First off, congrats to reader TimOsmond, who wins $25 to spend in the BaT Gear Store for posting our favorite of dozens of great replies to the first ever Bring a Trailer Question of the Week–namely, what’s your favorite Italian-American hybrid? Click through to read his reply, involving a childhood dream and a pre-L Pantera.
“DeTomaso Pantera. Why the Pantera? Because I am 50 years old and when I saw my first Pantera, I was a poor kid who had dreams of owning one one day.
I was one of four kids, mom was a widower who immigrated here after marrying dad after WWII. When dad died I was 9 and we all were expected to work, even me. Odd jobs and regular neighborhood jobs of mowing lawns and washing cars, generated good money, half of which all went into the pot to help mom pay for the monthly mortgage and my other half was for things I wanted.
I had always loved cars and started reading my big brothers car mags. I remember reading an article on the Pantera and being blown away at the curves and styling of the car, it was so out of place in the world of Pintos and Mustang IIs.
Later I eventually saw one in person, I remember running my hand down the side of the car and being amazed that the car was shorter than I was (42″ from ground to roof line).
It was at that moment that I told myself, ‘You will work hard, save and own one’.
Fast forward almost 39 years later and I did just that, bought a 1972 DeTomaso Pantera Pre-L. My friend had told me about an internet find of a Pantera in Minden Nevada being sold. I told the seller I was located in Southern California and I would wire him 10% down to hold the car and I would drive up and pay him in cash and if I did NOT arrive as promised, he could keep the money. The seller was dumbfounded but agreed.
I had told my wife I was going on a road trip with a friend, I would be back in two days. The drive to Minden from the small town of Hemet Ca was about 12 hours. We drove up, inspected the car and heard an incredible story.
The seller was given the car by his best friend, a gift that would have been a joyous occasion however it was a gift because his friend had terminal cancer. He was given the car in 1991 drove it once after his friend died and garaged it.
During the sale he opined how he loved the car but needed to sell it to someone who would enjoy it and that was me. The seller was 64 years old, sold a chain of plumbing stores he had started, bought a Class A motor home and was leaving that day to Arizona. He began sobbing as he signed the title to me.
I trailered the car home from Minden and the reactions everywhere we went were priceless. It was like a movie star or rock star was on the trailer, the people pacing us on the road taking pictures and the people gathering as we fueled up.
I arrived home around 10pm, rolled up the garage door and started the car. The 351C was loud, the chest thumping rumble created unwanted attention, I saw lights turn behind curtains in the homes surrounding me. The car rolled off and I slowly idled the car into its sleeping quarters. I remember mentally saying, ‘You did it kid, all that work paid off’.
It was then the interior garage door opened and silhouetted in the door frame was my wife, ‘What the HELL IS THAT’? With the energy of a boy opening gifts on Christmas day, I told ‘It’s a Detomaso Pan…’, the door was slammed in my face.
I looked at my buddy, ‘I guess I should have told her I was buying a car, oh well’. I smiled and sat in the car, holding the wheel like I did so many times in my dreams as a kid.”
And a pre-L to boot! Thanks for sharing your wonderful story, Tim, and thanks to everyone who chimed in with their favorites, too.
This week’s question is what’s your favorite homologation special, and why? Neither era nor the type of racing your choice was homologated for are important–as long as the model was built in order to meet minimum production requirements as a prerequisite for organized racing, it’s perfectly eligible. Once again, the writer of the best response received by next Wednesday scores $25 to spend on BaT gear.