Car Catcher: Has the Internet Forgotten the Panoz Esperante?

When's the last time you saw a Panoz Esperante on the road? While exact production numbers eluded our search, it's probably not too far-fetched to assume they're rare-car low. According to Panoz, Esperante production continues today, albeit only in Spyder guise.

If you don't want to buy a new one, then you're in luck: Wire Wheel Classic Sports Cars has a 2001 Esperante—chassis No. 2—on offer. It comes with a Ford-sourced, 4.6-liter V8 with a supercharger affixed, and can be purchased for less than $46,000. 

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slowbird
slowbird HalfDork
9/18/19 11:18 p.m.

I haven't forgotten! The Panoz is one of my favorite all-time "Powered By Ford" cars.

Also, obligatory "Pepperidge Farm remembers" reference.

 

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
9/19/19 8:23 a.m.

I want to like them, but that nose...

slowbird
slowbird HalfDork
9/19/19 11:45 a.m.

Aw, it's not so bad! It looks like a friendly puppy. A big-nosed friendly puppy. laugh

Daviddan
Daviddan
9/20/19 8:36 a.m.

Coincidentally I just bought one.  Hope they aren’t too forgotten.  I do  think they are a great value at todays market prices.  Great handling and power (GTLM has supercharged V8)  The factory is still around and you can get parts and at very good prices (of course the driveline is Ford sourced)  - everyone there has been amazingly helpful and friendly.  Quick example - got replacement floor mats for less than new ones for my other cars.  I love my Esperante. 

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
9/20/19 8:48 a.m.

In reply to Daviddan :

That looks great in all black! What year is yours? And of course, we hope you enjoy it. 

Daviddan
Daviddan New Reader
9/20/19 9:00 a.m.

In reply to Jordan Rimpela :

It’s a 2004 GTLM - got lucky and found one with low miles.  Drove it over 600 miles on first day of ownership and have to say that they appear to be robustly made cars.    

Daviddan
Daviddan New Reader
9/20/19 9:02 a.m.

In reply to Jordan Rimpela :

I did learn in my research that the new nose is a direct bolt on if one favors the new car’s styling.  

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
9/20/19 10:44 a.m.

In reply to Daviddan :

While the new nose helps, I just wish they would do something about the strange dagmars beneath the headlights.

slowbird
slowbird HalfDork
9/20/19 6:36 p.m.

In reply to Jordan Rimpela :

Dagmars?

*googles it*

Ah, I see.

Downtown
Downtown
9/21/19 9:36 a.m.

In reply to Daviddan :

Your car received an inspection somewhat recently from a previous, prospective buyer.  The inspection revealed your car needs an AC condenser core.  Also it's missing an airdam under the front.  Thankfully, both parts are cheap and readily available.

Enjoy your new Panoz!

wspohn
wspohn Dork
9/21/19 11:23 a.m.

Still looks like an anteater, but I prefer this to the Panoz - Shelby Series 1.  More expensive, though.

 

Daviddan
Daviddan New Reader
10/28/19 10:25 p.m.

In reply to Downtown :

Just catching up to this...

I had the AC serviced and so far a complete discharge of the AC and recharge has it cooling really well. I called the Factory about airdam and was told the street cars did not have them.   Can you point me in the direction of the info you referenced?  I’m really curious to learn as much as I can about the car’s history, etc.

As a follow up, I’ve already taken the car to several local get-together and on a long road trip and the car has been a pleasure.  It handles great, rides smoothly, has great acceleration.   Anyone considering one of these should do it.  You will not regret it.

Thanks!

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
10/29/19 9:20 a.m.

They really do look nice in black. 

Maddy
Maddy
11/9/19 12:27 a.m.
Daviddan said:

In reply to Downtown :

Just catching up to this...

I had the AC serviced and so far a complete discharge of the AC and recharge has it cooling really well. I called the Factory about airdam and was told the street cars did not have them.   Can you point me in the direction of the info you referenced?  I’m really curious to learn as much as I can about the car’s history, etc.

As a follow up, I’ve already taken the car to several local get-together and on a long road trip and the car has been a pleasure.  It handles great, rides smoothly, has great acceleration.   Anyone considering one of these should do it.  You will not regret it.

Thanks!

This looks great in all black! I loved it,....

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/22/19 9:08 a.m.

In reply to wspohn :

Not a common sight these days as well, but I saw one while at COTA for the F1 race. 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
11/22/19 6:14 p.m.

A downside of these sorts of used to be supercars is that things have moved on a bunch. The Panoz  and Shelby both manage to equal the performance of some of today's sports cars - if we are talking about 4 cylinder turbos. They just aren't very exciting if you own a modern V8 sports car.  But that's pretty much to be expected for a 10-15+ year gap.

I looked at a TVR awhile ago - a V8 model that I had lusted after in the old days but wasn't imported here. But when I took a hard look at the actual performance it came nowhere near my modern sports cars (which are 10+ years old now).

A lot of them are still neat cars for a sunny summer day, though.

Daviddan
Daviddan New Reader
11/23/19 10:54 a.m.

In reply to wspohn :

I respectfully disagree with your comment in regards to a 4 cylinder turbo.  I owned a  17 GT350 immediately before buying the GTLM and this car is similarly engaging for half the cost.  The 420hp V8 pulls the lighter weight of this all aluminum and carbon fiber car as well most current V8 sports cars.  The handling of the car is on par with current sports cars.   I do get your point overall though.

Daviddan
Daviddan New Reader
11/23/19 10:56 a.m.

For current and future owners, another individual has started a Facebook page open to all to learn more about the cars.  It's Panoz Esperante Club..  Closed group but all are welcome.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/23/19 11:11 a.m.

They have a Facebook Group for nearly anything. (Says the guy who moderates one that has maybe 56 members....)

Glad to see these cars getting some love--both the Series 1 and the Esperante. They shouldn't be forgotten. 

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