By this point in my life, I'd had lots of cars, Mustangs, a Z-28, a Renault Alliance, and everything in between. I'd even done a little circle track racing. I wanted something different. Something that would go around a corner, fast and easy to work on. After a lot of searching on the web, I came across DeTomaso Pantera's. A mid-engine car, with a Ford motor, German trans-axle and Italian body.
I was working for Tivoli at the time, and I actually saw a red Pantera in our 'Friday night' cars gathering. I met the owner, Rob McMullen, and he was happy to show me all around the car. I ended doing a little work on his car in my garage (replaced a blown Cleveland with a Windsor) and I got to know that car much better. I started looking real hard for one of my own. I found a couple in Florida that I wanted to check it out.
Rob did me a huge favor and flew with me to Ft. Lauderdale. The first Pantera had some pretty visible rust on it. I wanted to avoid rust, since I really don't like body work (having lived in Illinois and dealing with rust most of my life) I went to look at the second one. This one seemed in much better shape and only a few more dollars than the rusty one. After some inspection, a test drive, and price bargaining, I purchased THPNNJ05171 from an eighty year old gentleman who said his arthritis made this car tough to drive. His loss was my gain. I was living the dream! Now, to drive it back to Austin Texas, but that's another story altogether!