KURT BUSCH 1972 DETOMASO PANTERA

INITIAL DESIGN

I was contracted by Kurt Busch to design some custom exterior parts, develop some colorways, and ultimately the final paint scheme. My contact, Jesse Walker, and I collaborated on the design direction of the Pantera based off of what their ultimate goal was for the car. The first order of business was to work out the aerodynamics which include the design of the lower air dam/valence and extractor hood. Jesse was a wealth of information and experience and I fed off of that and ultimately we came to the design for the lower air dam/valence you see below. As an option I added a carbon fiber lower front splitter for more aero if time permitted in the build schedule. Next I turned my attention to the bumper. In 1973 they introduced the "L" bumper on the Panteras. Although these were not

Next I turned my attention to the bumper. In 1973 they introduced the "L" bumper on the Panteras. Knowing that the "L" bumper was not as popular as the smaller euro-style "bumperettes" I had an idea for improving the styling of it and in turn it would also improve the aerodynamics of the car by lowering the leading edge of the front end. Like always it just comes down to time and sometimes resources. In the end they went with the euro-style "bumperettes". The redesigned "L" bumper (left-silver) was shortened about an inch or so. The front fenders and hood transition more smoothly into the front bumper and it'd be body color versus molded black on the stock Pantera. My revised bumper gives the car a cleaner more aggressive look in my opinion than the euro-style "bumperettes" (red-right) while adding improved aerodynamics.

Once we had the front view design work hammered out for the most part, we were able to focus on the details out back. Jesse Walker provided direction on the overall shape of the rear side hatch air intakes for the engine that allowed air to be forced in as well as pulled in by the engine. Next an adjustable carbon fiber rear blade-style spoiler was added. We threw in a lower diffuser as an option again - if time permitted we'd look at putting this on the car. Last but not least we had to start thinking about exhaust system options. This was also another detail we would look at doing something unique and different if time and space permitted. Stock exhaust options were satin black or titanium which are shown in the rear views below. I was even able to capture the bluish-bronze coloring titanium turns after heated up. I explored four unique rear center exist exhaust design shapes shown in the rear views below. 

PAINT SCHEME INSPIRATION

With the design end of things wrapped up we needed a paint scheme. In total I believe I created a dozen or more colorways exploring colors, and paint schemes with a satin black bottom and graphics as a throwback to the classic Pantera look. For fun we even tried a Martini Racing paint scheme to help get the creative juices flowing. I really wanted to create something specifically for Kurt - something that would really pop and would relate to him. At this point Kurt was leaning heavy towards a shade of dark blue. Then I remembered Kurt's a huge Ford GT/GT40 fanatic and I recalled a vintage Ford GT40 road car that was converted into the very first Gulf Racing race car and it was dark blue metallic with an orange stripe and roundels. Once I showed this to Jesse and Kurt - that was the inspiration for the paint scheme!

PANTERA BUILD

Quite a bit of my artwork was used on the show in a few scenes to help give direction and inspiration for the build. Ultimately they finished the car and it's debut race on TV. Special thanks to Harris Lue who took these awesome photographs of the finished 1972 Pantera build. Please click on the link below to see more of Harris' work at Lue Creative!

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Check out more of Harris Lue's work by clicking on the Lue Creative logo here!

To see my design renderings on the television show, click on the image below.

To see some video imagery of the Kurt Busch Pantera click the image below.