Why did Elvis Presley shoot a De Tomaso Pantera?

The King of rock & roll did not hesitate to execute the sports car in his own way when he did not start in the middle of an argument with his girlfriend.


Elvis Presley, the king of rock & roll, had two other great passions besides music: the cars and the guns. That is why he had large collections of both, which he once put together after a fit of madness ...

Among the various vehicles Elvis owned stood out a By Tomaso Pantera from 1971 that he had bought for about $ 9.000 to go out with his girlfriend at the time, the actress Linda Thompson.

Why did Elvis Presley shoot a De Tomaso Pantera?The Pantera, which was produced between 1971 and 1991, had reached the US market thanks to an agreement between Ford and Alejandro De Tomaso. Ford had long wanted to partner with an Italian manufacturer to enter the sports car market and after the failed negotiations with Ferrari, De Tomaso took his place.

The Argentine businessman had no problem accepting the rules of the Yankee giant, who, in addition to buying part of the share package, promised to deliver the mechanics for his models. This is how the Panther arrived in the land of Uncle Sam and with only one objective: to dethrone the Chevrolet Corvette.

The two-seater vehicle was designed by the Dutch Tom tjaarda; while the mechanical part was in charge of Gian Paolo Dallara. The chassis was made with a steel monocoque, had independent suspensions, limited slip differential, ventilated brake discs and magnesium wheels. It had a central Ford V8 engine that delivered between 285 and 330 horsepower depending on the versions and a transaxle gearbox inherited from the Ford GT40.

Elvis was one of the first owners of the Pantera and he used it to go back and forth with his girlfriend. However, one day the sports car failed him and he paid dearly for the mistake. The singer had argued with Linda and in the middle of the fight asked her to get out of the car. She did it without regard. Elvis, still fired up by the discussion, wanted to leave the place. He started the car, but the Pantera didn't start.

Why did Elvis Presley shoot a De Tomaso Pantera?Enraged, El Rey had no qualms about doing justice in his own way. He took one of the weapons he always had in his possession and shot the car three times. Legend has it that after receiving the three bullets, the Panther did start, although no one could ever confirm it.

The sports car still exists and is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum of the Angels. Of course, he still has all three holes from Elvis's fit of rage.

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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