One of 41 produced, The Cultivated Collector’s 1992 De Tomaso Pantera 90 Si, chassis 0020, benefits greatly from loving previous ownership. Today, it presents as an exceptional and highly original example of the breed, sporting its original Gandini designed bodywork, as well as engine and ZF transmission. Having covered a scant 21k KM from new, and with recent servicing, 0020 is ready to run with the best.
De Tomaso’s original Pantera can trace its roots to being built on the back of the Mangusta, a stunning machine that debuted in Modena in 1970 to critical acclaim from the general public and automotive press, the Mangusta would go on to be the marques most successful model to date.
Back on North American soil, Ford was increasingly fraught with the concept of becoming the first American manufacturer to market a mid-engine sports car domestically. In the wake of the failed purchase attempt of automotive goliath Ferrari, Ford struck a deal with Italian Alejandro de Tomaso garnering them an 80% stake in his burgeoning Italian automotive company, De Tomaso. The result of this deal saw the De Tomaso Pantera subsequently available through Lincoln-Mercury dealership lots beginning in 1971.
The Ford-De Tomaso partnership would falter before it truly had a chance to flourish, despite selling over 5,000 examples of the Pantera within four years, largely in part due to the effects of the 1973 Energy Crisis. This event resulted in Ford pulling all backing out of De Tomaso in 1975, which did have a silver lining of providing De Tomaso the opportunity to support continued development of the Pantera, gaining the car moderate sales success in Europe.
Production of the Pantera continued long into the 1980’s, and as such the company's cornerstone Pantera, was rapidly becoming obsolete in the face of modern offerings from rival marques. De Tomaso’s strategy was to lean on the brilliance of legendary Italian designer Marcello Gandini, who was responsible for penning the achingly beautiful Lamborghini Miura, Countach, and Diablo. Evolving the original Pantera design from Tom Tjaarda, Gandini would comprehensively refresh the Pantera into its penultimate iteration, the Pantera 90 Si, catapulting it into the domain of modern supercars.
Beauty, however, was not merely skin deep. Underneath the stunningly reworked Gandini bodywork lay an extensively modified, and lighter, version of the Pantera’s original steel monocoque chassis. Major changes included a lighter, more rigid tubular rear subframe, Brembo brakes, and a new Ford sourced 5.0L V8 engine which was overhauled by the DeTomaso engineers, enabling the Gandini designed Pantera 90 Si to catapult to 60mph in 5.4 seconds and achieve a top speed of 165mph.
Striking an ideal balance between performance and cost, the Pantera 90Si was poised to be the perfect limited-edition, entry-level supercar for De Tomaso as the 90’s approached. While the original Pantera was wildly successful in North America, De Tomaso made the decision to not sell the Pantera 90 Si in the North American market. Production began in 1990 with De Tomaso projecting to build 75 examples, however the Pantera 90 Si would end up an unfortunate victim of the struggling global economy in the early 1990’s, with only a reported 41 cars being produced and sold to the public over a 4 year production run.