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Yellow fever: Ringbrothers ADRNLN De Tomaso Pantera

We know what you’re thinking: that this custom-built De Tomaso Pantera isn’t very Classic Driver, but bear with us. Beneath the unique, if divisive, exterior, is a Seventies muscle icon packing some serious punch…

The folks responsible for this ‘redefined Italian classic’ – dubbed the ADRNLN (the omission of vowels stumped us, too) – are Mike and Jim Ring, of the aptly named custom vehicle builders and billet manufacturers, Ringbrothers.

Its story is a humbling one. Mike and Jim got their hands on the 1971 Pantera, in an unrestored state, after its owner Randy Brickle tragically died of cancer. Brickle’s wife entrusted Ringbrothers to create a truly unique car in its late owner’s memory.

Not for the faint-hearted

Let’s start with the exterior. Gone are the tasteful touches of chrome and the dinky wing mirrors. Look past the loud yellow paint and frankly vulgar roof scoop and you’ll notice the subtle, rounded edges, those handcrafted flared arches (shrouding the huge HRE forged wheels) and the vast brake cooling ducts. Overall, the styling is not altogether to our taste, although judging by its popularity at the SEMA show, where it was unveiled, we’re guessing it will have its fair share of admirers. After all, it’s what’s underneath that counts.

The Pantera followed the tried-and-tested recipe that originated in the legendary AC Cobra, melding classic European styling with a big-block American heart. In hindsight, the last thing the car needed was more power, but in today’s obsessive lust for horsepower (especially in America) that’s just what Ringbrothers decided to do.

Starting to sound better...

Powering the ADRNLN is a Wenger Motorsports LS3 unit developing a mammoth 600HP, transmitted to the wheels via a five-speed ZF ’box. And to ensure that the signature Pantera growl remains intact, there are two Flowmaster stainless steel silencers. Suddenly, the whole package seems a lot more tempting.

What’s more, the interior was designed by the innovation skunk works at Nike. It’s divided into two ‘personalities’ – the driver’s side is said to ‘highlight performance fit and luxury elegance’, while the passenger side ‘emphasises confident simplicity and superior comfort’. To us, it looks as though one side is yellow (not a subtle shade, either) and the other black. Are we alone in longing for a tan hide?

So ask yourself: is the ADRNLN a redefined, modern spin on the Pantera, true to the original’s roots – or is it a simple case of confused identity? We’ll leave that for you to decide.

Photos: Ringbrothers

Several De Tomaso Panteras can be found in the Classic Driver Market.

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