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Car Crash: A Pantera on the Prowl

A feature here at the Daily Driver is the Car Crash.  Breathe easy – no actual cars were harmed in the making of this crash.  That would be a crime, and a cryin’ shame.  Our Car Crash is much more fun – in a “crash a party” kind of a way.  If you’ve ever seen a vintage car and wanted to see the interior or wondered about its restoration process, then the Car Crash is just the post for you.  Join us as we explore the details of a gorgeous vehicle…

Ever wonder what the evolution of the Pantera would look like? Look no further than Tony Ortiz’s De Tomaso. What started as a 1973 car has turned into a beautiful 21st century beast.

A 2006 Ford GT40 front end was grafted onto the body. Check out the De Tomaso symbol in the grill – it is cleverly used throughout the car.

The interior is clean, sleek and functional, and the De Tomaso symbol is proudly on display – check out the steering wheel, the key (upper center console) and the shifter.

One of the coolest features of this transformation is the Lexan firewall you see between the seats. The water pump and alternator had to be moved to accommodate the new flat Lexan firewall, but the WOW factor is worth it. Tony said the strangest thing is driving down the road – when he looks over his shoulder, he sees the road going by.

Here’s a better look at the custom key, certainly one of the coolest keys we have every seen.

To say that this car has large meats to put the power to the ground is an understatement. The front has 275/40/R17 and the rear is runs a 345/35/R18. That is over 13 inches of tire in the rear!


Don’t believe that this Pantera has the heart of a beast? Check out the eyes that stare back at you when you’re driving behind it.  We love the eyes painted on the throttle blades, a small but perfect touch to convey the attitude of this car.

This Pantera does not like to stop!  Want to see her get angry?  Just step on the brakes and you’ll see her get upset!

The back half of the car is also a 2006 Ford GT40. If there were any doubt about what you’re following on the highway, the license plate tells it all.

A polished piece of aluminum with the De Tomaso symbol cut into it adorns the bonnet of the car.

The custom rear crossmember is another simple touch that makes a loud statement.

The heart pumping in this Pantera is a 351 Cleveland…

and it is hooked up to a ZF transaxle.

Wonder why there are small shocks on the cross member?

They help isolate the exhaust and restrict its movement. Tony used shocks from a bicycle, a unique solution to this problem.

To say that this is the nicest Pantera we have ever seen is an understatement! Special thanks to Tony for taking the time at Del Mar to tell us the story behind his incredible car. We look forward to seeing him again at another show, or on the road!


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