Items to Check when Purchasing a Pantera

Besides the usual things to look for when purchasing any car, here are additional items particular to a pantera:

1) Have the rear uprights had their wheel bearings upgraded from stock?

2) Have grease fittings been added to the lower rear pivot shafts of the rear suspension?

3) Have grease fittings been added to the front ball joints?

4) Have drain holes been drilled into the rear stiffener section? This would be the two attachment points of the rear upright to the body. It is in the shape of a horseshoe and the holes would have to be at the bottom of the horseshoe.

5) Have drain holes been drilled along the 2 main frame rails that go down the center of the car?

6) Check for rust, from the bottom, on the floorboard, between the front and rear tires, right where the sheet metal is joined to the floor pan, on both sides of the car.

7) Check for bondo, on the sheet metal, at about knee height, all around the car, using one of those flat, thin, refrigerator magnets. I also use a thin like cloth between the magnet and the car so as to not scratch the paint. The owner will appreciate it. The owner will always say there is no bondo on a car but when you pull a magnet out, they seem to be more forth coming. Also, you could ask if he has pictures of the last restoration. Then you could see what is under the paint. And if he has pictures, I would ask if I could have them, or copies, if the car is purchased.

8) Check for rust along the bottom of the front cross member, just below the radiator.

9) Is the distributor drive gear double-pinned?

10) Check the Clutch reservoir for leakage, in the front trunk, right where it mounts to the firewall.

11) Check the Brake reservoir for leakage, in the front trunk, right where it mounts to the brake booster.

12) Is the radiator updated? The car should run and idle at about 190 degrees.

13) At the end of the drive, with the car warmed up, Stop and shift it into second gear, to stop the secondary gear cluster from spinning, then slowly into reverse. It should go into reverse cleanly. This is the safest way to go into reverse without grinding gears as the clutch free play slowly goes out of adjustment. It will go out of adjustment, eventually, and you would not know when that will finally happen and you would grind into reverse. The transaxle is the most expensive part of the whole car.

Greg Ford
June 2014