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Taken on location at the Compton Municipal Airport
The airplane is a Pazmany belonging to Mr. Stuart Smith

 

Purple Passion

Pantera International Hall of Fame Winner for 1998

Owners: Gary and Bev Hall

Paramount, California
First featured in Volume #97
Winter 1998

photography by Terry Smith
design and layout by Dave Adler
Camera used: Cannon EOS A2E

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With the targa top removed. Photo courtesy of Gary Hall. Taken in Monterey, California

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Hall Pantera has built eighteen of what they call "Super Panteras." These are Panteras which go far beyond the limited scope Ford and de Tomaso defined in 1970 when they sat down and laid out the parameters of the Pantera, which was, in essence, the world's first budget supercar. Gary and Bev Hall, on the other hand, are under no price constraints. Where de Tomaso sold their car wholesale to Ford for $6000 and Ford sold it to the dealers for $7000, the Halls work in a realm where you get what you pay for but you find the highest quality ingredients are supercar priced as well. The Halls say that their car's body, paint finish, chassis, engine, interior, reliability and performance compared with any $400,000 grand touring automobile in the world.

Surprisingly for a car that looks so futuristic it has a carburetor--a blueprinted Holley rated at 750 cfm with vacuum secondaries. The engine weighs less than 400 lbs. and produces over 600hp. Ansa, in Italy, made the exhaust. The headers are Ultra Ceramic coated. Hall Pantera presented a chart at the car's unveiling showing that it produced 623 horsepower at 6500 rpm--though they ran it quite a bit higher since it has roller rockers. We just picked 6500 rpm as a comparison point with a stock Pantera.

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The 17 inch tall wheels by Hall Pantera
are highly polished

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Their latest and final Ultra Pantera, the first targa, made its West Coast debut at Concours Italiano 1998. Since then it has made other appearances in Los Angeles where it is street-driven, not confined to a trailer. Starting with a chassis of the American-spec. body style, the Halls had the car stripped down to bare metal. A sub-frame was installed to give the car more rigidity since it was planned to be a targa. This roll bar intrudes into the engine bay but this is necessary because the Pantera was designed to be a coupe and removing the roof does take away rigidity. Since the roof is completely open (no center T-bar) you have to make it up with added rigidity someplace else. The Halls have devised a unique and comprehensive rigidity super structure.

The Outer Body Shell

Although some earlier Super Panteras have had GT-5 styling, this time the Halls chose the "5S" package in which the flared fenderwells in the rear are part of an enlarged fender, not just a flare around the lip. Each doorjamb, body section and panel was powder coated, color sanded, and hand rubbed. Careful attention was paid to fit and finish so that this car comes out better than anything the deTomaso factory ever saw. Square headlights were chosen for the front and electric side mirrors were added to the doors.

Under the hood and under the sides of the trunk stainless steel plates were added. The chassis was beefed with control arms machined from billet aluminum, using polished stainless steel screws and bosses. The hub carriers were machined from billet aluminum with forged steel stub axles and lower shaft tube kit. The shock absorbers are double adjustable aluminum billet gas shocks. All a-arm bushings that were rubber are now polyurethane.

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Check out the ground clearance! A great deal of effort was taken in the coachwork. Note the sharp crease in
the body panel over the front wheel well as an example.

 

 

The brakes are Hall's Super stopper system with Wilwood massive six piston aluminum calipers operating on ventilated rotors. The "hats" for the brakes are billet aluminum.

Wheels are Hall billet wheels with 10" x 17" dimensions in front and 13" x 17" in the rear.

Tires measure 245-40-17 in front and 335-35-17 in the rear.

Every bolt has been polished and Allen head bolts are used throughout. The Super half shafts are machined out of solid metal and chromed.

The engine is the thing that stops you even if the Barney purple body doesn't. It is a 460 cubic inch, polished aluminum Fontana block carrying a forged steel crank and has been stroked to 4.250 inch. Rods are forged steel, 6.125" in length, shot peened, carrying ARP rod bolts. Heads are Ford SVO brand, aluminum and polished with titanium valves and 16 rocker shafts. The camshaft is a roller cam. Flywheel is aluminum with Dual friction clutch disc.

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The decklid is flat as in the early cars and there are no bumpers to clutter up the svelte bodywork.

 

 

The engine enjoys a 1O-quart oil pan, almost twice the factory Pantera capacity. There are dual electric ignitions. The ZF gearbox has been blueprinted inside and polished on the outside. The ring gear is safety-wired (safety wiring prevents any failed or loose pieces or fragments from causing further damage to the ZF internals). A polished aluminum gas tank, shroud and firewall were used. The present air-conditioning system is a vast improvement over stock and uses their Phoenix 7-gallon cooling system with Meriha pancake "sucker" motors. The air conditioning radiator was moved to the front of the car where it gets more air and works better. Why de Tomaso thought it would get enough air out behind the gearbox is one of life's great mysteries. One clever touch is the use of a special hood with the NACA reverse air vents molded into it to allow air that has been through the radiator some place to escape.

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All alloy block pumps out over 600 horsepower.
The level of detailing and preparation is unsurpassed.

 

The Interior

The car has been fitted with a late dash with new A/C ducts and two extra gauges. The carpeting is plush the kind you want to sink your toes into. The floor pan has been dropped to make room for big folks. The dash has color matched, violet carbon fiber. The gas pedal is fully machined. The steering wheel is removable is hand stitched leather. There is an aerospace sound deadening package. The trunk compartment has 20% more room than stock with a tonneau cover.

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Because the air-conditioning system resides up front now, all kinds of space is opened up. A larger luggage tray is now in use that is flat. ZF sparkles like a jewel.

 

 

The Price

We wondered when you would ask. Well, 250 large used to buy you a fixed roof car. This targa would probably be over 300K if the Halls would build you one, which they won’t. In fact, if the new distributors of DeTomaso cars are thinking of bringing back the Pantera we say why build an all new car? Just buy this one and make this one the model for the next generation.

If, that is, Bev Hall would let it go....

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The dash is constructed out of carbon fiber.
The leather trim is absolutely gorgeous.
The steering wheel is removable.

 

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Detail shot shows the "wrinkle look" type seating area. The center console has a storage compartment built in.

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The four point harnesses are a good idea in a car that most probably could exceed 200 MPH. White faced gauges are very tasty!

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Congratulations to the crew at Hall Pantera for their induction into the PI Hall of Fame for 1998. Thank you to Mr. Stuart Smith for the loan of his yellow Pazmany on the left and to Mr. Mike Nash for the display of his splendid Extra 300 airplane on the right.

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