1992 GT Pantera Midnight Aurora... a repro attempt


GT Fan
One of my favourite builds over the last year was @Bart_75 re-imagining a GT Avalanche into Tequila Sunrise 2.0

Tequila Sunrise 2.0

Shortly afterwards, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a (rather neglected) 1991 GT Team Avalanche Midnight Aurora which I restored. While I was researching this bike, I saw a few photos of GT Pantera with the Midnight Aurora paintwork. From what I could glean, this was a special order paintwork from GT and no-one quite knows how many were made.....but not many... a handful perhaps.

I remember thinking how cool it would be to find one. @Bicisdelos90 in Argentina has one Pantera

But the likelihood of finding one was pretty low... So I thought I would follow Bart's idea and create my own...well have a go anyway...

First thing to do was buy a Pantera frame. I found one on eBay. In retrospect, it probably would have been easier to buy a complete bike... but I bought a frames for not very much.

(Amongst GT's, it seems that Panteras don't get a lot of love... always in the shadow of their more successful big brother Zaskar... I do think that they are underrated)


Well-used, but complete and with a U-brake and seat-tube cable thingy. I gave it a clean-up and left it the shed for months whilst I worked on other projects...

In the meantime, I was collecting components. LX Exage 500 parts are not very glam...so are refreshingly cheap-ish.

I also asked Ákos Szilvassy if he could make me some decals...which he did... you can find them on eBay now because of this experiment ;)


After a few other projects were completed, I was ready to start. First to strip the frame. This took ages and two cans of paint stripper...Pantera Paint is tough! I still had to sand large parts of it.

I've learned from experience though that you never regret time spent on prep... so it took a couple of weeks to get the frame ready to spray.

First two coats were Self Etching Primer paint for Aluminium


Once that had dried, it was time for the base coat. Black. I used spray.bike paint. 3 coats.


Next I needed to apply the Aurora's.

I used Acrylic Metallic paint and a Sponge (Real Sponge by Seawhite of Brighton) and experimented on a piece of black guttering to get the right paint load and application method to match the pattern as closely as I could.

I'll admit I was anxious about starting it and f**king it up...but then I thought it's just an old Pantera frame, 'who cares?' and got on with it... it was actually quite enjoyable/


Once the Aurora's had dried I applied the decals. For the first time ever, I almost messed this up.. but salvaged it..



Final stage was to clear coat it. I use SprayMax 2K, three coats.

The clear coat was done yesterday morning. right now it is drying/hardening for a week or two before I build the bike up...

To be continued....
Started to carefully build this one up, clear coat is dry but still soft, so being really careful. Hit my first issue...the threads on the forks were damaged, so had to chase those.. took me 2 hours to carefully do this and get the headset on... :oops:. A level of patience was required that I never had before I started restoring bikes!!:LOL: Put one some Ritchey Vantage Expert rims (which I think I bought from GT Tom) on DX Hubs with the obvious tyre choice. I found some GT riser bars a while back that I was keeping for this project. I also fitted the BB, derailleur, and Cranks, but it got dark so photos tomorrow. On the hunt for a 26.8mmm seat post which I couldn't find, then realised I had used on my Zaskar. I might get a cheap one off Amazon for now whilst I look for a Tioga or Shimano one... IMG_3771 (1).jpeg IMG_3772 (1).jpeg
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That paint is epic! Amazing job. I’ve not seen that colour before. I’m going to attempt my first full repaint later this year. If I get mine half as good as yours I’ll be a happy man, and I’m only going for one colour!
Thanks :), It was a special order apparently, so they're pretty rare, hence me hatching plan to create one :). I guess, in 1992, if you had the money to get GT to do a custom paint job, you'd probably spend it on a higher spec. bike instead....

I'm pretty chuffed with how it turned out to be honest. I'd hoped to create something similar, but I'm sure their process must have been pretty similar to the one I devised...although I'm sure GT didn't use rattle cans :LOL:.

Good luck with your paint job plans!!
How did I miss this Phill??? I definitely need to plan a work trip up to London sometime to have a look at all these amazing GT's you're amassing. Where are you putting them all??? 🤣 Amazing paint job on that, and a nice 16" frame too? Love the lower end groupset too! :cool:💪😍