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Old 08-11-2007, 07:33 AM
Ross Jackson Ross Jackson is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Default Ross Jackson's De Tomaso Pantera


Pic Courtesy Neil Hammond

This car is a 1972 standard or "Pre L" Pantera,which means it does not have the flares and wings etc sprouted by the later GTS/GT5 models. As with early 911s, I prefer the "pure" body shape. I swapped my pretty but terminally scary Group Sb Sunbeam Tiger for it in 2002. Max Hooper had brought it in from the USA. I haven`t looked back since....I cannot believe how much fun I've had in Group Sc in this car.

I, like a lot of people, tend to lust after the cars that captured my imagination in my youth. I still have my 1972 copy of "World's Fastest Sports Cars".The article on the Pantera inspired 11 year old me to draw numerous variations on Tom Tjaarda`s timeless design ...and dream one day of driving one.The combination of Italian beauty,mid mounted Ford 351 Cleveland V8 grunt (one of my all time favourite engines with just the BEST exhaust note), ZF transaxle and classic double wishbone suspension is still the bee`s knees to me. It is a reasonably neutral handling and very exciting car to drive (although a lot heavier than you`d expect,and moves around a bit in the corners ) once you do what has to be done with `70s Italian cars...pull it apart and rebuild it properly. If Elvis had got someone to do that, he wouldn`t have shot his Pantera when it wouldn`t start....Must say though, nothing will fix the "fold yourself in two" ergonomics. And as for placing the inboard fuel filler just above the exhaust headers, well only an Italian design could manage that.

It has proven competitive with the Corvettes,Shelbys and (on longer tracks) the Porsches in Group S, although it can`t catch Porsches at Winton (too heavy, outbraked) and I run out of talent pills before I can get the best out of it at the Island. But Sandown,now there`s a track it just loves, as its several outright wins there demonstrate.After having been runner up in 2004 and 2005 in the club championship, and with a baby on the way, I entered every event in 2006 and the Pantera was versatile and reliable enough to finish each one (whether hillclimb, sprint or race) "there or thereabouts". Needless to say, baby # 4 has curtailed 2007`s racing somewhat.

Result was I won the club championship by two points and also the Lou Molina Trophy. This was a great honour, and meant a lot as Lou seconded my application for VHRR membership when my late friend John Eade proposed me in 1994. And so I couldn`t believe it.. presented by Sir Jack Brabham with a championship, won in my very own Pantera...so boyhood dreams do sometimes come true.

Thanks to "Magic"Mark Johnson and everyone at Cobra Motorsport for looking after my dream car so well for me."


Ross Jackson

Last edited by Ross Jackson; 10-11-2007 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:08 PM
ScottF ScottF is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Great story Ross, hope we see you out there in 2008.

Scott

Last edited by ScottF; 07-02-2008 at 03:21 PM.
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