Panoz Roadster

Panoz Roadster

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Panoz Roadster

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The Panoz Roadster is a sports car launched in 1992 by the American manufacturer Panoz Auto Development Company of Georgia. The Roadster was succeeded by the AIV Roadster in 1997. They were built using aluminum, similar to that of the Plymouth Prowler first sold several years later in 1999. The Panoz Roadster was the first American built aluminum intensive vehicle.


Panoz had purchased the rights to a frame designed by Frank Costin used in a defunct Irish sportscar called the TMC Costin. Panoz had Freeman Thomas design a new body for the car. resulting in bodywork both light and strong. Ford Mustang running gear, engine, and transmission were used, as was a solid rear axle and independent front suspension. A seven man crew built the first ten cars, and other workers were added later to the production team. The Costin chassis was never put under a production car, instead the early Roadsters featured a TIG welded stainless steel tubing frame, and extensive use of CNC machined and stamped parts.


The Roadster had no top or tonneau cover, and no provision or intention of having either. No automatic transmission was offered, only the manual 5-speed. A small heater core delivered warmth to the windshield for defrosting, since the US DOT requirements mandated it. There was no radio, no heater, no air conditioner,...
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