and sold many cars they had owned, enough of a variety to cover an impressive array of marques. Ted still has a vintage Ford Mustang. My tales were limited to only a few vehicles that I drove and babied, most of them for years at a time. One car that I drove for seven years was a 1966 black Sunbeam Tiger, bought new and, as it turned out, one of 7,085 produced. Chrysler bought the car’s parent company, Rootes, and folks in their boardroom couldn’t stomach continuing to put FoMoCo’s small block V-8 engine into it, and none of theirs was suitable; Chysler engines had their distributor in the back and there was no more room. In fact, one spark plug on my 260 cubic inch V-8 had to be changed through a hole in the firewall. In the first year of driving it got over 50,000 kilometers (32,000 miles) onto the odometer.
As the three of us approached one area of exhibits we stopped at a distance and tried to guess what manner of car we were seeing in the half dozen sitting in a row. Elaborate sports cars, yes, but who had made them? Above are the several De Tomaso Panteras included in a Phoenix car club which were driven down to Yuma and put on display. We had drawn a blank on where they originated. They are mid-engined sportscars made very fast by their big block Ford V8 engines (the Cleveland 351) and styling to match, from the designers at Ghia. An Argentinian, DeTomaso who had once designed a F1 car for Frank Williams, had bought the Italian design house, Ghia, with the Pantera one of its first offerings under him. On an historical note, Tim Horton, the NHL hockey player who started the Canadian fast food chain of the same name, met his demise at the wheel of a Pantera.