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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    93

    Project "The Engine is WHERE??" '73 DeTomaso Pantera Build

    After three years of ownership, and a year and a half of the car sitting in pieces in two garages, I finally have the space and time to do my semi-resto on the Pantera. This car had competed in the Silver State Classic for many years, but was forced into early retirement and has been sitting dormant for the last few years. It's now time to give it what it needs to stretch it's legs once again.

    The car looks good from a distance, but has numerous issues that need to be addressed before I can take it back to the track. Multiple wiring issues being at the top of the list. This lead me to the decision to restore and upgrade many aspects of the car.



    Restoration will include:
    Removal and replacement of ALL wiring with an 18-circuit Painless harness
    Removal of A/C system, including all lines and components
    Removal and restoration of interior, dash, gauges, switches, etc.
    Inspection and repair of any rust areas discovered
    Replacement of most weatherstripping
    Full maintenance check-up

    It's not a full resto by any means. However, the items outlined above will bring the car up to a level of reliability and soundness that it hasn't been at for many, many years. More importantly, it'll allow me to finally get this car out of my garage this coming season and onto the track where it belongs.

    In the next couple of posts, I'll bring you up to date on the progress so far, and then post updates as I work on the car. I'm hoping to finish the mechanical within the next month or so, and get the car out racing. After that, I'll focus on aesthetics like paint, dent repairs, and whatnot. The monocoque design of this car will make rust repair and wire routing a challenge, but it'll get done one way or another!
    Project KushVair - 1967 Corvair Street/Track Build


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    93
    Alright, let's start with the "before" shots. This is prior to the tear-down:









    The car had been pretty extensively modified for the open road rally before I took ownership. The list includes upgraded drivetrain and suspension components, roll cage, wheels/tires, etc. Those modifications will remain, and I'll be adding further chassis bracing, a brake upgrade among other items to make it well-rounded for closed-track racing.
    Project KushVair - 1967 Corvair Street/Track Build

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    93
    I wish I took more pics of the tear-down, but I'll post what I have.

    The first thing I did was to begin tearing down the interior.

    I started with the dash, as I wanted to strip it and re-cover it as a mini-project to get the ball rolling:





    The years of sun had not been kind:





    I removed the gauges/vents, and an aluminum filler plate that someone had installed years ago:



    The purists will cringe, but the next step was to strip the factory foam that had begun to disintegrate:







    Following that, I began to re-cover the skeleton with a thin suede material:









    Before it goes back in, I'll be adding another layer of suede to reduce some of the sharp edges, and installing gauges and switches.

    Next up, the rest of the interior tear-down, wiring removal and the start of putting the new harness in.
    Project KushVair - 1967 Corvair Street/Track Build

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Apex, NC
    Posts
    1,020
    Country Flag: United States
    Nice build, good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Dunwoody, GA
    Posts
    5,268
    Country Flag: United States
    Glad to see this one is still out there. These cars are so cool. Good luck
    Trey

    "The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."
    ~ Jon Hammond

    1979 WS6 Trans Am stock LT1/T56 drive train out of my Formula. BMW M-parallel rims. C5/C6 brakes

    build thread https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ghlight=begins

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,300
    Country Flag: Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by HotRodKush View Post
    These cars look bad-ass without even turning a wheel.
    Keep us posted with lots of pictures. I'm especially interested as to what is going on under the surface of these beauties.

    Ken
    If there is a hard way to do something, I'll find it!
    My other car is a Vega.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Posts
    144
    Awesome build!
    1969 Pontiac GTO
    -The Nameless project.

    0331, USMC, Semper Fi.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    93
    Thanks for the comments!

    Last week I stripped all of the interior and wiring out, to give me a clean slate for the new harness going in:



    I also removed the windshield, hood and trunklid to assess any rust in the body seams at those locations. It looks good for the most part:





    In the process, I found these genuine vintage air horns tucked inside the front fenderwell :D



    The only body rust I found was on the floorboards and front trunk area, which I've repaired and primed. No pics of that unfortunately, but you can see the primered floor in a couple of the following pictures. I did find some front framerail rust, which worries me a bit but I'll take a closer look next time to see how bad it really is.

    The last couple of days were spent doing some basic routing of the new harness, and wiring up the taillights. The Painless universal kits are set up for front-engine cars, so unfortunately for this mid-engined car, half of the wiring is too long and half is too short - but I'm modifying it as I go.

    I laid the fuse box in the general region of final installation, and began routing the engine and tail section wiring towards the rear through the body cavities similarly to the original harness:





    The wiring comes up behind the motor, and then back inside the rear fenderwell to remain hidden:



    And then ultimately pops out just in front of the tail lights - how convenient:



    Just after routing the taillight wiring:



    I decided to re-use the original taillight connectors, to facilitate easy removal for bulb changing:





    I then moved up to the front, and removed the wiper mechanism completely. Most of the Pantera guys just remove the wipers, but while I was there I figured I'd avoid having the mechanism stick out of the cowl and take it out. I'll make up some filler panels:



    While I was up front, I routed some of the dash wiring for future installation:





    That's where I'm at now. A couple of things worth mentioning. First, I realize now that my camera sucks. I'll try to take clearer pics from now on. Second, yes, the wire looms are red and blue - I don't like it much more than you do. They'll be covered and out of sight at the end of this. I tried to get black looms but couldn't find any at the local stores.

    Thanks again for following the thread - it gives me motivation to snap more photos and keep the project moving along! If I have time tonight I'll finish up the taillights and start wiring up the engine sensors. Until then, it rests:

    Project KushVair - 1967 Corvair Street/Track Build

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Carson City, NV
    Posts
    860
    Country Flag: United States
    Very nice, I have always liked the old pantera's. some day I would love to have one and build it my way.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hills of Anaheim
    Posts
    273
    Should be one sweet ride!
    Matt - 1970 Chevelle

    www.street-demons.com

  11. #11
    The front flares on your car, seem larger than some of the panteras, that I've seen.
    Are they larger than normal?

    I've always liked the style of the panteras, it should be a very nice car when done, good luck with it!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    93
    The flares were available on the GT5 and GT5S version of the Pantera. These were added on long ago, but not alas are not original to the car. They do allow for a more agressive wheel/tire combo though. The car also has the GT5 front air dam. At some point I'll have the front of the car assembled and you'll be able to see it...some day.
    Project KushVair - 1967 Corvair Street/Track Build

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    336
    Country Flag: United States
    Cool project.
    A few weeks ago, I rode in a friends 72 Pantera to a Cars & Coffee thing in Raleigh. I was surprised at how nice the car felt on the road...and the 351 Cleveland in it just pulls hard.
    Dan
    Chapel Hill, NC
    ***PM me if you're close by and can help with my 65 Mustang Fastback project***

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairview Hts IL (east of STL)
    Posts
    116
    Country Flag: United States
    One on my dream cars!
    For those who fought for it, FREEDOM, has a taste the protected will never know!!!!!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sin City
    Posts
    330
    Very nice ride... Did you drive it to Silver State from NY ??? If so, how was it for cross country comfort ???
    Kurt G
    Las Vegas

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    93
    Thanks guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by showa View Post
    Very nice ride... Did you drive it to Silver State from NY ??? If so, how was it for cross country comfort ???
    I didn't, though I would have liked to. My original plan was to drive it cross-country to bring it back to NY when I took ownership, but it just wasn't in the cards at the time. Maybe one day I'll take the trip back to NV, it would be a helluva road trip.
    Project KushVair - 1967 Corvair Street/Track Build

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1
    Cool project. I've worked on a couple of them. Common rust spots you might want to check out while it's apart are the rocker area in front of the rear wheel, and, oddly, above the vent thing behind the side window, above the drip rail. If I remember correctly, stuff gets in through the hinge pockets for the rear hatch, then settles on the sides, causing that area to rust out.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ma.
    Posts
    5,246
    Country Flag: United States
    Nice project. The fastest I ever went was in my buddy's 72 Pantera on a two lane road ( one each direction ) with traffic light every so often over 150 mph. Not once did the car feel like it was out of control. Sweet Ride!
    Wayne
    Car FINALLY home !!!!!! lol
    Project FNQUIK https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ghlight=FNQUIK

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Angier, NC, USA
    Posts
    56
    Sweet DT! I love those things! Keep up the good work!
    ~Bradley~

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    The City of Fountains
    Posts
    15,103
    Country Flag: United States
    neat project. I always had a soft spot for these cars.

    Andrew
    1970 GTO Version 2.0
    1967 Cougar build
    GM High-Tech Performance feature
    My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
    Instagram @projectgattago
    Dr. EFI
    I deliver what EFI promises.
    Remote Holley EFI tuning.
    Please get in touch if I can be of service.

    "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

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