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Last Updated 08/11/11

 

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Adventures

 


August 9, 2011

Race to Concorso - "The agony of defeat"

Today I faced the realization that I won't be able to have the car back together in time for Concorso Italiano next week. Too many little things to do, and the Buna rubber I ordered to insulate the fuel tank from the chassis won't be here until Monday.

 

Oh well, I'm close!  I expect to have the Banzai Runner back on the road early September.

 

August 7, 2011

Race to Concorso

Yes, it's been ages since I've posted anything here. Not a lot of adventures with a dead car in the garage. And unfortunately, not a lot of progress over a long period of time. I set a goal to get the car back on the road by Concorso Italiano this year, and here's a pictorial of the saga. I don't know if I'll make it, but here's where I'm at.

 

Stripping the engine bay

I used a combination of heat gun, wire wheel, scrapers, and lacquer thinner. 

 

 

Continue stripping the engine bay

 

 

Still stripping the engine bay.

Getting all the grease, grime, and undercoating out of all the nooks and crannies is tough!  This has got to be one of the most miserable jobs I've ever performed on a car. If I were to do it all over again, I think I'd just paint it all with Aircraft Stripper and rinse it all away. Oh well, live and learn.

 

Remove and refinish the fuel tank 

Removing the fuel tank 

 

Looks ugly at first glance

 

...but it's in remarkably good shape inside - almost looks new! 

 

Blasted surface rust off the exterior 

 

Fresh coat of paint

 

 

 

Reroute wiring harness and remove metal straps 

Rerouted the wiring harness behind the fender and removed the metal straps that secured it to the inner fender. Used a grinder to grind down the spot welds - obviously a quick and inexpensive assembly line process to just tack on a metal strip wherever you needed to secure hoses or wires. Removed most all of them in favor of proper clamps.

 

Before...

 

Re-welded the camber bar mounting points. The factory welds here were sloppy boogered-up welds which did not inspire confidence. Also ground the welds smooth for a cleaner appearance.

 

 

Engine Prep 

Enlarged the oil return drain holes in the lifter valley. Drilled them out to 1/2" to aid drainback.

 

 

De-burred the block - Smoothed casting flash for a cleaner appearance - not that anyone will be able to see this in the Pantera.

 

 

 

 

4-Bolt Mains

 

Removed the sharp edges around the dish on top of the piston. This is to prevent detonation. 

 

Painted the lifter valley with Glyptal to aid oil drainback. Short block assembled, cam degreed, and ready to be buttoned up.

 

Setting up the Heads - New beehive springs 

 

Premium Teflon valve seals 

 

 

Rockers Arms

I have two sets of roller rocker arms because I purchased a set of Scorpion roller rockers, and my heads came with a set of roller rockers. 

 

Scorpion 

 

The set that came with my heads turned out to be ProComp. I'll be using the Scorpion rockers. 

 

Interesting to compare the size differences. Both are 1.73 ratio 351C rocker arms. The casting on the ProComps is beautiful, but Scorpion is a name I know and trust. Plus, the Scorpion rocker arms come with a lifetime warranty. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, it's a mess! Sure wish I had more room to work.

  

Rust proofing the chassis

I enlarged the chassis drain holes and rust proofed the inner frame rails, suspension mount points (horseshoe area), and body seams in the front of each rear quarter panel (behind the gas tank) and against the B-pillar (back of door jamb).

 

I followed Jack DeRyke's excellent article on this upgrade/TSB. Can be downloaded here: http://www.poca.com/index.php/gallery/?g2_itemId=24756

 

Added an additional drain hole at the bottom of this structural frame member to insure any moisture that got in here would easily drain out.

 

I enlarged the factory drain holes at the base of the vertical frame structure in the rear wheel house, and added 1/2" drain holes in the lower frame rails per Jack DeRyke's article (downloadable above).

 

I made a simple spray apparatus with a $6 sprayer from Home Depot, some 3/8" hose, a couple of brass fittings to secure the hose to the sprayer, and a fan spray tip from an old weed sprayer that no longer works.

 

I then sprayed the inner frame rails with Jasco Metal Prep which converts rusted rust from ferrous iron to iron phosphate and prepares the metal surface for paint. The Jasco costs about $6 at Home Depot, which is a far bit less expensive than the same designer label products from Eastwood.

To apply, I would insert the spray tip into a frame rail as far as it would go, then spray while slowly pulling the hose back to assure complete and even coverage of all interior surfaces. Do this in both directions from each side where you have access. I inserted the spray hose up into the wheel house horse shoes from the engine compartment side and performed the same procedure on both sides.

CAUTION: This product is acid-based, is a skin irritant, and will etch concrete. Be sure to wear gloves, goggles, and put a plastic tarp under the car!

 

I then applied Eastwood's "Rust Encapsulator" to protect against any future corrosion. Here's a picture of the area behind and in front of the gas tank after treatment, This area is notorious for rotting through from the inside since dirt, gravel and moisture all get trapped between the gas tank and the body panel.

 

FWIW, Eastwood also offers an Inner Frame Rail coating kit. At the time I thought the price of $20/can a bit steep, but in hindsight it would have been much easier and less time consuming than fabbing my own sprayer.

 

 

 

Chassis Cross-Memember Removed

 

I went a little too deep with the spot-weld cutter when removing the cross-member.

 

Welded up the holes and dimples from the spot weld cutter, ground everything smooth, then skim coat of glazing compound to finish.  Also had to bend the brake line (as seen here) to accommodate removable lower chassis brace that's part of the Hall Pantera Chassis Stiffening Kit that's going in.

 

Brushed Stainless Firewall Cover

I fabbed my own brushed stainless firewall cover because I didn't want a mirror polished cover like the Pantera vendors sell - too much 'bling' for my taste, and it would be near impossible to keep it clean and shiny in the engine compartment.

 

 

 

Bending the lip at the hatch opening - old school technique.

 

 

Fit is excellent!  Watch my website for a future downloadable CAD file to print your own template, or even take to a laser cutter to make your own.

 

Firewall Reduction Kit from Kirk Evans

Welded up the bulkhead reduction hatch cover.

  

Primered

 

Intake Manifold

Weiand X-celerator 2V, port matched to the Edelbrock heads

 

I milled the intake manifold flat, which should help with engine screen clearance. It required welding up the vacuum port on the back side of the manifold and then milling the carb mounting pad again to achieve a flat surface. The old vacuum port is visible between the runners in the foreground by the lighter aluminum.

 

 

 

More engine compartment prep

Filling spot welds in the engine bay. I've heard it wasn't necessary since I was planning to shoot the bay with truck bed liner, but I'm a stickler for detail. 

 

Smoothing the spot welds

 

Getting there...

 

Primer-sealer for the bare metal

 

Sandable filler primer - I really shouldn't have put this much effort into the finish since it's going to be covered with truck bed-liner.

 

Masking to repaint the flat black areas at the front of the engine compartment and under the roof, as well as the inside-rear tail light panel.

 

First coat of Eastwood Chassis Black Extreme (satin). Applied two coats.

 

 

 

 

Paint reaction with primer on rear tail light panel during second coat - drat! I got a little too aggressive when sanding between coats and used the filler primer since I ran out of the sealer/primer. Checked the Eastwood forums and found this is quite common - must use Eastwood Chassis Black Primer - on order. I'll re-shoot this panel later.

 

Staging area for parts

 

Refinished AC condenser fan - I have a new modern fan which I plan to install at a later date, but just couldn't put the grungy looking old fan back in the fresh engine compartment.

 

 

Refinished the AC condensor shroud too

 

Painting the timing cover

 

Bed Liner Application

Scuffing the surface with 80 grit in preparation for the bed liner.

 

First coat of bed liner. I used a POR-15 Power Liner Kit. It came out great. Instructions say to shoot it at 30-70psi, but I shot it at 105psi for a finer finish (smaller pebbling of the surface). I also have 2 quarts left to do the fender wells or front trunk - I havent' decided yet.

 

 

Second coat complete. It looks amazing!  I should have removed the AC condenser to get it out of the way. It would have been easier not having to work around that thing.

 

 

 

 

 

Safety Wiring the ZF

 

 

I found that one of the parking brake cables had worn or dented the case considerably over the past 39 years!  Not sure if this is cause for concern. I expect that if the cable wears through the case here, it will leak - and I wouldn't want that to happen while blasting down the highway. That would be very expensive!   I might just have this welded up a bit as a precaution.

 

 

I was pleased to see that all ring gear bolts were tight and secure. 

 

 

I used these pieces of steel track to lock against the half-shaft bolts in the axle flanges to keep the ring gear from turing while I broke the bolts free. 

 

New ARP bolt compared to the original bolt (ARP bolt on left).

 

 

 

 

Misadventure in the ZF 

When using a ratcheting box wrench to rapidly tighten the ring gear bolts - do not stand on the opposite side of the case when tightening the bolts (towards you). Also, do not drink a beer with dinner before going back out to the garage to do this (probably the best advice).

 

These particular box wrenches are not reversible. Rather, they need to be removed and flipped over to reverse direction. I was careful that the 'on' side of the wrench was facing me and quickly 'tightened' the ring gear bolt. Unfortunately, since I was standing on the opposite side of the transaxle, I actually loosened the bolt that was previously finger-tight and backed it and the non-reversing ratcheting box wrench in to the wall of the ZF case!  No room to remove the wrench or bolt. I had hoped I could tighten the bolt back into the ring gear, but was able to get even a half turn of the bolt in the tightening direction because the case interferes with the wrench. Damn!  What do do?!

 

 

 

And again, unable to pull the wrench and bolt out as it's too damn tight in there!  After some frustration, a few choice words, and resisting the urge to break out a BFH to force the wrench and bolt out (It was close - only needed the case to deflect about 20 thou by my estimation - but decided that could prove to be a VERY expensive mistake), I broke out a Dremel tool with a small cutoff wheel and proceeded to cut the wrench in half to release the ratcheting/locking mechanism so I could spin the bolt back into the ring gear with my fingers and remove the box head of the wrench that had captured the head of the bolt.  I then thoroughly flushed the case and I'm good to go, sans one 12mm ratcheting box wrench. FWIW - Craftsman no longer makes these wrenches - I imagine others have run into this situation and they have been deemed defective, or problematic at a minimum.

 

Now I just have to make my tool and torque the darn bolts to spec - I'm sure I have them too tight at the moment.  

Soaking the ZF gaskets in water overnight (2 nights now!) before use - tip from Hall Pantera 

 

 

July 5, 2008

Engine Pulling Party

Pulled the engine and transaxle out of the Pantera today. Fellow club members Rich Boschert, a friend of his named Todd, and Bob Benson came by to help out. It probably would have taken me the entire weekend to pull it without their help. Rich brought a cherry-picker with a long boom that could reach all the way into the engine compartment on the Pantera, and Bob loaned me his brand new engine stand - I think he planned for me to assemble it for him, but he found it still in it's box when he arrived and he ended up assembling it once we had the engine out.

 

 

March 27, 2008

PCNC Meeting and the Tesla Roadster

My brother Todd, who works for Tesla Motors, brought a Tesla Roadster to the Pantera Club meeting tonight. One word... AWESOME!!!

Acceleration was awe inspiring, and very different from an internal combustion engine car. I'm accustomed to acceleration starting strong then tapering off as the rpm's reach a certain point beyond the power band, then the transmission shifting (manual or automatic) and experiencing another strong surge which then tapers, then shifting again, etc.

In contrast, the Tesla Roadster's acceleration is linear. 100% torque is available from 0-15,000 rpm, and it just pulls! Consistently! It was quite impressive to say the least! The strange thing about it was the lack of drama. No revving engine, clutching or shifting. No change in the rate of acceleration due to being in or out of the power band like an internal combustion engine. It just went! The car handled like a go-kart too. We took a couple of hard 90-degree corners at speed and it just stuck to the road.

A few trivia facts:
- The car weighs in at 2,600 lbs., of which 1,000 lbs are attributed to the 6,000+ batteries.
- The chassis was originally based on the Lotus Elise, but is significantly redesigned from the Elise - it's wider, longer, has lower door sills which makes entry and exit easier (not that it's easy), and is completely unique from the firewall back.
- Only 7% of the Tesla's parts are shared with the Elise.

I really like the styling of the Tesla body. It looks like a grown up sports car as opposed to the boy-racer styling of the Elise, which looks like some kid went to Kragen Auto Parts and bought every scoop, spoiler, wing, and add-on he could find and slapped it on the car. Not that I don't like Elise's; I do. The Tesla is just much more handsome IMO!

Interior was quite nice as far as layout and creature comforts, but the seats are rather close together. It reminded me of flying a small plane - think Cessna 150 - it felt as if we were elbow to elbow, but that may be because my brother is quite a bit larger than I am. It made the interior of my Pantera feel spacious by comparison, but the Tesla definitely had more leg-room than the Pantera. Creature comforts were what we've all come to expect in a modern luxury/sports car - high-end stereo, leather, heated seats, nice instrument cluster/display with tach and speedometer, GPS nav system, heater, AC, power door locks, electric windows, etc., and a touchscreen display for vital systems info - charge, range, power consumption, etc.

Getting in and out of the "cockpit" was somewhat challenging, or rather, awkward. But that may likely be because I don't yet know the best way to slip in and out of the thing. The lowered sills do make it easier to get in and out of than an Elise, but I found it more challenging than getting in and out of the Pantera.

The charge display/control panel was very cool. It showed remaining range and a lot of other useful info. A very nice feature was being able to specify the charging amperage - we plugged the car into the 220v clothes dryer outlet to charge and blew the 20A circuit breaker in my brother's house; a couple of seconds on the touchscreen panel and we reduced the charging amperage to a value suitable for the clothes dryer outlet in the garage. Pretty slick!  FWIW - we were testing a prototype portable charging system - essentially a glorified extension cord with a brain box to handle the vehicle controller system link etc along with various plug adaptors.

As far as battery technology is concerned, the current batteries are expected to maintain 80% capacity at 100,000 miles. Tesla is banking on Moore's Law when it comes to the eventual need to service/replace the battery packs - they expect battery technology to be far superior and cost significantly less over the next 5-10 years when the batteries are expected to need servicing than what's currently available. Fun stuff!

 

November 3, 2007

Visit from a new Pantera-friend from Sweden

Henrik Svensson from Sweden recently posted to the DeTomaso Mail List that he was looking for someone to inspect a Pantera in Hollister, CA for him. I was unavailable in the timeframe needed, but Jason Eaton stepped up and inspected the car for Henrik. The car is a black 71 that was once owned by Junior Wilson and raced in the Silver State Challenge.

 

Anyway, Henrik came by for lunch on Saturday.  He shared the tale of finding the car and his purchase, and showed me photos on his digital camera. We spent some time in my messy garage looking at the Banzai Runner, and generally had a great time getting to know one another. Ironically, Henrik's family is from (or has a Summer home) the same region in Sweden where my wife's family hails from. One of the great things about Pantera ownership is all the friends I have all over the world now, whether or not we've met yet.

 

August 17, 2007

Concorso Italiano

Another great year at Concorso Italiano, but not without it's challenges. Every year my brother and I leave San Jose early on Friday morning for the drive down to Concorso, then we spend the weekend camping at Laguna Seca for the Monterey Historic Races. That particular morning I was following my brother who was towing his vintage Airstream trailer. We were cruising down Highway 101 through Morgan Hill when a line of Ferrari's and a Turbo Porsche raced past. I called him on his cell phone to let him know I was going to go play for a bit and I'd wait for him up ahead, and I took off. I promptly caught the F-cars and the Pantera received several enthusiastic "thumbs-up" from them. But, not more than 5 minutes later as we were slicing through traffic I got a call from my brother - he had a blow-out on one of the trailer tires. So, I went back and stopped by the side of the road to assist. Unfortunately neither his lug wrench or my lug wrench fit the bolts on his trailer's wheels (always make sure your lug wrench fits ALL your vehicles, or buy one of those "star" wrenches that have 4 different sizes). So, we jumped into the Pantera and took off in search of an open auto parts store at 7:00am to buy a lug wrench. Unfortunately, there were none that morning. We went to Camper World just a few miles down the freeway, but they weren't going to be open for another hour or so. And the local Target (or Walmart) did not have any universal lug wrenches in their automotive section. We headed back to the trailer on the side of the freeway and made a call to AAA. Within 5 minutes a CA Roadside Assistance tow-truck showed up (these guys just drive up and down the highways looking for anyone who needs assistance) and he had the correct lug wrench. We removed the wheel and then found that the spare tire was severely cracked and unsafe. Hmmm!  Have you ever checked the spare before?  Something else to add to the checklist for future trips. At this point, it was time to part company. I had a show to get to, and my brother had to chase around town to find new tires for his trailer.

 

   

 

Concorso was great as usual, with an interesting variety of Italian machinery. I met up with fellow club members from near and far and had a great time visiting and admiring all the car. I also met up with my police officer friend who I had met just a few weeks earlier (see July 26, 2007 entry below). It was a great show indeed.

 

   

More pictures can be seen at my Photbucket album.

 

Unfortunately the short trip from Concorso to my campsite at Laguna Seca was not uneventful. It was over an hour of grueling stop and go traffic. My clutch was already at the end of it's life, but this did it in. By the time I arrived at the track, my clutch and throw-out bearing were screaming in agony with metal scraping and shearing sounds every time I stepped on the clutch. And now the throw-out bearing was making significant noise even when it wasn't engaged. Things were not looking good. And, my alternator decided to die as well.

 

And, just to cap off an eventful weekend, my car developed a serious rod knock on the drive home Sunday night and will no longer run at idle due to internal friction some-where in the engine. Now I have to get my Mustang off the jack stands and mobile again before I tear apart the Pantera. No shortage of projects.

 

July 31, 2007

Paso Robles BBQ

My two older children are off at camp this week, and my wife and youngest daughter went to San Diego to visit a friend so I decided it was the perfect time to get together with an old friend in Paso Robles who I had not seen for six years. He used to own a 71 pushbutton Pantera years ago and was anxious to see my car, so I decided to drive #4033 down for the visit.

 

A quick stop for gas before getting on the highway was rather funny when a guy with a clapped out VW truck was admiring the Pantera. I was impressed that he knew what it was. He began to tell me about his friend's turbo charged Jetta that produced 450 hp, then lost all credibility when he started telling me about his truck that has a Scirocco engine and how he's going for 650 hp with it - again, this is the clapped out VW truck (front half is a Rabbit) that barley runs.

 

Anyway, all I can say is that I don't take enough road trips in the Pantera. The car is an absolute pleasure to drive and just hits its stride at 70 mph and above. And, the steady stream of "thumbs up" from other enthusiastic motorists is always appreciated.

 

July 26, 2007

Pulled over on the way home

Went to the monthly Pantera Club of Northern California (PCNC) meeting tonight and had a great time as usual. I met Dan, a died in the wool gear head who's searching for a Pantera, and took him for a short ride in the Banzai Runner. That got him excited about a Pantera and will hopefully help him to become a Pantera owner.

 

I finally left the meeting at about midnight, and on my way home got pulled over. I knew I wasn't speeding! And I was certain that left turn I just made was legal too. So, I greeted the officer with a sincere "What's the matter officer?"  His response was what any Pantera owner would love to hear when getting pulled over - "Nothing!  I'm just a gear head and wanted to see your Pantera, if you don't mind."  We opened things up so he could get a good look, talked about his Ferrari Dino 246 and 308QV, and made plans to meet at Concorso. When we exchanged names we discovered that we're old family friends through a cousin of mine, and that his folks live almost directly behind my folks - small world!  Anyway, it was a great ending to my evening, even if it took me 2 hours to get home!

 

June 27, 2007

New Tires

I finally got my new tires mounted. I'm still looking for another 8" Campy for the front, but I finished restoring the 8" Campys on the rear. The best tires I could find for the stock 15" Campys were Toyo Proxes. The tires up front are 225/50VR15 Toyo Proxes 4, and in the rear are 295/50HR15 Toyo Proxes S/T tires. This is the only H rated (130 mph) tire I could find with a comparable tire for the front. The tread patterns between the 4's and the S/T's are pretty similar, and the appearance of the treadblocks on the sidewall of the tire are identical.

 

May 5, 2007

New 8" Campy Wheels

I'm getting new tires for my Pantera - they've already been ordered and are sitting in a corner at my local Wheel Works store waiting for the Pantera - but I wanted to restore my Campy wheels before mounting the new rubber. I purchased an extra set of wheels to use the 8's on the front and discovered one of them was cracked when I stripped off the old paint. Another club member generously donated an extra 8" wheel for me to use on the front of my Pantera, but I don't think I will be able to use it. When I had the old tire removed, I found the inside of the wheel to be VERY CORRODED. Actually, I've never seen magnesium corrosion this badly before. The first picture is before the wheel was annealed and bead blasted. The subsequent photos show the degree of pitting once the wheels were bead blasted.

 

       

 

       

 

April 5, 2007

New Armando Racing Oil Pan

This isn't a driving adventure, but important none the less. My new 10-quart baffled Armando Racing Oil Pan arrived today, and it's a thing of beauty! This is the second pan that needed to be delivered because the first one was stolen from my front porch after UPS dropped it off. Now UPS won't leave anything without a signature.

 

The pan was very well packed and well protected for shipping.

 

       

 

 

 

April 3, 2007

Roadside stop to see Scott's "new" Pantera

My friend Scott has been searching for a rust-free mostly original Pantera for about 9 months, and finally found his car. It was advertised in the March PCNC newsletter, and Scott promptly called the seller to express his interest. He was #2 on the seller's list behind another buyer who beat him to respond to the ad, but buyer #1 decided to pass because he wants a car that has already been fixed up. Anyway, Scott and his wife drove up to Petaluma yesterday with cashier's check in hand to look at the car and bought it.

 

I met Scott this morning at a Starbucks just off the 880 freeway in San Jose to take a look at the car. Scott's car is a solid rust-free 72 pre-L (#4010) with original paint. The car is mostly original and the paint shows crazing, like my car (#4033). The car has a Fluidyne lay-down radiator with twin sucker fans, reupholstered seats, and a rebuilt engine that sounds wonderful. I think Scott got a very good deal on this car.

 

       

 

 

 

March 24, 2007

Santana Row Car Show

Every Saturday morning when the sun is shining in San Jose, there's an informal car show at Santana Row. It's not uncommon to find an entire row of Lotus', Lamborghini's, Corvettes, Porsches, and the like. It's always a good time, and this Saturday was no exception.

There was a group of about 30 additional cars that caravanned down from the Sacramento area to join us. They hold a Euro-Sunday event each week and heard about the Santana Row event and decided to take a drive. The Panteras proved to be crowd favorites. PCNC members Bob Benson, Rich Boschert, Diane Dean, Darryl Johnson, Jason Eaton, and myself brought out the Panteras and fielded a constant stream of questions. The marque was well represented.

 

      

 

My event gallery:
http://pantera.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5990047354/m/9960016284?r=1880057284#1880057284

 
Here are some additional pics from the Sacramento guys:

http://timzpix.com/EuroSundays/SantanaRow_2007-03-24/index.html

http://eurosunday.net/images.htm

 

October 19, 2006

Unofficial Tour of Tesla Motors

It was a beautiful day today. I drove the Pantera to work like I do most days, but today I had to go to our facility in Redwood City which is just two exits down the freeway from my brother's office. Did I mention my brother works for Tesla Motors, the company that builds the killer new high-end electric sports car that will do 0-60 in 4 seconds!

 

When I finished my day at work I headed over to the Tesla Motors facility for a private tour. All that I can say is that Tesla Motors rocks! This is a very cool car. It's beautiful and much better looking than a Lotus Elise. The Tesla Roadster differs from conventional electric and hybrid vehicles by its use of lithium ion laptop battery technology rather than typical automotive lead acid batteries. That and the fact that most electric vehicles are just plain boring, being designed under the assumption that driving is merely a necessary evil to get someplace you canít reach on foot or bike.

 

Driving is exhilarating! The goal for this project was to demonstrate that an electric vehicle can deliver exhilarating performance which glorifies driving. They wanted their initial car to be a car that gearhead car guys would love to own and drive. 0-60 in 4 seconds; 130+ mph top speed; 250 mile range; complete recharge in 3.5 hours. This one's not intended to be a mass-market vehicle. I believe they are planning a more mainstream model such as a sedan in the future. Granted, there's no throaty exhaust rumble at idle or staccato at full throttle, but the car is not silent as you might think. It does make noise; it's just a different kind of noise. Backing up or driving slowly sounds very much like a golf cart. But nail the throttle (rheostat? whatever they call it) and the sound is akin to the whine of a turbine, albeit not as loud. No, I did not get to ride in the car, but I did watch and listen as one of the execs left in it for the evening. Anyway, they've achieved their goal!


Tesla Motors looks like a very cool place to work too. Everyone there is a gearhead just like me. My brother and I were inside looking at the Tesla prototype when one of the guys comes up to tell my brother that there was a Pantera outside in the parking lot and 10-12 of the guys were checking it out. So, he introduced me and told him it was mine and we went outside and talked Pantera with a bunch of the Tesla employees. A little while later as I was getting ready to leave I wanted to take a picture of the Banzai Runner in front of the Tesla sign on the building. When I fired up the Pantera and moved it in front of the building beneath the sign, 4-5 more guys heard the Pantera and came out to take a look. I shut the engine off, opened things up, and spent another 20 minutes talking cars.

 

 

The Tesla Roadster is a great car, and regardless of your position on the environmental spectrum, this would be a great place to work! I wish I could afford a Tesla Roadster. FWIW, the first 100 (Signature Edition) cars planned for production are already sold out. They are taking reservations for the second run of 100 cars to be built, and I believe they're already half sold out.

 

October 5, 2006

Sticking Caliper

When I tried to leave work for home at the end of the day last night, I found that the Pantera didn't want to roll. I released the parking brake, backed out of my parking space, and found that the brakes were still engaged. I tried setting and releasing the parking brake a number of times to no avail. This was frustrating. Especially since I wanted to be home in time for dinner with my family before I had another meeting that night.

 

I drove around the parking lot and made a couple of hard stabs at the brakes hopeful that the sticking brake would free itself, but it didn't. The moment I put the clutch in, the car would quickly slow to a stop. I grabbed my IR Temperature gun, which was still in the car from my Thermostat repair and ran around the car checking caliper and rotor temperatures at each wheel. Front left - 67 degrees; rear left: 73 degrees; rear right 135 degrees; front right 65 degrees. The rear right caliper was sticking.

 

Forgetting that I had a tool bag in the front trunk (I've never needed it before), I grabbed my fire extinguisher and used the bottle to bang the caliper to try and get it to release. No luck!  I figured my best bet would be to nurse it down the road to the local Midas, which is only 3-4 miles from my office. During the first mile I could definitely smell burning brake pad. Then all of a sudden, no more smell, and the car wasn't pulling to a stop if I put the clutch in. Things seemed to be working again. Although, I'm not sure if it actually released or merely burned off enough pad material to allow the car to roll freely. I'm heading out of town for the weekend, so when I return on Sunday night I'll take the wheel off and examine the caliper for correct operation.

 

October 1, 2006

Comedy Day in the Park at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

The Ferrari and Pantera clubs were invited to display automobiles in Golden Gate Park at the Comedy Day in the Park event held at Sharon Meadows. We were offered parking on the green, vip passes, a hosted bar all day long, and a BBQ lunch. This sounded like it was sure to be a great event. Unfortunately, the event was quite disappointing. The comedy was rude, crass, offensive and totally inappropriate for a public park family setting, and the food left much to be desired. The drinks were good though and there was plenty available at the bar.

 

The best part of the day was the caravan up to San Francisco with fellow club members. My wife and I left home a few minutes late but caught up with the group shortly after they got onto the freeway. Lots of stares and admiring glances from other motorists. We all stopped at the Junipero Serra rest stop to pick up another member of the caravan, then continued up to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

 

       

 

       

 

Unfortunately, Bob Lucas' red Pantera developed an ignition problem. It ran flawlessly for the drive up to San Francisco, but when he tried to start it again to move it into position with the other Panteras on the green it wouldn't start. Club members wasted no time crawling through the car to diagnose the problem. If I recall correctly, the evidence pointed at the ignition box as the primary suspect. Not having a replacement box on hand, they came up with a recipe that would get the car started so he could limp home at the end of the day. The club's unofficial motto: "No Pantera left behind."

 

September 29, 2006

Employee Car Show & Beer Bash

Last Friday we had our annual Employee Car show in conjunction with our weekly Beer Bash at work. It's now become an annual event that my buddy with the red 66 Chevelle and I started last year. He was the originator of the idea and did most of the legwork. It was a lot of fun indeed, and we had a good turn out - twice as many cars as we had last year (see below on this page for details on the inaugural event).

 

The Pantera generated a lot of interest and many admirers. Now I have a lot of promises to fulfill - to give rides. Oh well, someone's got to do it! The event was sponsored by the Engineering organization, but due to the level of interest and enthusiasm we expect company-wide (Sunnyvale site at least) participation next year.

 
                 

 
There are more pics posted to an album on the PIBB:

http://pantera.infopop.cc/eve/forums?a=albumtopic&TOPIC_OID=6280093254&f=3350045562

 

Anyway, it was a great event and the Pantera generated a lot of interest.

 

September 5, 2006

Cruising home from work today I noticed a boiling sound coming from the coolant tanks. Actually, I've noticed it over the last few days, but have never noticed it before. I suspected a possible overheating condition, but my gauge readings were still within an acceptable range, save for a few unusual swings of the needle. It turned out that my thermostat was stuck closed. Read all about my Thermostat Replacement in the Updates section of the website.

 

July 25, 2006

San Leandro Pantera Inspection (in SF)

Inspected a black 72 pre-L Pantera with a friend from SoCal looking for a Pantera. The car is an early car with all the 71 model features. It was built in 2/72 and has a flat decklid and the Bill Stoppe fresh air knob on the guage cluster. In a nutshell, the car was disappointing. It looked great in the pics, but has issues, most notably major rust in the rear driver's side chassis/suspension supports.

 

My inspection report can be found here: http://www.realbig.com/pipermail/detomaso/2006-July/074783.html

http://www.realbig.com/pipermail/detomaso/2006-July/074828.html

 

The album link in the thread linked above is no longer working:

Click here for the pictures from this inspection.

 

 

July 20, 2006

Redwood City Pantera Inspection

Inspected a yellow 73 L-model Pantera with 63,679 miles for sale in Redwood City for $25,000. VIN #5229; Body Service #51040; Engine ID #4439.

 

It was an interesting experience to say the least - a seller who doesn't want to let you drive the car, doesn't want you to jack it up and check it out, claimed to have done $5,000 of work to the car and supposedly had receipts to back up the claim, but no evidence of any work being done, and no receipts, etc.

 

My complete inspection report can be found here:

http://www.realbig.com/pipermail/detomaso/2006-July/074593.html

http://www.realbig.com/pipermail/detomaso/2006-July/074575.html

 

The album link in the thread linked above is no longer working:

Click here for the pictures from this inspection.

 

 

April 29, 2006

Relay Tech Session #2 at Rich Boschert's house

We installed relay kits into Darryl Johnson's Pantera and another yellow Pantera whose owner was not present, but I don't remember who's car it was. Rich Taylor also rebuilt his steering rack this afternoon. Another productive tech session!

 

       

 

       

 

We were also treated to a demonstration of antique engines and electric generators.

 

 

 

Rich's father collects these ancient mechanical marvels and has a trailer set up to display them at shows. Anyway, he fired them up for our amusement during a break and explained how each was used in its day. This was a lot of fun.

 

 

April 27, 2006

Monthly PCNC Meeting in Sunnyvale, CA

Another great evening visiting with friends and admiring cars. Darryl Johnson had his wild ride there too. I never tire of admiring Darryl's car. I'm not a big fan of flares, wings and all the other ungodly things people do to their Panteras, but Darryl's car is different. Although it is flared, it is very tasteful.

 

     

 

March 22, 2006

Pittsburgh, PA Garage Tour with Curt Marsh

Another Mike Drew inspired adventure. I found myself in Pittsburgh again, so I got in touch with Kurt Byrnes and Curt Marsh to see if anyone was available for a visit while I was in town. Curt Marsh answered the call and invited me over for my 2nd Pittsburgh Garage Tour. It turns out that Curt lives only 5 miles from my hotel. When I got to his house, I found that his garage houses two cats. One, of the Pantera variety, and the other of the Jaguar XK-8 variety (both Ford products mind you). Curt just received a new set of Kinesis wheels and Hoosiers for the Pantera that afternoon, so he was still opening the boxes. These are beautiful wheels. Bob Benson (PCNC) used to have the same wheels on his car. Curt's car has an impressive Weber style fuel injection system too. It's too bad it was up on jack stands awaiting the new wheels. It would have been fun to go for a ride in the monster.

 

       

 

 

 

Following the garage tour, we went to a local favorite, Primanti's, for dinner. Primanti's is a bit of a Pittsburgh icon. They make unique sandwiches stuffed with fries and cole slaw. This type of sandwich grew out of Primanti's beginnings in the "strip district" of Pittsburgh where they catered to the warehouse workers, shippers and truck drivers throughout the night. Legend has it that the owners forgot to order plates and silverware for their grand opening, so they stuffed everything into the sandwich that first night, and it turned out to be a hit with the truck drivers who could easily eat their meal while driving. Anyway, we had a great evening discussing Pantera upgrades, track events, the Monterey Historic Races, and Concorso Italiano. I hope to see Curt in Monterey this August for Concorso.

 

 

March 18, 2006

Relay Tech Session #1 at Rich Boschert's house

We installed relay kits into The Banzai Runner, Rich Taylor's Pantera, and a black Pantera, but I don't remember whose car it was. I was quite slow doing the relay panel install as I had to measure and re-measure everything before I would commit to drilling any holes for the mounting studs or wiring harness. Needless to say, I didn't leave Rich's house until after 9:00pm that night. A long but successful day.

 

       

 

The Boschert Relay Kit gets two enthusiastic thumbs up!! It comes complete with a laminated wiring diagram, a laminated fuse box legend, fuses, and only costs $50. And, Rich will help you install it if you go to his house. What a great guy!

 

 

March 16, 2006

Raleigh, NC Garage Tour with Sean Korb

I was on a business trip to train engineers in my employer's Research Triangle Park, NC, office when the topic of conversation over lunch turned automotive. I met a few gear heads there in the office and naturally Panteras were a topic of conversation. One of my colleagues mentioned that he knew someone with a Pantera and offered to email him and see if we could get together. Well, his friend turned out to be Sean Korb, with whom I'd exchanged emails with on the DeTomaso mail list at various times over the past two years.

 

When I got in touch with Sean, I learned that it was "Hamburger Day."  If you're on the DeTomaso mail list you may remember that Sean had a heart attack in 2004. He now follows a strict diet and limits himself to that delicacy called a 'hamburger' only one day per month. So, I joined Sean for Hamburger Day.

 

Anyway, Sean is a died in the wool tinkerer. We started in the garage, which housed his recently repainted Pantera, a scruffy (rusty) Austin Healy which he hasn't figured out what he's going to do with yet, and a couple of motorcycles. Outside were a 69 (?) Firebird, a 67 Cougar, a 66 Suprang, a 68 Mustang, a 70's vintage van, and other various cars and/or parts. Of particular interest was the 66 Suprang. You may be wondering "what the hell is a Suprang?" A Suprang is a 66 A-code Ford Mustang coupe that was mated with a Toyota Celica Supra. Sean wanted to turn the 66 Mustang into a track car, and wanted to add an independent rear suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes. The conversion kits on the market were prohibitively expensive, but when a friend's Celica died, Sean seized the opportunity to transplant the Celica's front and rear sub-frames, complete with suspension and brakes, into the Mustang.

 

       

 

   

 

 

November 23, 2005

Pre-Thanksgiving Pantera Luncheon

PCNC President, Bob Benson, had invited a new owner over to learn more about Panteras and decided to call some of the local PCNC crowd to join them for lunch at his shop in Mountain View if we were available. Well, I'm not one to miss a gathering of my Pantera brethren. We had a great time visiting, eating pizza, and admiring Bob's workspace and toys - 71 Pantera, 66 Shelby GT-350R replica, and a 73 Firebird race car.

 

       

 

 

 

 

October 25, 2005

Pittsburgh Garage Tour with Kurt Byrnes

I had to make a business trip to Pittsburgh, so I decided to do a "Mike Drew" and see if I could find any local Pantera owners. I posted a message to the DeTomaso mail list and promptly got a reply from Kurt Byrnes. I ventured to his home where I was warmly greeted by his family. This sure breaks the monotony of a business trip. After a short visit with the family, Kurt's wife dismissed us to the garage where we spent the next several hours talking "Pantera" and all things automotive. I got a complete tour of Kurt's Pantera, as well as other projects resident in the garage. Kurt's home is on a sloped lot and the garage is located beneath the house. As a result, the garage was quite spacious, accommodating the Pantera, an MG-TD, a riding lawnmower, and a (rock) climbing wall. Adjacent to the garage is a workshop with all sorts of fun electronic projects. What a great time meeting a fellow Pantera enthusiast from across the country.

 

 

October 6, 2005

Network Appliance Beer Bash & Car Show

This was an event conceived by a friend and I at work. He's an avid gearhead as well, but of the Bowtie variety - he has a 66 Chevelle with a built 454. Anyway, every Friday from 4:00-5:00 we have a Beer Bash at work, which is a great opportunity to socialize, meet folks in other areas of Engineering, have impromptu meetings with folks whose calendars couldn't otherwise accommodate a meeting, and generally take a break and relax with your colleagues. We got the idea to make this particular Beer Bash a Hot Rod theme and invited everyone in the company we could find who had an interesting ride to bring it out and show it. It was a great event and helped us uncover a number of other gearheads at the office, and next year we'll have their cars at the show too.

 

     

 

 

August 25, 2005

Concorso Italiano

Having been up till 2:30am the night before getting the Pantera ready for Concorso, the shriek of my alarm at 5:00am came far too early. It had been a frantic week of working on the car and putting the cooling system back together. I had installed a new Weiand water pump, replace the radiator, rebuilt the cooling fans, repainted the radiator compartment, and added a Tefba filter to the cooling system. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the time I got to the Blackhorse Golf Course in Monterey, but adrenaline kept me going. I find the sights, sounds and smells of exotic Italian automobiles intoxicating - and especially seeing so many fine Panteras in one venue.

 

 

January 27, 2005

Forecast was for rain, but the weather was nice all day. A quick glance at the sky before heading off to the PCNC meeting at Coco's in Sunnyvale gave me confidence that it wouldn't rain for at least another 3-4 hours. I was anxious to get one more drive in before parking the Banzai Runner for the storms. Well, upon arriving at the PCNC meeting, it began to rain. Actually, it poured throughout the meeting. Despite the rain, I didn't win the drive for dinner raffle. I wasn't the only one who ventured out into the elements with a DeTomaso. We also had a Longchamp and another Pantera present. True die-hards!

 

When the meeting was adjourned, we all retired to the parking lot to visit with one another, a tradition following the monthly PCNC meetings. That's when the fun began. I started the car to let it warm up while chatting with a visitor to our meeting that evening. I was right in the middle of boasting about how my car NEVER overheats when it suddenly decided to spew steam from its overheating engine.

 

   

 

It turned out that my radiator developed a leak and effectively drained the engine of all coolant. After letting it cool a bit. I filled the cooling system back up and headed for home. One of my fellow club members followed me "just in case," but I made it home without incident.

 

August 13, 2004

Concorso Italiano at the Blackhorse Golf Course in Monterey

This is the single largest Italian car event in the nation. I worked late into the evening detailing the Banzai Runner for the show and didn't get to bed until 2:30am on Friday morning. Then, I was up by 5:00am to pick up my brother and meet Mark, Chris and Jason for our caravan to Concorso. It was a beautiful drive over Hwy 17 and down Hwy 1 to Monterey, and took us only five minutes or so to enter the display area on the green.

 

This year, Concorso did not allow any signs or banners on display vehicles other than a descriptive "placard" placed at the front of the vehicle. So, I made an aluminum and plexiglass holder the night before and got a lot of compliments on it during the show. Pics to come.

 

June 30, 2004

90,625 miles. Replaced all radiator hoses and clamps with Gates GreenStripe hose and HiTorque Stainless Steel hose clamps. See "updates" for a complete description.

 

May 23, 2004

One year anniversary of becoming the third owner of the Banzai Runner, car #4033.

 

May 10, 2004

It's been one year since I first saw and test drove #4033. I'm very thankful to be driving the Banzai Runner to work today. I still can't believe I own a Pantera. And not just any Pantera, but the car I wanted - a late 1972 pre-L model in all (mostly) original condition that hadn't been butchered or modified.

 

March 19, 2004

An incredible day today. Too nice for the regular commute home. Left the office early (that means 5:00 for me) and headed for the hills. I took Hwy 280 North and exited at Foothill Road; then went South on Foothill to Mt. Eden Road, and took that to Hwy 9. I then enjoyed a leisurely traffic-free drive down Hwy 9 from Saratoga to Los Gatos, and then jumped onto Hwy 17 Northbound (opposite of traffic) to Hwy 85 Southbound. That last interchange onto Hwy 85 was a mistake. Got stuck in the commuter traffic at the metering lights, but thankfully mine was the second exit once I was on 85. Then, home to pick up my lovely wife for a night out, in the Pantera of course. It was a great day!

 

March 10, 2004

What a beautiful morning. Closed the heater shutoff valves. I won't be needing the heater any more this winter. I can't believe I'm going snowboarding in two days. I hope there's snow.

 

March 8, 2004

So, my day started at 5:00am today and it was a beautiful morning!!! As a matter of fact, a perfect day to drive the Pantera! However, on my way to the office there was the need to make a panic stop. Quite to my surprise, and disappointment, the Banzai Runner did not stop! At least not in the space I had hoped. Don't fret though, I didn't make contact with any other vehicles, but I did come seriously close to an accident!

It's clear the brakes need immediate attention, but I have a few questions. When I stomped on the brakes, I stepped on the brake pedal as hard as I could, but the brakes did not lock! And there was no more pedal left. The car slowed quickly, but it was much too gradual. I felt that either the front or rears should have locked, or even felt at the limit of impending lockup, but they clearly weren't. Once the car did stop, the engine died. Apparently the engine died as a result of the sudden stop, but I don't know if it died after stopping or during the stop.

Could the sudden loss of vacuum from the engine dying have been at fault for my less than satisfactory brake performance?

Is it likely that the engine died only after the brakes were at their limit and didn't impact the car's stopping ability?

What would have caused the engine to die? The carb is a new Holley Avenger 670 with center hung floats, and was dyno tuned at Speed Merchant in San Jose when installed 4 or 5 months ago.

I plan to go out and make a few test stops on a deserted stretch of road this week to determine if my braking results are any different, and if the engine dies each time. In the meantime I would welcome any ideas as to what I should look for or how to correct these issues.

 

February 7, 2004

My good friend Paul DaCruz picked up his "new" Pantera today and came by for a visit. His car is a beautiful 1972 pre-L. The car only has 35,000 miles on the chassis, and he bought it from the original owner's grandson. There's little more beautiful than the sight of a Pantera, except maybe two Panteras. And to have them in front of my house is like having my own mini car show. A number of neighbors came by later to comment on the cars.

 

 

 

These pictures are from our initial inspection of the car. Paul will tell you it's my fault that he now owns this car - I knew what he was looking for and stumbled across the ad for this particular car, so I sent it to him. The next thing I know, we're inspecting it and Paul successfully negotiates the purchase of the Beast.

 

       

 

       

 

December 9, 2003

The day started with a sunny morning, although the sky was streaked with clouds. I didn't think rain was a possibility for the day so I decided to drive the Pantera to work. A couple of miles down the road I turned on the radio and heard the forecast for the day - rain! Well, there was no time to turn back and switch cars; I was already pressed to make it to an 8:00 meeting on time.

 

At 4:00 in the afternoon I returned to the wet parking lot to find #4033 literally covered with pine needles, leaves and elm seeds. Note to self: Do not park within a stone's throw of a pine tree again. The wind had blown every lose and dead pine needle from the trees onto the Banzai Runner, and those things get everywhere. After about ten minutes of picking the needles out of the vent grills just ahead of the windshield and various other places, I got in and started for home. It began to sprinkle so I turned on the wipers to clear the windshield - nothing! I tried the switch several times, but no wipers. Just as I was starting to get disgusted with the old girl I realized that the wiper blades are in the trunk! Yes, I'm an idiot. Turns out the wipers work just fine when they're installed, but who wants to look at unsightly wiper arms on that sexy Italian bodywork. So, I hurry onto the freeway to clear the windshield.

 

       

 

I took the pictures once I got home. This is only the debris that survived the drive home on the freeway; a mere fraction of the debris I found on the car when I came out of my office. Thankfully, there was no rain for the drive home and no standing water on the road to splash into all the nasty places it likes to hide on a Pantera. Once home, I washed the dried the Banzai Runner and put her in the garage to rest until the next sunny day.

 

September 12-15, 2003

Sailing

All week I had been noticing that the Pantera wasn't running very well. It had a "miss" under a certain load. I've experienced this before, both with the Banzai Runner and my 66 Mustang. Every car I've owned with dual points seems to need them filed every 1000-1500 miles.

 

Since my son and I were planning to leave right after work on Friday, September 15 to drive to Camarillo to visit friends and go sailing for the weekend, and it was going to be the first time they have seen the Banzai Runner, I wanted it running well. So, I decided to file the points before leaving. Simple enough, right?! Not so. I couldn't get the car started after filing the points. After 2 hours of frustration, I finally decided to clean the points - duh! It should have been the first thing I did. I turned the key and it fired right up. Success, finally!

 

We got on the road headed to Camarillo and got there in 5 hours. I think we made pretty good time. The car ran great without so much as a hiccup after that. We spent the weekend sailing around the back side of Santa Cruz Island and had a great time.

 

   

 

When we returned on Monday evening, I let my friend Steven take 4033 for a drive. "Wow! I've never driven anything quite like this before!" were his exact words. In a nutshell, he was thoroughly impressed with the tight steering, the smooth gearbox and the abundance of power on tap. A far cry from his Peugeot Turbo Diesel, although he's also owned a Porsche, Fiats and miscellaneous motorcycles.

 

September 6-7, 2003

Weekend away in San Francisco

We left the kids with my folks and headed off for the weekend. First, to the Marin Headlands for lunch and a nice hike. The weather was beautiful and 4033 performed beautifully. While filling the tank at a local gas station before we left, two gentlemen stopped to admire and talk Panteras. When I got back in the car, Leslie teased that I must love filling up the car because every time we stop, someone wants to talk cars with me. Yup! She's right.

 

       

 

The drive was wonderful. I still can't get over just how nice a ride the Pantera provides. Pulling in to the Pan Pacific Hotel in San Francisco was an event. My car is not loud by Pantera standards, but once we were under the covered valet area to check-in, the exhaust note sounded thunderous as it reverberated off the walls and ceiling. I was smiling. There was no shortage of help unloading our luggage either. The 4-5 employees working the area all wanted to get a closer look at the car. One asked if it was a Ferrari. No, I don't think I could fit my wife's luggage in an F-car. Everyone's always amazed at just how much luggage capacity a Pantera has. And I am too!

 

July, 2003

I came home from work one day, pulled into the driveway and found a river of coolant running out the back of the car and into the street. Diagnosis: Radiator hose on front of engine with tight bend was a cheapie universal accordion style radiator hose and was split at one of the accordion bends. Treatment: Replaced radiator hose (see Lower Radiator Hose Replacement in updates). All is well now.

 

June 28, 2003

I got up at 4:10 to take the wife and kids to the airport this morning and wasnít tired when I returned home. So, I decided to take #4033 out for an early morning drive.

I headed out of San Jose on Hwy 280 Northbound. Then took Hwy 84 through the hills to Skyline Blvd (Hwy 35) where I stopped for breakfast at Aliceís Restaurant (of Arlo Guthrie fame). It was a beautiful morning Ė sunny, clear and warm. After breakfast I continued west on Hwy 84.

 

         

 

A few miles down the road I had two beautiful Lotus 7 replicas sticking me like flies on flypaper. After a mile or so I waved them past. I didnít feel like pushing #4033 too hard since Iím still getting accustomed to the carís handling characteristics, and I had only put a little over 1000 miles on the odometer since I bought her. Anyway, I didn't let the Lotus 7s get too far ahead of me. They stopped at a Park on Hwy 1 at the end of 84, so I stopped too. I met the owners, we admired each otherís rides and exchanged stories. The Lotus replicas are by Caterham and are powered by Ford Z-tech engines. These cars are very small, very low to the ground and fast!

 

         

 

I then headed south on Highway 1 and made a couple of stops, including the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. The coast was wet with fog Ė quite a contrast from the beautiful warm sunshine atop Hwy 84 and in Silicon Valley. Anyway, the fog cleared by the time I reached Santa Cruz. I took Hwy 17 Northbound and returned home to San Jose.

What a great way to start the day!

 

       

 

June 21, 2003

I hadnít yet had the chance to take the Banzai Runner through any mountain twisties, so I decided that #4033 needed a little exercise this morning. I took Highway 9 out of Los Gatos and up through Saratoga to Skyline Blvd. About a mile below Skyline I down-shifted to 2nd gear and passed a slow moving SUV. Almost immediately I noticed a loud ticking noise distracting me from the beautiful exhaust note of the Banzai Runner. It sounded like I was very low on oil, but I just checked it this morning, and although not "full," was comfortably in the "safe" zone. I slowed down (the SUV driver probably thought I was an idiot for passing and then slowing) to do an "on-the-fly" diagnosis of the ticking noise, but it soon disappeared as the road leveled again. "Hmm! This definitely sounds like Iím low on oil."

 

I nursed #4033 home and pulled out my binder of Technical Service Bulletins. "Letís see now. I seem to recall seeing something in here about a Dipstick length modification. Ah, here it is!" As it turned out, my carís dipstick had never been modified, so it was already a quart low, and then some.

 

June, 2003

Added auxiliary trunk release for front trunk (TSB 09-64). See Front Hood Emergency Release Cable story for details. I also changed my "plumbers tape" muffler hanger for a new one from Chuck Melton. Thanks Chuck for pointing out the need for the emergency hood release and the broken muffler hanger.

 

May, 2003

Ironing out the bugs. The car hadnít been driven much in the past five years by its former owner, so Iíve driven the Banzai Runner to work every day for the last week to sort out any wrinkles. Found a few small puddles of coolant in the garage, so I jacked the car up and tightened all hose clamps. Hoses are mostly "Gates Green Stripe" and are in fine condition. #4033 is no longer dripping coolant on the garage floor!

 

May 24, 2003

Discovered the driverís side muffler hangar is broken. Used some "plumberís tape" to anchor the muffler so it doesnít bounce and break anything else.

 

May 23, 2003

The beautiful yellow pre-L Pantera #4033, also known as the Banzai Runner for itís leading role in the 1987 movie of the same name, becomes mine. I took Amtrak (the train was broken, so they put me on a bus) to Paso Robles, CA and met Al Manning at the station to complete the purchase transaction.

 

May 15, 2003

Al and I agree on a purchase price, I sent deposit for purchase and made arrangements to pick the car up in a week. I wanted to pick it up that weekend, but Al and Christine (the sellers) were going to San Diego for their sonís graduation.

 

May 10, 2003

I made an early morning drive to Paso Robles, California to view #4033 - the Banzai Runner Pantera. I found the car advertised on a flyer on the bulletin board in the club host area at the Union Hotel in Las Vegas during the POCA Fun Rally.  I was not disappointed. The car was exactly as the seller described. When I drove it, I was pleased! This car was the nicest driving, handling, sounding car Iíd looked at, despite having the highest mileage of any car I considered!

 

 

 

 


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