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Monday, May 9, 2011

Affordable Supercar Series (ASS)

There are always pros and cons when two cultures come together.  On the positive side, there is a melding of food and traditions that often end up being better than the sum of their parts.  Conversely, past stereotypes and misconceptions are hard to forget.  When talking about Italians and Americans, the situation is no different.  Starting with the bad news, Italians in America have given us things like The Olive Garden and the cast of Jersey Shore.  However, that is a small price to pay for the goodness that the automotive world received in the form of the De Tomaso Pantera.

Like any good Italian mother knows, quality ingredients are the key to a good meal and the Pantera doesn't disappoint mama.  It starts with a steel monocoque held up by independent suspension all around.  This gives the Italian precise handling and a low weight of less than 3200 pounds.  Just to make sure nobody goes home hungry, a good helping of power is infused into the sauce.

A Ford sourced 351 Cleveland V8 is mounted right behind the front seats for optimal weight distribution.  Its 5.8 liters provide 330 horsepower to propel the Italian panther to sixty miles per hour in five and a half seconds with the quarter mile passing in fourteen seconds.  A stopping distance from 60 mph of 112 feet and a top speed of around 150 mph (depending on source) isn't bad for a 40 year old car.

With the warm weather approaching, affordable supercars are getting harder to find.  The Pantera is no different.  While a good clean example could be had for under forty large in the winter, Ebay lists two cars under that magic number but the auctions still have some time left.  Finding the right example will probably take some time and patience but it will still cost less than a house on the Jersey Shore.

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