Barn Find Hunter is one of the coolest video series on YouTube, following Tom Cotter across the country as he searches for hidden gems that have been tucked away and forgotten by time. As cool as the cars themselves are, the stories that go along with them are always the most interesting part of the adventure.
In this episode, posted as always on the Hagerty channel, Cotter is in Maine, where a small tag trailer holds a pretty rare ride, a custom wide body DiTomaso Pantera, trailered in the middle of an overhaul and left for 35 years. The Italian-built car was powered by a Ford 351 Cleveland and features some obvious styling cues from Lamborghini.
In the trailer with the car is a pile of parts to build almost a whole car as well.
The story about the car making a Cannonball Run-style cross-country race called the U.S. Express from Merrick, NY to Redondo Beach, CA is a great tale, including the car’s run-in with a radar trap in a small town in Texas. Rolling into the town at 115 MPH, the driver of the car saw the cops and locked down the brakes, but still got clocked at 75 MPH. Back in the 80’s, a 70+ MPH ticket was a pretty big deal, so the driver and his co-pilot had to go before the judge right away. Knowing they were taking a big risk, the guys told the judge the truth, hoping she would reward their honesty with leniency. She gave them the minimum fine of $25 and told them if they had a 3rd seat, she’d like to join them for the rest of their journey.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a story for the ages and just a bit of the car’s awesome history. Tom digs into the car’s value and puts some numbers on it, pegging it at $121,000 in concourse condition. Of course, that would take a great deal of time, money and work. In my personal opinion, with the car already having the flared fenders installed, it would be much cooler to just make a full custom, over the top build like Gas Monkey Garage did with their Pantera.