While I was walking down the infield's main road at Road Atlanta during the 2010 Petit Le Mans endurance race, a beautiful blue Esperante passed by me. I quickly started filming, only then realizing that the driver was Don Panoz, founder of not only Panoz Auto Development, but also the entire American Le Mans Series. Thanks, indeed, Don, for the amazing cars and racing that you have helped bring to us!
Panoz Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans
I film the all-new, limited edition Panoz Abruzzi Spirit Of Le Mans at it's
North American debut during the 2010 Petit Le Mans endurance race at Road
Atlanta. Besides possibly being the most evil-looking production car ever,
it is also a technological marvel. I am pleased to present the first full
video of this car on youtube.
The Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans consists of only 81 examples, which in 2013
represents the number of 24 Hours of Le Mans races since the event's
inception in 1923. All of the Spirit of Le Mans editions will be sold in
Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The Corvette ZR1's V8 engine is used to
produce over 600 hp in the Abruzzi, which, like every other Panoz, is
handbuilt in Hoschton, Georgia. In addition to the mammoth power and torque
from the LS9, the car is super light and super strong, being the first road
car built with the new REAMS material, which is stronger and lighter than
carbon fiber. I could go on about all of the incredible details
incorporated into this car, but I'll let the car speak for itself. :)
The song is Genesis by Justice.
2010 Petit Le Mans endurance race part 3
I compile more clips of the 2010 Petit Le Mans endurance race at Road
Atlanta. I film the cars downshifting into turn 6, rolling through turn 7
and then beginning the long acceleration down the back straightaway.
Absolutely fantastic sounds! :)
Montage of supercars! AMAZING - Shelby Series 1, Mercedes SLS AMG, Panoz Esperante
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Find out what the black car at the beginning is here!
Chris Ashworth records Part 3 of the Woodward Dream Cruise. You will see a
Shelby Series 1, Lamborghini Murcielago, Lotus Europa, Ferrari 612
Scaglietti, Dodge Viper, Corvette C6R, Camaro ZL1 prototype, '71 'Cuda,
Panoz Esperante, Mercedes SLS AMG, among many others!
Panoz AIV Roadster Loud sound
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Chris Ashworth records a very rare Panoz AIV Roadster revving and driving
away. AIV stands for Aluminum Intensive Vechicle. This car has the engine
of a Mustang SVT Cobra.
Panoz Esperante--D&M Motorsports Video Test Drive Review 2012 Chris Moran
SEE OVER 100 IN-DEPTH AUTO REVIEWS @ www.SUPERCARNETWORK.com. A first drive
for Chris in the Panoz Esperante. Presented by D&M Motorsports, hosted by
Our intentions were good. This would be the first magazine to pit two
similarly priced, low-volume, Ford SVT Mustang Cobra-powered sports cars
from a pair of young and eager companies in a breathtaking shootout.
The fatal flaw was the timing. Qvale Modena is already shipping Mangustas
to customers. The company diverted one for this test and certified that it
was fairly representative of that which citizens of the land may purchase.
On the other hand, Panoz Auto Development Company in Hoschton, Georgia, is
still developing its Esperante. It did produce a prototype with Irish-green
paint and oatmeal leather for testing, but the car was clearly yanked out
of the oven while still a little squishy.
Regular production of the aluminum body panels had yet to begin, the
interior is still undergoing minor revisions, and raising the unperfected
convertible top occupied two engineers with tools for 20 minutes. In short,
the Esperante's test numbers have too many asterisks to be used in an
honest comparison with the Mangusta.
Not to say that the time spent with the Esperante was a complete waste. The
Panoz shows promise of maturing into a shapely, competent roadster, and
Danny Panoz promises the first buyers will be able to unload their extra
$81,961 on one by this fall, once he obtains tops and bodies for the 100 or
so completed chassis sitting in his factory.
That's just a few thousand clams shy of the Mangusta's price, but
philosophically, the Esperante is a completely different animal. Panoz
splices in far more Mustang
DNA, including the steering rack, the ABS-equipped brakes (not available on
the Mangusta), the independent rear suspension (IRS) module, and parts of
the floorpan and fire wall. After modifications, those bits bolt to a space
frame of interlocking aluminum extrusions that form the main structural
Oddly enough, despite the high Mustang content, the Esperante feels
less like a Mustang than
the Qvale does. Panoz is aiming for a more classic sports-car experience
and succeeds in part with a lower driving position, a compact three-spoke
steering wheel that neatly conceals its airbag, and two pontoon fenders
that bracket the view out the windshield.
The crisply tuned Panoz also behaves lighter on its feet. It turns in with
Ginsu sharpness and bites the pavement hard in corners. But the Esperante
demands a smooth hand near the limit because the rear end is easy to
fluster and difficult to collect after it breaks loose.
Blame may lie with the Cobra's IRS module. Ford engineers designed it first
and foremost to bolt directly to the Mustang's live-axle pickup points,
sacrificing weight and performance for packaging convenience. Panoz adds
only a cantilevered coil-on-shock assembly to make it work in the
Esperante's space frame. Perhaps more tweaking will get the Panoz and Ford
ends working in better harmony.
Throttle response is lustier in the Panoz, and it trounces the Mustang Cobra and the Mangusta in
acceleration and braking. An oppressively boomy, low-restriction Exhaust may have helped contribute to the
scorching drag-strip times. Danny says they are still tinkering with
Since it last appeared on these pages (January 1999), the Esperante has
experienced some noteworthy revisions. "Nobody liked the pursed lips,"
admits Danny, so Panoz widened the tiny oval mouth that gave the first
Esperante a face out of The X-Files. Inside, the company inched the shift
knob closer to the driver by installing a remote shift linkage. It also
repositioned the center-mounted gauges so that their binnacle is flat to
the panel a la BMW Z8. Fine, except that they are even harder to read
quickly and the reflection of the sky washes out the dials.
The Panoz may need to bake some more, but with Qvale out booking sales, the
temperature should be hotter than ever.
512 Road Race Mustang @ Laguna Seca - Corkscrew Invitational 2010
My 1967 Mustang Fastback
dedicated Road Race car @ Mazda Raceway, Laguna Seca for the Corkscrew
Invitational Race - September 18/19 2010.
The car has gone through many changes since the last posted videos. The
front suspension has been completely redesigned to allow wider front tires
and improved suspension geometry. The engine is essentially the same,
though now uses a belt drive for the camshaft rather than a timing chain.
This event was great fun. It had been ~12 years since this car was driven
at Laguna Seca due to the strict sound restrictions at the track. This
event was held on one of the allowed open sound weekends and was a great
success. Thanks to Hooked On Driving, the Nor-Cal Shelby Club, and the
other clubs that made this event happen.
This particular footage is from the session before the race on Sunday.
Unfortunately the camera stopped after a lap or two of the race, so I don't
have complete footage. We did finish in first place, with a very fast
Panoz in a close second. It was a great race, I passed the Panoz cleanly
in turn 9, and worked hard to stay in front for the last three or so laps.
This is the same video file as my last upload, this time using a much