrari for the few Panteras we have here in the States. Back in the late 1960s, Ford needed a high-performance GT car to battle Corvette and Ferrari. Ford was already supplying engines to DeTomaso Automobile, and after Ford's failed attempt at buying Ferrari, decided to partner up with DeTomaso to build a new mid-engine GT. The new GT would be based around Ford's "new" 351 Cleveland engine. It was Euro styling stuffed with American muscle.
With just over 7,000 Panteras produced for the U.S., it's no wonder you don't see them very often, but Dan's '71 is even rarer. His ride is VIN'd as one of 75 Panteras imported from Italy to the U.S., known as Euro Editions. As for why Dan went the Pantera route, he told us, "Since I was in fourth grade, I've wanted a Pantera. Italian looks with a musclecar drivetrain. I found my car back in 1999, and it was a basket case. I called Gary Hall, of Hall Panteras, and asked him if he remembered the car, and he did. He explained how rare the car was and even sent me a poster of the car after he completed the original modifications back in the 1970s. He explained that the original owner and modifier worked on the Alaskan pipeline, and liked to run the nitrous and Weber setup. He asked me if those were still on the car I bought, so I had to investigate further. When I bought the car, it came with a lot of boxes marked "special parts." It was like Christmas opening those boxes. Among the boxes I found a Gilmer beltdrive, a full port injection nitrous kit, and a full Weber induction setup. Jackpot!"