Some say “lighting does not strike twice”, but for underdog supercar maker De Tomaso it certainly did. From a company that gave us an Italian alternative, the Pantera proved it was equally as stylish as a Ferarri but still as mad as a Lamborghini in the 70s, even though it was driven by a brutish American Ford 5.7-litre V8.
Things started rolling downhill until it went into liquidation in 2004. 4 years later former Fiat executive Gian Mario Rossignolo bought the rights to the name, then revealing ambitious plans to produce 8000 new vehicles inclusive of 3000 crossovers, 3000 limousines and 2000 two-seater sports cars in 2009. A luxury SUV concept was also unwrapped at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and a prototype Pantera-remake was also spied just before that.
Sadly though it seemed history was beginning to repeat itself in late 2011. News came in that €100 million, or roughly RM392 million was injected by investors from India, while Chinese group NAC was rumored to have paid another €15 million, about RM58 million for the Deauville license.
Fast forward to the present, De Tomaso is now bankrupt just less than a decade after it was first resurrected. Remaining assets will be removed and sold by a court-appointed administrator unless given another fighting chance.
Perhaps De Tomaso was never destined to be rescued. Perhaps its fate was sealed when Elvis Pressley shot his very own yellow Pantera after failing to start.
Pictures from WorldCarFans.com & Wikipedia.org