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Pantera Campagnolo Identification
by Mike Drew


Photo: 4Wheels.jpg

This view shows four of the five style of 8-inch wide (rear) Pantera wheels
in chronological order, no two alike. At top left is the rare three-slot
model (1970), top right is the one-slot (early 1971), bottom left is the
early two-slot (most 1971 and all 1972 Pre-L), and bottom right is the late
two-slot (mid-1973 and later.) Missing from this photo is the early L-model
wheel, used from August 1972 through mid-1973.

Despite general similarities, these four wheels differ in many, if not most
details. Note the three-slot and one-slot wheels are for all practical
purposes identical except for the number of slots. They feature extremely
crisp, flat features.

The early two-slot wheel appeared on all but the earliest Pre-L Panteras, and
while the design stands out taller from the face of the wheel, its contours
have been softened and rounded.

The L-model iterations were a blend of early- and late-style features; they
copied the early, flat style for the webbing and the pentagon, while the
raised surfaces for the holes are still rounded off.


Photo: 4WheelsBack.jpg

This shows the most dramatic differences between these wheels. Note how thin
and spindly the webbing on the back of the three-slot and one-slot wheels is,
compared with the Pre-L two-slot wheel and the even beefier late L-model
two-slot wheel. Both varients of the L-model wheel (early varient not
pictured here) are the same on the back side. The later wheels are slightly
heaver than the earlier versions, and intuitively, one would assume that the
latest version of the wheel is the strongest. How much stronger, though, is
anybody's guess!








These close-ups of the centers of these five wheel types illustrate many of
the stylistic differences. Again, except for the number of slots, the
one-slot and three-slot wheels are identical. The thin webs extend all the
way up to the top edge of the wheel center.

The Pre-L two-slot wheel has much thicker center webs, and both the webs and
the pentagon are larger, standing taller from the flat face of the wheel
(although, curiously, the pentagon portion is thinner). The raised surfaces
with the holes are also taller, and all of the contours are rounded off. The
wheel center has been beefed up considerably, to the point where reliefs must
be cut to allow a lug wrench to get around the lug nut.

The early L-model two-slot wheel takes these changes to a greater extreme.
The webbing is much thicker, although now it stops about a quarter of the way
down from the top edge of the wheel center. The wheel center is essentially
the same as the Pre-L two-slot however. The pentagon is once again thick,
and just a bit shorter than the early two-slot version. The contours are all
sharp and crisp except for those on the raised surfaces with the holes, which
are still rounded off.

The late L-model wheel is very similar to the early L-model, although the
wheel center has grown even thicker, necessitating deep relief cuts to
accommodate the lug nuts.


Photo: WheelSize.jpg

The size of the wheel is stamped in the outer portion of the rim. Although
it's barely visible in this photo, this one-slot wheel is stamped '8 K X 15';
later wheels just had '8 X 15'. These stampings are very faint, and if the
wheels have been stripped and repainted, or powdercoated, these stampings
often fill in and disappear. Be careful of this; more than a few people have
purchased Panteras only to later find they were sporting 7-inch wheels on all
four corners!


Photo: WheelDate.jpg

This rather dirty late two-slot wheel has been cleaned only where marked.
Perhaps due to the fact that the back side of wheels are rarely cleaned, the
backs of most Campy wheels are badly pitted and corroded.

The most interesting feature is the date of manufacture, which somehow
survived intact. All Pantera wheels were probably marked this way, but time
has taken its toll and obliterated most wheel's date stamps. The 'sunburst'
design located in the topmost recess is actually the date stamp, divided into
12 sections, like slices of pie. A dot is located in the first six of these
sections (starting at the 11 o'clock position) indicating this wheel was
manufactured in the sixth month, June. The year '73' appears in the center
of the 'sun'.


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