The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"
When I purchased my Pantera it had some type of 1971 Mustang style mirror copies. They were mounted on the top of the door skin next to the small side window. In the 70s they were probably really "hot stuff".
1971 Mustang style copy
I decided that I wanted a new mirror that would update the look of the car to the larger rectangular mirror shape. As the doors had holes in them I didnít want to go with the glass-mounted mirrors and leave holes in the doors. I also wanted a mirror that would sit level and use the old mounting holes.
I looked at a lot of mirrors by Rally Manufacturing and Vitaloni. I tried some neat looking "Euro Look" by Rally with large rubber bellows at the adjustment joint. They looked great on the car but the mounting system didnít attach very firmly to the door. There wasn't an easy solution to improve the mounting and Rally didnít have any improvement ideas so they went back to Pep Boys.
I looked at the Vitaloni "Baby Turbo", "Baby Bravo", "Black Mirror" and the "Baby Tornado". I ended up with "Baby Tornado" mirrors by Vitaloni (an Italian company, how appropriate). They have a flat black paintable finish with a non-glare mirror lens. They are a good-sized "flag" type mirror with a small rubber bellows at the adjustment joint. They have a good strong mounting system that uses the old holes and they they sit level.
They extend out from the car about 2.5 inches more than the original mirrors to give a good view around the back fenders. The "Baby Tornado" mirror area is larger than the original mirrors but about 1 inch shorter in length and .25 inches shorter in height than my wife's Nissan Maxima SE mirrors.
"Baby Tornado" mirrors by Vitaloni
View from the outside
View from the driver's position looking out of the car. A really big improvement over the old mirrors!
The bracket mount when attached to the top edge of the door will not let the mirror move down past the level position. The only mirror movement possible is up, front to back or twist.
You can get the "Baby Tornado" mirrors at Pep Boys for about $25 each. The Drivers side mirror is #5567 and the passenger side is #5521.
Various models of the Vitaloni mirrors have been factory equipment on the Ferrari, other Italian cars and used on certain Euro Panteras and the GT5.
After installing the "Baby Tornado" mirrors I located a set of used but original GT5 type Vitaloni mirrors. It turns out one of the Atlanta Pantera guys, Mark Drastal had them saved with his Pantera spare parts collection. I guess I should have talked to Mark first!
At first glance the original mirrors look like the Pep Boy's "Baby Turbo" but they are not the same. The original mirrors have a cast metal base, metal linkage inside the bellows for up and down movement and a spring loaded safety fold back mechanism. The front to back movement is fixed by the spring loaded fold back mechanism. The mirror adjustment is done by moving the mirror that is mounted inside the housing on a gimbel.
After some clean up work on the mirrors the "Baby Tornado" mirrors came off and the new Vitaloni mirrors went on. They mounted in the same place as the "Baby Tornado" mirrors using the same screw holes. The factory position of the mirror on the GT5 is closer to the front of the door but I needed to reuse the old mounting holes.
View of the Vitaloni GT5 type mirrors.
After installing the mirrors I found that the gimbel would not move far enough for the mirror to tilt at the angle that I wanted for easy viewing. Chuck Engles of Oklahoma City had the same problem with his mirrors and suggested that some of the gimbel opening be cut away to provide more movement.
Image of the mirror and the gimbel removed from the enclosure. The mirror is face down. The mirror and gimbel assembly is held in the enclosure by two screws
Image of the mirror and the gimbel disassembled. The mirror is face down.
Image of the outside part of the gimbel to be modified. The outside top edge of the gimbel was cut away about 1/16" where it was hitting the back side of the mirror and the inside of the gimbel hole was cutaway about 1/16" to provide more movement. A X-acto knife was used to cut the plastic and then the edge was sanded smooth. With the modification the mirror has plenty of adjustment.
Mike Drew provided the above image of four Pantera mirror types. Top left, Vitaloni Californian (OEM for the European GTS) Top right, standard issue Ford mirror (driverís side was standard, passenger side was a dealer option. Still available new from Mustang sources) Bottom left, Dodge Omni (or is it Dodge Colt, or both?), flush-mounts to glass. Vendors sell kits to adapt them smoothly, including a power option. Bottom right is the Vitaloni mirror used on some of the late GT5 Panteras like the ones that I put on my car.