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Pantera Seat Identification

Pantera Seat Identification - Tube Frame versus Pan Frame

Pantera Seat Identification - Tube Frame versus Pan Frame

There is much confusion when we talk about what type of seat frames we have in our Pantera’s. Hopefully this write-up will make it easier to identify what type of seat frames you either have (or want) for your Pantera.

Click on pictures for larger views


tube-frame-small.jpg                        pan-seat-frame-small.jpg

The early Pantera came with a tube style seat frame where the back could be unbolted from the bottom. This seat frame used “horse hair” as a cushioning component instead of molded seat foam like we all expect. There was a small layer of foam glued over the bolster areas but this is simply flat thin foam that didn’t provide all that much comfort.

Some of the advantages of the tube style seat frame are that it is a stronger design than the pan style frame and has a very low profile seating area allowing tall individuals more headroom. Some folks have replaced their pan style frames for the tube style frame to gain more headroom.

tube-frame-back-small.jpg                    tube-frame-bottom-small.jpg

The disadvantage is the tube style frame isn’t as comfortable as the newer pan style frame that employed molded seat foam instead of the horse hair in the tube style frame. The seat with the tube style frame (in my opinion) doesn’t look quite as nice as the seat with the pan style frame because of the gap between the bottom and back however that gap isn’t all that noticeable once installed in the car.

As stated above, the advantages of the pan style frame are looks and comfort. Since the pan style uses molded seat foam the seat is much more comfortable than the tube style seat frame using horse hair.

There are two main disadvantages with the pan style seat frame. They are not quite as strong as the tube style frame and often develop cracks at the mounting locations and at the joint between the seat bottom and seat backs. The other issue is they are a bit thicker than the tube style seat frame so headroom could be an issue for taller individuals.

tube-frame-seat-small.jpg                 pan-frame-seat-small.jpg

Once you know the difference between the two different seat types they are pretty easy to tell apart. The easiest way to tell the difference is the tube style frame is a two piece design where the seat back can be unbolted from the seat bottom. The later pan style seat frame is constructed from 2 stamped steel pans that are spot welded together creating a single one piece seat frame.

Another easy way to tell is the tube style seat design has a single piping edge along the seat back where the pan style seat frame has two piping edges running down the seat back.

Generally speaking, the tube style frames came in 71 and early 72 Pantera’s. The 71 Pantera had the vertical pleats. Then horizontal comfort-weave style pleats were introduced somewhere in late 71/early 72 cars. Later 72-74 Pantera’s had the pan style seat frames and had the same style horizontal comfort-weave style pleats however the pleats angled slightly towards the front corners of the seat bottom.