Elvis Presley once put a bullet in it, and now you can see it up close and personal. The 1971 De Tomaso Pantera formerly owned by the King of Rock ’n’ Roll will be on display at Concorso Italiano as part of its tribute to De Tomaso Automobili and the Pantera at the event’s Centerpiece Display on Friday, August 14, in Monterey, Calif., as one of the kickoffs to the area’s historic race weekend.
Built to replace the De Tomaso Mangusta, and designed by Tom Tjaarda, the Pantera was the first De Tomaso made with a steel monocoque design. Not quite on the Ferrari or Lamborghini level despite its sultry Italian coachwork, it created a new niche between exoticars and American muscle cars. With a sleek body and hot performance to challenge Ferrari, the Pantera was powered by a Ford V-8 instead of an alloy V-12.
The De Tomaso Pantera featured at Concorso demonstrates Presley’s passion for both guns and cars. In a fit of rage, Elvis shot his Pantera several times when he lost patience at the car not starting. (It is unknown whether gunfire motivated the car to start the next time.) The two bullet holes on the steering wheel rim and one in the floor pan were never repaired and now serve as reminders of the star’s occasional fits of rage. To make amends, Presley is rumored to have bought his Pantera a brand new Cadillac.