De Tomaso is a name that might ring a bell for baby boomers. It’s an automotive manufacturing company founded in Argentina that put together American V8 horsepower with Italian design and assembly. The most iconic of its vehicles that made it to the shores of the United States was the De Tomaso Pantera. But, in the United States, the De Tomaso name really hasn’t been around for decades. That’s about to change, though. The supercar manufacturer is back!
The De Tomaso revival
According to a report by The Drive, the company reviving De Tomaso Automobili is intending to make a Roush powered supercar. Further, the company intends to move their operations to the United States to spur the American automotive industry to further greatness. After all, Corvettes, Mustangs, GTs, Challengers, and Camaros need more company. To that end, the company announced on its website, “De Tomaso will move its core production, design, and corporate facilities to the U.S.”
“Building our P72 in America is the next great step in our history and one we are eager to undertake. We will reignite the romance, beauty, passion and elegance of luxury American automobiles. Our mission is clear – we will carry our legacy forward here in America and by doing so, create opportunity, cultivate talent and inspire collaboration. We believe that if we come together and work toward making a lasting impact on our industry and our world, anything is possible.” – Ryan Berris, CEO/CMO – De Tomaso Automobili.”
Keeping Pantera tradition alive
Roush, as you might recall, sources Ford engines and enhances them for more performance output. So, the revival of De Tomaso is keeping with its old roots as Ford used to be the powerplant of choice for the cars many people fondly remember. It seems that the tradition will continue. I’m referring, of course, to the Pantera.
The De Tomaso Pantera
The Pantera was arguably a thing of beauty. Introduced in 1971, the car was a vehicle designed in the age where the wedge shape is what defined sports cars. Yet, it had thick shoulders in the rear that masked its muscle. And muscle it had. The V8 used in this supercar of its day was 351 cubic inch engine sourced from Ford. That engine was planted midship. Together, the stunning design, the weight distribution of the mid-mounted engine, and the brutality of the 320-ish horsepower generated made this two-seater a beauty and a beast.
In the meantime, Ford and De Tomaso had a good working relationship. So good, in fact, that Ford imported the awe-inspiring machine until 1975. Undeterred, De-Tomaso would continue to make the Pantera in different iterations through the early 1990s, but they would not be available in the United States. Still, the platform was strong enough to run 20 years because it was that good.
Recent De Tomaso Pantera Sightings
The Pantera is still a show stopper. In fact, I personally had to pick my jaw up off the ground when I found myself behind a red one in traffic a couple of years ago. Aside from my personal sighting in the wild, the cars still pop-up every now and then at car shows. Interestingly, a US registry of owners shows very few of the Panteras have been lost to time. They are loved cars and continue to be sought out and restored or resto-modded. In fact, a recent episode of Fast-N-Loud involved a Pantera as a project (clip above). Sadly, instead of restoring it, the outfit yanked the powerplant and put in a modern Ecoboost engine from Ford.
The De Tomaso P72
The supercar De Tomaso intends to make here is the P72. According to their website, the car itself is a homage to designs from the 1960s penned by Peter Brock. Also, it will be an ultra-exclusive offering, with only 72 units being created. The new supercar is built upon a carbon monocoque chassis. It will be powered by a mid-mounted Roush powerplant. Horsepower figures are not available yet. However, the manufacturer’s website indicated the P72 will have a manual transmission, a seemingly more rare thing today. Pricing projections are placed at 750,000 Euros (about 850,550 US dollars at the current exchange rate). According to The Drive, production on the supercar will begin in 2022.
Bringing the P72 production and De Tomaso operations to the United States is a welcome move. It will be nice to have the supercar join the American landscape. It’s always nice to have a global manufacturer recognize the United States’ resources as crucial to its growth. It’s even nicer when it’s a manufacturer with an already legendary history. To De Tomaso, I welcome you. Also, let me know when the press car is available.