My Car Quest

November 26, 2022

Orange County Panteras Palooza Meet – May 6, 2018

by Wallace Wyss –

OK, I get it. Finally.

What do I get? I get it what Pantera owners are doing.

I talk about it in a book review of the book Extreme Panteras, but want to re-iterate my change of mind.

I used to be against “customizing” collector cars.

De Tomaso Pantera

This is Whiplash, the famous former Group 3 Pantera that the Adlers brought over from Europe where it was raced, and both street driven and vintage race.

I mean isn’t it an insult to the original designers that you found their design insufficient and had to add wider fenders, bigger wheels, taller wheels, spoilers galore and pin striping?

But with the Panteras, I am making an exception. I realize it has to do with the history of the car. It so happens that I was on board, at Motor Trend, 38 years ago at the precise moment when they brought over the first Pantera for us to road test. The car blew paper fuses every five minutes. It overheated. The windshield went all foggy when I was doing 140 mph in the dark. Things like that make you wonder, was Ford hoodwinked by the Wily Argentine, Alejandro de Tomaso?

De Tomaso Pantera

This Pantera took me half an hour to look at with its twin turbos, both radiator cooled, and various improvements but is exemplary of the role Panteras play in the car collector field.

But now, after all these years of observing the marque, I have to marvel at its survivability and even how the examples I saw at a OC Panteras meet were fit as a fiddle and improved mightily so that a good many could show a Ferrari V12 nothing but exhausts if need be.

De Tomaso Pantera

I had never seen this solution to a new look–take the rubber “L” bumper and use only the ends of it.

So I went to an OC meet their 4th Palozza meet (though I’ve been to Italy many times, I suspect Palooza is not Italian, and maybe related to Lalapalooza).

Anyhow here’s spme pics with a few comments…..

De Tomaso Pantera

This club has several events a year, everything from gondola rides (in Long Beach, CA) to trips to the horse race track. They get use out of their cars more than most members of other clubs.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of three DeTomaso books. Currently he is wearing his fine art hat, painting portraits of classic cars on commission. To inquire about rates, write




De Tomaso Pantera

“Bundle of snakes” exhausts were used on mid-engine Ford GTs in the Sixties but somehow moved over to Panteras. They sound great even on a stock engine!

De Tomaso Pantera

Some owners want to tell you the story of their improving the car step by step but this owner even had a photo book so you could educate yourself in his absence.

Orange County Panteras Palooza Meet - May 6, 2018
Article Name
Orange County Panteras Palooza Meet - May 6, 2018
The De Tomaso Pantera club meet in Southern California.

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