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18 January 2019

Someone shoehorned an 800hp, 9.3-litre Hemi in this Pantera

By James LisleJames Lisle
Just to give you some perspective, this is 3.5-litres(!) bigger than the original's 5.8-litre Cleveland engine...

This is what happens when you let a former Top Fuel fabricator loose on an Italian supercar.

Purchased from an insurance company for $10,000 in 1988, this 1980 De Tomaso Pantera GT5 has had one of the more extreme engine swaps we’ve seen in recent times. Mostly because we have the impression that Goran Malmberg, a 75-year old Swede, is not doing this for a laugh...

He’s been tinkering on his “Hemipanter” for well over a decade now, having gone through the original 351 Cleveland, a Boss 302 with Weber carbs, and a 500ci Ford big-block. But, as Goran is one of those people who believes in the phrase “there’s no replacement for displacement”, an aluminum 572ci Hemi V8 was honoured to be the final choice in 2013.

  • Back in 1988: the first day of reckoning. (image credit: Hotrod.com) Back in 1988: the first day of reckoning. (image credit: Hotrod.com)
  • Sure, it's not what you'd call "compact". But what an engine! (image credit: Hotrod.com) Sure, it's not what you'd call "compact". But what an engine! (image credit: Hotrod.com)

The specs are insane. It cranks out 596kW (800hp)/869Nm, does 0-60mph (96km/h) in 3.3 seconds, and is hooked up to a five-speed ZF manual. Fuel delivery is covered by a custom multi-port fuel injection-system (940cc injectors) that can be configured for E85, all eight 61mm throttle-bodies were custom fabricated, the aluminium heads have been ported, the cams are more aggressive, the engine is square on bore and stroke at 114.3mm each (a Subaru BRZ’s is 86mm), the compression ratio is 13.0:1, the sump holds 10.4 litres of black gold, the reinforced chassis is twice as rigid as an Audi TT or Lotus Elise, the brakes are Lockheed ventilated discs, and the massive Z-rated Pirelli P-Zeros are 245mm(f) and 355mm(r) wide. You can take a breath now.

  • Cooling is likely one of the bigger issues with this engine, apart from the trumpets eliminating rear visibility. (image credit: Hotrod.com) Cooling is likely one of the bigger issues with this engine, apart from the trumpets eliminating rear visibility. (image credit: Hotrod.com)
  • While the engine's 9.4-litre capacity is one thing, this 45-litre muffler is another. (image credit: Hotrod.com) While the engine's 9.4-litre capacity is one thing, this 45-litre muffler is another. (image credit: Hotrod.com)
  • Apparently, the Hemi's factory water pump protruded into the cabin too much. A Chev water pump was deemed more 'suitable'. (image credit: Hotrod.com) Apparently, the Hemi's factory water pump protruded into the cabin too much. A Chev water pump was deemed more 'suitable'. (image credit: Hotrod.com)
  • The cabin features a full carbon fibre dash and obscure Italian gauges that don't really work. (image credit: Hotrod.com) The cabin features a full carbon fibre dash and obscure Italian gauges that don't really work. (image credit: Hotrod.com)

The entire suspension system has also been upgraded, with custom uprights and control arms up front, and coilovers all ‘round. Which is great, because the Hemipanter also only weighs 1,065kgs. That’s including the black hole of an engine…

For more details on Goran's build, check out his video below or his website here.

Sources: Engine Swap Depot and Hotrod.com.

What do you think of the Hemipanter? Would you be brave enough to give it a drive? Tell us in the comments below.