Classic Van Auction Talk

Monday 31 August 2015




There can't be many Italian supercars that have been owned by two Police Officers in Hawaii, but this one certainly has. Originally purchased by Hawaiian policeman George Frain in 1971, he kept the car for thirty five years before selling it to his friend and fellow policeman, Dennis Yogi, in 2006.
One of very few remaining "first execution" Panteras, known as "Pulsante" or push-button cars, in reference to the push button door handles carried over from the De Tomaso Mangusta, the embryo of the Pantera and a model that has been known to command prices in excess of £200,000.
These early Panteras were the only fully hand-built examples, assembled by Vignale Carrozzeria in Modena, with 75 being delivered into the United States to "test the water", prior to being put into series production.
Importantly, this car was one of the two Panteras used in one of the most watched television series in the World at the time 'Hawaii 5-0', where the car appeared in the episode - ‘Death Wish on Tantalus Mountain' (season 5, episode 2).
The first car was yellow and is now in Sweden where it has been heavily modified, therefore this car, chassis number #1365, is the only Pantera from the series that retains its original configuration.
In the episode, released in 1972, Ricardo Montalbano plays Alex Pareno, a wealthy auto-racing enthusiast whose mechanic is slain on the eve of Hawaii's most important road race. The TV production company needed a racecar in Hawaii and the first owner, George Frain, was happy to oblige. Mr Frain actually drove the car in the show as a stand-in for Ricardo Montalbano who had actually been injured prior to the shoot, so Mr Frain donned Ricardo's race suit and helmet, appearing in many of the still shots as well.
A pure "first execution" of the Pantera model in unmolested and original configuration is now very rare in itself, but one with a starring TV role and two previous owners must be a unique opportunity.
The car comes equipped with many rare features including single slot magnesium Campagnolo wheels with the De Tomaso "T" logo on each wheel nut, a flat rear engine cover (all the later cars incorporated a raised rib in the centre) and De Tomaso, not Ford emblems. There are also a number of small details and touches that make this car truly special such as the hand made bumpers with square ends, the relief pattern ashtray cover and one piece side window chrome (carried over from the Mangusta).
With only two owners from new until 2014, this is an amazing example of a very rare, handbuilt, unmodified, ‘push button' Pantera in its original Tom Tjaarda design. This car is fully restored and ready to drive, but perhaps not on a dirt rally stage..

Viewing and bidding

The Salon PrivĂ© Auction takes place at Blenheim Palace on the evening of Friday 4th September 2015
Viewing of the lots will be available on Thursday 3rd September and Friday 4th September 2015.
Bidding at the auction can be done either in person by attending the sale, by telephone, by leaving a commission bid or live online. Full details of registration requirements and a buying guide can be found on the Silverstone Auctions website (

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