Most of Tom Cotter’s barn find stories end when he walks away from whatever barn, building, or field in which he found them, so it’s exciting when we hear the rest of the story. Especially when there’s a happy ending. Such is the case with a 1972 De Tomaso Pantera that Tom uncovered on a trip to New Hampshire in 2017.
Welcome to the first instalment of the Barn Find Hunter Reaction Series, in which, as Tom explains, instead of physically looking for barn find cars, he checks out photographs and videos sent in by our viewers.
This Pantera immediately caught Tom’s eye, since he ogled it four years ago and always wondered what had become of it. Turns out it was purchased at auction by Pete Weeks of Windsor, Colorado, who had known of the car since the 1980s. “I think you’ll enjoy the transformation it’s made from sitting in an ant-infested, mosquito-ridden storage container to what it has become today,” Tom says.
Weeks worked for the car’s owner as a teenager in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and he was fully aware that it was a big deal, because he’d heard about the Pantera competing in the 1980 US Express cross-country race. As Weeks explains, after he moved to Colorado, he remained in touch with his friends in Portsmouth, and several years ago one of them reached out to tell him that the De Tomaso was up for auction. Of course, Weeks had to have it, even though it was a dilapidated mess.
He fully restored it over three years, and the now-orange sports car is still powered by its original 351 Cleveland engine, which Weeks built into a 408 stroker that produces 470 horsepower.
“It’s not just a ’72 Pantera to me,” Weeks says. “It brings back a lot of the memories I have as a teenager… and seeing it as a teenager, it was probably the coolest car I’d ever seen.”
After checking out what Weeks has done to the car and seeing it in action, you’ll likely agree that the Pantera’s cool hasn’t faded one bit.
Via Hagerty US
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