Carrera De Tomaso 'Pantera'

Carrera De Tomaso 'Pantera'

Postby wixwacing » Thu 29 Oct, 2009 11:40 pm

Carrera DeTomaso Pantera
Le Mans 1979



Image


by Phil Wicks


I waited some time for this model and it took several attempts to get it locally. Eventually, as always, Scalexworld came up with the goods and pleased I am that I waited. The problem from other sources was that the models are shipped from China and the importers this end have to wait ‘til they have a containerful of goods, slotcars and other stuff no doubt, before the container is shipped!!! Which means they went into the container after their release and weren’t shipped for several weeks!! Them’s the breaks I suppose, but in these times of favourable exchange rates the importers (and retailers) could well be at a disadvantage with this policy! What’s the answer?? Who knows.

Anyway, on with the story!

De Tomaso was a high performance sports car builder based in of all places, Modena, Italy. Founded in 1959 by its Italo-Argentinian namesake it produced a number of one offs for private buyers, including open wheelers and sports cars. The first road car was a very attractive model called the Vallelunga, named after the racing circuit. This was a lightweight 1.5 litre sportscar which De Tomaso struggled to produce and eventually it was canned in favour of their next model, the Mangusta (Italian for Mongoose, a large weasel like creature which eats Cobras?? See the link!) Built on the same chassis but with a 289 V8, it still suffered the same problems as its predecessor. Four hundred of these were built before production ended and this is where the Pantera (Panther) came on the scene.



Image



The Pantera was a reasonable success and more than one thousand were shipped to the US in the first full year of production. Alas, quality was poor and with US emission laws strangling the power output, the car soon slipped back to less than one hundreds models a year. It was a Pantera that Elvis Presley reputedly shot in frustration one day when it failed to start after several attempts!! But outside of the public domain there was to be some good news for DeTomaso as a small band of stalwarts took up the challenge and prepared Panteras for the global gladiatorial arena of endurance motor racing.



Image



The Pantera’s price was way below that of its Italian neighbours and German adversaries so it was always sought after by the ‘garagistes’ of motor sport. They worked their wonders upon them and a scan of racing results from the seventies will show that they were out there doing it, even if it was just to make the numbers up. Some more organized teams managed to get their cars near the results but in general they were listed amongst the ‘also rans’! In 1975 Team Ecuador Marlboro finished sixteenth at Le Mans!!



Image



DeTomaso continued with the Pantera for some years ‘til eventually superceding it in the early eighties. It is interesting to note that one of the last partnerships DeTomaso had was with the Italian Qvale company. This relationship hit the rocks and Qvale proceeded alone with the production of the new Mangusta. Finally, DeTomaso went into receivership and as far as I know, they are still looking for a buyer!!



Image

Another lovely set of wheels!


Inspite of this sad tale, the Carrera Pantera has a bit of a different story to tell. Carrera have advanced in leaps and bounds in recent times and on sweeping track are more than capable of putting up a good fight against the likes of Ninco, Scaley and Fly. The models come with a high trackside weight which goes against them when it comes to the more technical tracks. They have finally settled on a final reduction of 3 : 1 which greatly improves there bottom end performance but inspite of this it essential to keep the model rolling to take advantage of their good roadholding.




Image

Still making the vulnerables removable!!



The livery of this model is as good as the other mainstream models and tampo and masking are well defined. The colour scheme on this model is typically late seventies and is assured to stand out on a dark track. Delicate parts like the rear wing and the rear view mirrors are removable in true Carrera fashion but a degree of care is required when removing the mirrors; and the rear wing needs to be gripped towards the front when releasing its front clips. Yet again some nice and very wide wheels on the back. Plenty of potential there!



Image

Magnet? What magnet!



Underneath reveals those two gargantuan magnets, no doubt placed there to retain a degree of control on the low downforce Carrera track. The reality would be that maybe the front one could be dispensed with on Scaley and SCX track. The remaining rear magnet would need a little adjusting down though. The guide is another monster, showing Carreras allegiance no doubt to the 1/24th brigade. Earlier models were ripe for conversion to a Ninco routed track guide but this model comes with a complex self centring guide mechanism and unless you saw some potential in the model for serious racing then I would be inclined to leave it where it is. Once again, the blade part is removable and no doubt there is a replacement available (but not with the model!) somewhere that would facilitate racing on some of the tighter tracks. As it comes, the blade is far too long for the SCX and Scaley inner curves. You’d need to trim at least ten mil off it to even start thinking about these curves!! But on board tracks ?? Fine, no need to change anything. Most board tracks I race on can more than accommodate the standard Carrera guide!



Image

And this is analogue!!



Once again the polarity switch is a mini switch and the old problem of polarity changing on the run when the switch hit an elevated track joint is well and truly addressed. In the back of the display case are some shims to fit under the traction magnets, two rears and one front. These will drop the magnet down a further mil or so but by far the easiest adjustment is to just unscrew the magnet screws and let the magnet dangle, if somewhat securely, under the model ‘a la’ SCX. Also, in the back of the display case are a pair of spare braids and a pair of door mirrors! Yes you heard it!! Only problem is they are both left handers… and the right one on the model is just as vulnerable as the left!.



Image



So what’s it like on the track? Mmmmmmmmm? I have to say that its sister model the ’78 Chevrolet Le Mans is a cracker out of the box for board track / non magnet racing and the footprint on this one is not that dissimilar. Even at 111 grams it is all low down and as mentioned before, on medium to fast tracks it should be a joy to race. So what IS the Pantera like??



Image



Down at the Red Team’s secret hideaway I introduced the model to its first run. No sanded tyres. No pre track preparation and early in the evening when things were still a bit dusty. A bit swishy in the rear end but I was expecting this. But pretty well balanced and a bit of a bullet down the straight!! Powering on had to be when the model was facing the right direction or several lengths could be lost just getting out of the corner..



Image

The headlights are well protected against light bleed.




As the track cleaned up and the tyres smoothed down the tenths started to drop away and the model, still feeling heavy, got faster and faster. Mmmmmmmmm, Time to sand and clean the tyres methinks!! Wow, what a difference!! As with numerous models in the past, this got faster and faster until it was lapping within site of the lap record. The big difference between this and say a Slot.it is that the Slot.it is manically quick but un ballasted is a bit of a spitfire and concentration needs to be between the 95 to 100% range. The Pantera is a bit more forgiving. Slightly slower off the mark but a lot more user friendly in the corners, and out of them!. No doubt, with a bit of experimentation with tyres the model could be a runner-up in most competitions!



Image

A hard nosed driver too!



Image


Image


Once again, this isn't a technical track model and it needs a couple more feet than a much lighter model to gain momentum and current supply will be important too. The average wall wart will not deliver! But once moving, it is most forgiving. I’m not sure what the motor is rated at as I seem to get a different spec from every website I visit but it does seem quicker than the 18,000 rpm of the regular Mabuchi ‘S’ can. No matter, it is well balanced and it almost seems a shame to put it on the track but it is well up to the job!, I now need to find some stiff competition for it!! Speak to you later!!


Many thanks to Kevin and Clive at Scalexworld, Adelaide for persevering and getting the model for me!!
Image

When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
User avatar
wixwacing
Marshal!!!
 
Posts: 1903
Joined: Thu 10 Jul, 2008 8:22 pm

Re: Carrera De Tomaso 'Pantera'

Postby Perro » Mon 02 Nov, 2009 11:17 pm

Hi Phil and great report once again. I have bought both liveries of the Pantera and after having driven the black version at Eggy's I was so glad I had bought them both. Like you I waited patiently for the cars to be released on our shores for almost a year having nearly weakened and gone off shore. Well the wait was finally worth it.

Out of the box the car did first struggle to get around the Eggdome with the Supersize Me Carrera guide binding on Eggs routed corners in his track. So first change was to pull out the original fit guide blade and refit an Egg modified shaved down guide from one of his Carrera Peugot 908's. Straight away there was a massive improvement and finally some forward momentum that befitted the sleek look of the car. The cars acceleration was good for a car that we weighed in at 115gms. A heavy weight by any RTR plastic 1/32 standard. The car felt quite sure footed and this was due in a big way to it's mass but the rear was a little wayward if fed too much throttle on the exit of the corners. I decided a tyre change was was the possible solution but with what replacement tyre? Having a look at the Pantera's rear tyres and you may find the widest tyre of any car on the market. Initially I thought the MJK Carrera Porsche 935 tyre might do the job but it was too narrow and shallow in the inner rib. Unfortunately the Pantera has a steam paddle boat like wheel hub that is enormous and in real need of truing down. As fortune would have it I had a set of MJK Fly Ford Capri tyres and slipped them on. Although a fraction too narrow for a perfect fit they were quite close and had a deeper inner rib which allowed the tyre to fit reasonably flat when on the hub.

Back on the track and it was a different car. The car not only handled well with much less tail end malarkey going on it was even quieter and better under hard acceleration. I was in love. Egg watched for some time then decided to put up his quick Carrera Porsche 935 Moby Dick to see how it compared to the new kid on the block. Both cars would be naturals for the Group 5/ Sports Sedans class we often run. Well the cars were very even running around the Dome with the Pantera being fractionally faster with posted times at 6.215 and the Porsche clocking a 6.309. Egg was impressed just like me. It was also very easy to drive fast and most of all it was fun to drive as well.

So how much do I like it? Well you know the poll for SCOTY? Maybe a contender in the Carrera corner with the Pantera. And if not every bodies SCOTY then surely it is mine. Only trouble is the black, red and blue one or the yellow, gold and brown one (aka The Banana Split).
Perro
Team Strategist
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun 21 Sep, 2008 10:25 pm


Return to Carrera Reviews

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Untitled Document
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com











































































































































Image hosted by Photobucket.com

cron