Kurt Molzer tames the De Tomaso Pantera

Honest work. Driving a car in its purest form, with clutch and gearshift, without power steering and electronic driving aids, but with a lot of fire. A simple recipe - and incredibly effective. No question, Kurt Molzer loves the De Tomaso Pantera. And survives the wild affair - at least until it comes to writing down what happened.
Text Kurt Molzer & Marko Knab
Photo Matthias Mederer · ramp.pictures

Kurt Molzer is fired up about this car. No, it's not just a car, it's a De Tomaso Pantera. Simple and good. And simply good with its big fat V8 engine. Painted in black to match the name, dangerous and evil. Not only because of this combination, our valued author starts to remember the hot take of a history the Italian brand has. And the history also includes a dark chapter in Formula 1. Oh yes, Walter Röhrl's ride in a later burnt-out Ferrari also pops into his head.

Are these good omens for a ride in an analogue, beastly and above all quite rare sports car? The owner of the Panther also doubts this, but then eventually gives Kurt the keys. But on the condition that the car is guaranteed to come back in one piece. And if it doesn't? "Then I'll kill you," he is supposed to have said.

But neither this threat, nor the rather cramped, noisy and thoroughly mechanical setting inside the Pantera deter Kurt - some would argue that this even motivated him. Or how else do you explain Mr Molzer's childlike joy when he is told that there are flames at the exhaust? From first hand experience it really sounds like this: "Suddenly something happened inside me, it went through me, it was like an electric shock on a cow fence, then it went into my right eye, the left one remained still, but it watered a little. "Flames, you say, is that true?" - "Out of all the pipes, it's not like I'm blind!" I was seized by a wave of indescribable bliss: flames in the rear!"

But neither the threat, nor the rather cramped, noisy and thoroughly mechanical setting inside the Pantera deter Kurt - some would argue that this even motivated him.

But for all the romance, there is also this physical component that the Pantera encourages and demands: both the clutch and the steering are not for the faint-hearted or people with weak muscles. Kurt has never had to work so hard when parking, he testifies. Not to mention the historically rather quirky brakes. But once in motion and at operating temperature, everything then runs like clockwork - and the rear tyres also slide comfortably on the winding country roads. The conclusion of the wild dance: Kurt is alive. And maybe he'll get to drive a Pantera again. Or something else. But at the very end it turns out that someone has outdone our Viennese in terms of knowledge of automobile history - and that is almost equivalent to being murdered.

→ What that fuss is it all about, how wild the Pantera really is and how Kurt manages to tame it after all? Read all about it in rampstyle #25, entitled "Keep It Simple and Smart".


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