There are few now-defunct automakers with as storied of histories as De Tomaso. The company was founded by Argentinian Alejandro de Tomaso in Modena, Italy in 1959, and originally produced prototypes and race cars.
It even once built a Formula One car for Frank Williams’ team. But its most successful venture was when Ford acquired nearly the entire company and brought forth the Pantera, a mid-engine muscle car in a similar vein as the GT40.
The car was powered by a 351 Cleveland Ford V-8, a body designed by Ghia’s Tom Tjaarda and then hand-built by Carrozzeria Vignale in Italy. It wasn’t exactly an instant hit, but has since become a sort of cult icon in the classic supercar world. Between 1971 and 1992, the last year of its production, over 7,000 Pantera’s were produced. None, however, were ever truly raced, which makes this one featured here so special.
Built for demolishing hillclimb courses as if it were a bulldozer, this specific De Tomaso Pantera has been tweaked and tuned to produce over 500 horsepower from its naturally aspirated V-8 engine. It also has wider fender flares, a front splitter to push the nose of the car into the road, and what appears to be Plexiglas windows and windshield to reduce its weight.
The driver, Roberto Dal Cin, also apparently doesn’t mind pushing the mid-engine rocket ship well past its supposed limits as it slips and slides up an Italian hillclimb course, growling at the picturesque countryside as it roars past. For those that love the Pantera, this is a must watch. Check out the full video below and turn the sound on your headphones up.