What started as a 1971 DeTomaso Pantera restoration project turned into a highly-modified vehicle that recorded the highest price of any Pantera sold through the prestigious Barrett-Jackson auctions

Photos by Kahn Media

This amazing and very custom car was built for Cheryl Brickl, whose husband died of cancer before he had the chance to have his beloved DeTomaso Pantera restored

“When Cheryl first brought us the Pantera the plan was to do a full restoration on the car,” said Jim Ring of Ringbrothers in Wisconsin. “But once we got it stripped down to the bare metal we realised how far gone the sheet metal really was. So we pitched Cheryl to let us do what we want to do and she went for it and let us”

Brothers Mike and Jim then set about turning the car into what they imagined a DeTomaso Pantera would look like if it was built in the 21st century with the same retro-futurism styling as the Mustang, Mini, Beetle and others have been given

“There isn’t really anything left of the original car – it would be easier for me to tell you what we didn’t change” says Jim. Those would be small sections of the roof and a bit of lower rear quarter panel in front of the wheels, that’s it. The remainder of the exterior is custom built

The interior is all custom as well. It was designed in collaboration with Nike’s Innovation Skunkworks Design Team. The result is quite unique as well, befitting the car’s new external appearance

Mechanically is where the Ringbrothers get the most flak for the car, having replaced the 300hp carby-fed 5.8L Ford Cleveland V8 with a modified 600hp 6.2L GM LS3 EFI powerhouse, since the original Pantera was designed and built for Ford’s North American market (through Lincoln-Mercury dealerships) with Ford’s money. Take the brand loyalty out of it though, and it’s a hard decision to argue with

Other upgrades include big Baer brakes, reconfigured suspension with Roadster Shop front and rear subframes as well as C5 Corvette-style tubular control arms, all the while retaining the independence front and rear. It also has Supercar-sized HRE S101 3-Piece forged 19x9in and 19x12in wheels with 275/30 and 345/30 tyres

After debuting at the SEMA show in November 2013 and doing the show circuit for the next year or so, the car was sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in January 2015 for US$330,000 (including commission). It was bought by Richard Rawlings, the owner of Gas Monkey Garage who also stars in the reality show Fast ’N’ Loud, and he was very happy with the price, as seen above

The car doesn’t just look and sound great, it drives quite well too even in tight twisty stuff like an Autocross

You can read a full story and see all the specs of this custom Pantera in issue 131 of Extreme Street magazine, available now