3. DeTomaso Pantera
Maybe not as known as Ferrari or Lamborghini, De Tomaso is another legend of the Italian sports car scene from the ’60s. Started by Argentinean Alejandro De Tomaso, the company first started as a racing car outfit. Still, it soon moved to sports car markets with a lineup of successful modes that featured Ford’s small block engines, 5-speed transaxle gearbox, and aggressive design.
The first car was De Tomaso Mangusta, which was introduced in 1967. Yet the Pantera introduced in 1969 proved to be far more successful and popular, even though it shared a lot with the Mangusta. The key to Pantera’s success was the fact that Alejandro DeTomaso got the deal with Ford Motor Company, which meant that De Tomaso products were to be sold officially in America through the Lincoln-Mercury dealership network. Ford provided the engines, and De Tomaso did the rest, and Pantera was a home run for this small company. When production ended in 1989, De Tomaso built over 7000 Panteras. Even Elvis Presley owned one.