The Modena-based carmaker started with the Vallelunga, a mid-engined sports car powered by a four-cylinder engine shared with the Ford Cortina. DeTomaso’s first V8-powered car, the Mangusta, arrived in 1966. Five years later, the company introduced the iconic Pantera, which used a variety of Ford engines, including Cleveland and Windsor mills.
Kept in production for a whopping 21 years, the Pantera is now the company’s most famous nameplate and a sought-after collectible among Italian sports car enthusiasts. It’s relatively scarce too, considering its long production cycle, at only 7,260 units made.
The GT5-S, a special-edition version fitted with fender flares and a big rear wing, is the rarest and most desirable. Introduced in the 1980s, the 300-horsepower GT5-S left the assembly line in only 182 examples. That’s only 2.5% of total Pantera production, which makes the GT5-S as rare as they get. However, this is available only when talking about road-going Panteras. Things get different if we also include race-spec cars.
That’s right, DeTomaso also built a few competition cars. They’re not exactly famous, since the Pantera wasn’t successful on the motorsport scene, but DeTomaso offered both Group 3 and Group 4 versions starting in 1972. But it’s the Group 5 version that’s actually the rarest Pantera out there. And that’s because only two cars were created. They didn’t even come from the DeTomaso factory, as both of them were built by privateers from Group 3 and Group 4 cars.
Also campaigned in Group C and IMSA GTP competitions, these cars are also the most radically-looking Panteras out there thanks to their massively flared fenders, extremely aggressive noses, and large rear wings. Yup, the Gr.5-spec Pantera looks very similar to the legendary and incredibly successful Porsche 935.
Much like their Group 4 and Group 3 siblings, the Group 5 Pantera has no notable achievements to brag about. However, they’re a sight to behold due to their aggressive appearance and the fact that they rarely hit the track. On top of that, the race-spec V8 sounds rather enthralling during start-ups and at high revs.
Many of us will never get to see and hear a Pantera Group 5 car anytime soon, so the footage below is your best chance to watch it in action. Chassis 001, which was originally modified by William Sala and Giovanni Marverti, was recorded lapping Circuit Paul Ricard during the Dix Mille Tours by Peter Auto. Hit the play button below and crank up the volume to enjoy the show.