#6 De Tomaso Pantera GTS
Original MSRP: $10,300 (1972)
The Pantera was in production from 1971 – 1992 with 7,260 made. Almost 5,000 were sold by 1975 before Ford stopped production of the 351 Cleveland which was the main power plant for the car.
Current Market Price: $75,000 (online/auction)
Admittedly, this entry sneaks in at the bottom end of the “can’t afford” price range (i.e. set the lower limit.)
Why I’d test drive it:
Just listen to that sound!
I actually idolized this car over the Countach. The “out there” 70’s styling resonated with me more than the Italian rival with four more cylinders. There were two editions, the European and American, with varying styling details to acquiesce regional safety regulations. I particularly like the idea of Ford continuing with a mid-engine sports car, even if only in spirit after the GT40. Luckily the GT is back.
There has been recent talk of mid-engine sports cars within the grasp of the average driver. Road and Track even suggested that if GM is finally willing to develop and market its Corvette with this layout, why not throw a bone to the little guy too.