De Tomaso Pantera Group 3
A successor to and improvement on the earlier Mangusta, the mid-engined Pantera made its world debut in 1970. Of the 7,260 Panteras produced over a 20-year run, Competition Coupés are the rarest examples, built for the FIA Group 4 sports car racing class (where it would contend with Ferraris and Porsches) as well as the less demanding Group 3 specification, which catered to the privateer gentleman drivers.
As rules mandated that few items could be changed on Group 3 cars, these cars, in contrast to their Group 4 siblings, were completely road legal. The Cleveland V-8 remained in place, fitted with a free-flow exhaust system and built to the same spec as the European Panteras, developing 300 bhp. Improvements included reinforced wishbones and a heavier duty clutch, to name a few modifications, as well as lightweight bucket seats. For racing, the client could request a number of additional upgrades from the factory, including a roll cage, quick fuel filler, retaining straps for the rear bodywork and more. Later on in production, flared wheel arches, a chin spoiler and 10-inch wide rear wheels could be ordered as well. The Group 3 Panteras proved themselves extremely successful race and hill-climb competitors throughout the 1970s. Although the exact number built is unknown, many sources quote 36 as the total number.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2010 at the Battersea Evolution, London.
5,763 cc overhead valve V-8 engine, five-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with upper and lower wishbones with coil springs, adjustable shock absorbers and anti-roll bar, independent rear suspension with upper and lower wishbones, coil springs, radius rod and anti-roll bar, four-wheel vented disc brakes. Wheelbase: 99"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tom Wood