De Tomaso Nuova Pantera 2000 prototype to be auctioned

When De Tomaso presented this concept to a room of 500 people in 1999, to celebrate its 40th anniversary, it was an image of the future.

Dubbed the Pantera 2000, it was to be a pantomime supercar for the 21st century. Unfortunately the idea of a new supercar never came to fruition and the entire idea was shelved.

Two prototypes were built, however, with this being the only one left after the other was destroyed.

One remarkable part of this car's history is that despite the idea being scrapped, it is thought to have been the inspiration for the Bugatti Veyron, and you can see that in the rear haunches especially.

This car is very important historically too, for it was the very last car that the company's founder Alejandro De Tomaso would present to the public. It was also the very last modern De Tomaso, despite just being a rolling shell.

The styling house of Marcello Gandini – a man who has designed many legendary cars from the Lamborghini Miura to the Bugatti EB110 - masterminded this fascinating car.

The car was soon forgotten after 1999, being stored for some years in the De Tomaso facility until its doors closed for the last time in 2004. The Pantera 2000 was then acquired for the well-known Panini collection in Modena where it remained for 11 years.

The current owner bought the car and has carefully restored it, rectifying some damage it suffered during its time in storage and taking it back to the condition it was in when first shown to the public. Sadly, the original folding wing mirrors were lost.

With such an amazing pedigree and history behind it, this car is beyond unique. It will be offered for sale without a reserve at Sotheby's auction house in London on September 6.

It might not be a working prototype but it is surely one of the most important in supercar history especially as it is the only one in existence.

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