1972 De Tomaso Pantera Group 3

The De Tomaso Pantera offered here, chassis number '1070', is the factory prototype Group 3 car and is unique among the 30-or-so examples produced to special order between 1972 and 1984. It was built on a leftover 'pulsante' (push-button) chassis, this being the name given to early Panteras built by hand before the production line was established, and is the only Group 3 car to have a hand built body. 

In addition to being the prototype, '1070' is one of the most intensely raced of all Group 3 Panteras. The car was sold new on 21st March 1972 to the Auto Club Roma Italia and registered as 'Roma KO 9227'. In 1973 it was sold to Ital Atlantic Express for their driver Maurizio Micangeli to compete in the Italian sports car championship in 1974. Micangeli raced the Pantera seven times with three 1st place finishes. He moved on to a Group 4 Pantera in 1975 and '1070' was sold to a friend: Marco Curti, alias 'Spiffero'. 

'Spiffero' raced '1070' throughout Italy regularly for the next few years, including the prestigious Giro d'Italia with a best place finish of 10th overall in 1978 behind some the era's great drivers: Markku Allen, Riccardo Patrese and Michelle Mouton. At the end of the 1979 season '1070' was placed in storage when 'Spiffero' bought a Group 4 Pantera (chassis '2858').

In the mid-1990s, 'Spiffero' sold '1070'to Dominato Lado who took the car back to the factory for a complete restoration. He had the colour changed from black to silver-black and entered many Italian historic races before selling the Pantera in 2003 to Lado Niccolo, who carried on in the same vein until 2005. Sold that same year, '1070' has been in Belgium since then. 

Having entered 48 historic races since restoration in 1997, the car is not 'concours' but nevertheless is very well preserved with a perfectly straight body. The interior is completely original, though the steering wheel and seats date from the 1990s. Looking almost new, the engine bay was cosmetically refreshed recently when a full service was carried out, the latter including a new MSD ignition system. The original Ford 351ci (5.7-litre) engine runs 'like new' and delivers all the power one could wish for, as evidenced by a lap time of 2 minutes 58 seconds around Spa-Francorchamps. The brakes were overhauled in 2007 and are very good, as is the gearbox, while the heavy-duty clutch is a little rough but does the job. The four original Cromodora wheels (not replicas) were repainted a few years ago. All the electrics work, including the pop-up headlights (though one is slower that the other) while the passenger-side window rolls down unevenly and needs assistance returning. 

See more from the Auction Here