Finally, a day that was nice all the way through getting off work and going home.  I pulled the Pantera out of the garage and did some detailing.  I vacuumed the floors, dusted the upholstery and quick-shined the paint.  A little air in the tires, check the oil and water, and she was ready for a quick test drive.

Seems like it’s been almost a year now since the last time I had the Pantera out of the garage.  I drove it today and it felt good, just rumbling along the freeway doing the speed limit.  As I drove I began thinking of all the things I need or wish to do to the car.

The entire suspension needs to be overhauled.  New bushings, possibly even new a-arms.  New shocks and springs.  I have a dual-sucker fan I need to install behind the radiator too.  Get the water tanks reconditioned or buy new ones.  Pull the ZF (that’s the transmission) and overhaul it.  Get some new seat belts installed.  Bigger things I’d like to do are install dropped floor pans, a four-point roll cage with five-point seat belts, upgrade the brakes, new wheels and tires and I’ve got a small rear spoiler to install.  The bodywork and paint are in almost-desperate need of attention, but overall she’s pretty straight and looks good at car shows just the way she is.

I’ve thought about autocrossing the Pantera, but I simply can’t until I get some of the mechanical work done.  Then eventually I wish to build another engine for it.  It currently has the stock original 1973 351C engine.  The ’73 model year was a pretty de-tuned version of the Cleveland.  I need to fix that up some, get some more horsepower back into the car.  I’ll probably work on those specs a little while later.  I can’t really see starting until I’m out of school.

I did find out about the Spokane Italian Car Club today.  I should be getting more information on them soon.  I think it will be kind of neat to hang out with other Italian car enthusiasts.  I’m anxious to see what they do.  Let’s hope this summer presents plenty of opportunities to have fun.

Asa Jay

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