The popular Panthermobile newly restored by Galpin Auto Sports


Its extraordinary silhouette continues to amaze to this day.

After decades of anonymity, a few years ago reappeared in auction the Panthermobile, the vehicle created expressly to appear just a few seconds in the opening credits of the animated series “The Pink Panther”, and that now, since with the current owners, has been subjected to a deep work of restoration.

Fortunately, since its inception at the end of the sixties, the vehicle had been safely tucked away, and it was not until the year 2007 that was put to auction, to return to change hands shortly after, in 2011. At that time, as you can see in the gallery dedicated deputy, the general condition of the model was not bad, because it was whole and apparently in good general condition. However, its massive V8 engine for a long time had ceased and various elements and finishes, such as coatings, textiles, already accused him over the years.

The charge to restore it have not been other than those of Galpin Auto Sports, the same workshop in California where a few years ago, I rode the famous program of customizations of the MTV and in recent times have been related with the designer, Henrik Fisker. Those who have performed works such as the Rocket, a transformation with base Ford Mustang or the recent Force One, a supercar widely criticized by Aston Martin due to the resemblance of the first sketches presented with the lines of the models of the british firm, whose strokes were the work in part of one’s own Henrik Fisker.


Detail of the front cockpit single-seater.

as seen in the images, the result of the work of GAS can be seen with the naked eye. This unique model has recovered the original gloss that he lost decades ago, and above all, and again to be a model fully functional.

the structure of The Panthermobile is anything but conventional, taking the concept “cab-forward”, to extremes rarely seen. Their bold lines draw a rear cabin without windows, and interestingly, without seats, fully clad in velvet and pink satin, while the cockpit is situated above the sharp nose, in front of their own front wheels.

The huge engine Oldsmobile V8 is located between the passenger compartment and the cockpit discovered, on the front axle, and produced originally between 375 and 400 horsepower depending on the version. As they reached their creators put the wide rear cabin after the motor without the transmission will affect the least it was far more simple than it appears to the naked eye, as the Panthermobile was built on the mechanical platform of the Oldsmobile Toronado, a model whose first generation was in marketing between 1965 and 1970, and it has the honor of being the first series model of front-wheel-drive a us label since the decade of the thirties.


The engine is a huge V8 with more than 375 HP.

The size of this sculpture on wheels is a massive, 7.01 meters long by 1.83 meters wide and with a height really low, little more than a meter. The vehicle although it was always functional, as you can see in the intro of the animated series, what is certain is that it was never registered because it was not approved. Its particular structure does not meet the safety standards of his time, especially in what is related with its sharp front, very aesthetic but devoid of structures for impact absorption.

One of the curiosities least known of the model is its enormous cabin is tremendously conditioned by the low height of the vehicle, so that sit in a normal position is almost impossible task for people of average height. Hence, practically there are images in which they see people in the cab.

The Panthermobile, despite being a one-off very popularly known, has a few sources a bit confusing. In 2007 it was put to auction by the designer Jay Ohrberg, creator of some of the vehicles most famous and iconic film and television, as K. I. T. T., the De Lorean of “Back to the future”, the General Lee from ”The Dukes of Hazzard” or the Batmobile from 1966 and 1989. However, despite the fact that the vehicle was his property until then really had not been his creation, but given the history of Ohrberg, many people believed that the Panthermobile was another of his works.


Its huge rear cabin has no seats.

This confusion was corrected shortly after in some media, but other, simply not noticed the error, so that when in 2011 he returned to be auctioned, many announced the model as a work of Ohrberg.

The reality is that the “Panthermobile” was assembled in 1969 in Bob Reisner’s California Show Cars, being a creation of Ed Newton with Dan Woods, Joe Bailon, Bill Honda and Bill Hines. The price was a more than impressive $ 100,000 of the time, as an example, a Camaro Z-28, 1969, the most powerful and expensive of the range, it cost a little over $ 3,500 at that time.

After being used to the animated series, the Panthermobile was passed to private hands, and at some point that we don’t know precise was owned by Jay Ohrberg, who kept it until 2007. Despite being a model rarely seen, except in the samples where it has been exposed, the Panthermobile has been part of popular imagery, especially due to the large number of times that the original series was broadcast on television.


The huge V8 Oldsmobile is located on the front axle.

More recently, she even came to be in an ad of some football boots, the Nike Mercurial IV Vapor Rosa,
in which you could see the French footballer Frank Ribery at the controls
of the vehicle, in a montage on the same intro from the original series.

After the restoration, Galpin Auto Sports showed the final result on the 18th of September, being exposed at the dealership Galpin Motors of North Hills, California.