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  DeTomaso Pantera Group 4      

  Article Image gallery (85) Chassis (3) 02263 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1972
Numbers built:14
Designed by:Tom Tjaarda for Ghia
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 17, 2015
Download: All images
Chassis: 02263
Completed early in 1972, this is the very first Group 4 Pantera built. Following extensive development work by Mike Parkes, it debuted at the Le Mans test with Herbert Müller behind the wheel. Entered by the factory, the Pantera recorded the fastest time in the GT class, which was enough to place fifth overall. Müller then raced the new DeTomaso at the European GT race at Montlhéry until an engine failure resulted in an early retirement. The next outing was at the Monza 1000 km for which Müller was joined by Giancarlo Gagliardi. In torrential conditions, the Pantera crashed out, damaging the right front corner of the car. Müller switched to a different Pantera for the remainder of the season.

The main reason chassis 02263 was set aside was a conflict with the insurance company. DeTomaso looked to be paid in full for the car but the insurance company did not agree. The matter was finally settled, and DeTomaso was paid under the condition that the car was destroyed. Not surprisingly, DeTomaso took the money and then repaired the damage. The car was rebuilt as the factory GT5 demonstrator for the German importer. It did require a new chassis number but DeTomaso did little to hide its origins by re-tagging it 08263, which was just one digit off.

Many years later, a subsequent owner found features unique to the Group 4 Pantera, and its history was retraced. Among the clues that revealed 02263's true identity were the drilled chassis, original paint found under the fender extensions, a fuel filler on the right-hand side and welds that were unique to 02263. The rivets and holes for the original chassis plate were also still in place. These discoveries have since been fully backed up by a paper trail that details the insurance issues as well as the construction of a GT5 road car using the Group 4 chassis. The car was completely restored to 1972 specs. and first entered at the 2018 Le Mans Classic, some 46 years after it should have raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Chassis details
Manufactured in 1972
First owner DeTomaso
Notes Later sold by DeTomaso as Pantera GT5 08263
Last known location French Historic Racer

2019 Monza Historic 2019 Monza Historic 2019 Monza Historic 2019 Monza Historic
2019 Monza Historic 2019 Monza Historic 2019 Monza Historic 2018 Le Mans Classic
2018 Le Mans Classic 2018 Le Mans Classic

  Article Image gallery (85) Chassis (3) 02263 Specifications