A classic foreign car with a local connection helped end the week on a high note for employees at the Ford plant in Windsor.

Dozens of Pantera model vehicles from across North America were parked at the Essex engine lot Friday for a weekend-long homecoming.

The Pantera might have been built in Italy, but the mid-engine sports car used Windsor-built Ford V8 engines during the 1988 to 1992 model years.

Designed by the De Tomaso Modena (Italy) car company from 1971-1992, the Pantera competed with other high-end sports cars such as Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and Porsche.

All told, just over 7,200 were produced, each featuring a proud Ford-built engine - beginning with a 5.8L Ford 351 Cleveland V8, and later, the locally-built 5.8L Ford 351 Windsor V8 (1988-1990) and 4.9L Ford 302 Windsor V8 (1990-1992).

A favorite of celebrities upon release – including Elvis Presley and Tim Horton – it is now a darling of collectors the world over, including noted car buff Jay Leno.