Among Exotics in Denmark, A Pantera Makes Practical Sense
Owner: Heine Hansen
Year, Make, and Model: 1971 DeTomaso Pantera
Photographers: Heine Hansen, Jack Høier Photography and bilfoto.dk
Mr. Heine Hansen bought his first car in 1988. Since then, he’s owned close to a hundred cars—Mercedes, VWs, Porsches. He fell in love with cars, like many of us, due to his dad. And although his father was an Anglophile, Heine’s main interest is American cars. He’s been restoring cars for years now and his current projects include a 1963 Mercury Marauder S55 and a ’71 Checker Marathon NYC Taxi. But lately, he’s been getting much more into impractical exotics (like the aforementioned Porsches), which makes life difficult as they tend to cost more and require more maintenance.
But it was a fateful ride in a friend’s DeTomaso Pantera that brings us here today. When they met, Heine was driving a 1974 Porsche 911 that he’d imported to Denmark from San Francisco, California. Much like Mr. Ernest Broekstra and his DAF 66 Marathon, Heine sold his Neunelfer and began searching for a good rust-free Pantera after coming into contact with the new temptation.
He finally located a ’73 L model in a Southern California Pantera shop that a local friend was able to inspect. Unfortunately, his friend Steve didn’t like what he saw, but a white 1971 pre-L in much better shape arrived the same day and Heine bought it after a week of hard bargaining.
His friend Steve, who conveniently owns a restoration shop, took the car after purchase and went through the whole car, re-spraying the white DeTomaso in candy red, re-chroming it and replacing wheels, suspension and interior. It was shipped on New Year’s Day and seven weeks later, Heine’s Pantera arrived.
Most of all he enjoys driving the car through the countryside on winding roads. And unsurprisingly, Heine doesn’t really like driving it in the city as it’s wide, and the steering is very heavy, “but you forget all about that when you take it outside the city limits. The raw power and torque from the American V8 is awesome. Driving 80 kmh in fifth gear and then shifting down two gears makes your heart stop for a second! The torque is outrageous. And the sound from the exhausts is fantastic. No need for a stereo in a car like this!”
He initially selected this Pantera because it was so rust free, well kept and original, with only 32,000 miles on the odometer. But besides the torque’s rush, styling and DeTomaso’s history, Heine also loves the practical aspect: it is faster then a comparably priced Ferrari or similar car from that era, but for less money. And an American powertrain means it’s especially cheap to maintain compared to a Ferrari or Lamborghini. So you see, this Pantera is actually a practical choice.
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