Live Auctions

1 of 44: 1992 Panoz Roadster

Panoz is a brand most of us don’t think of often, but they’ve been building some pretty radical cars for the last 30 years. Their first model was this Roadster, introduced in 1992, which means this is a first-year example. It has 2,797 miles and is up for sale here on eBay. It’s located in Fredericksburg, TX, and the asking price is $45,000. I appreciate the location for the photoshoot, with the old barn, truck and tractor in the background. A bit of a juxtaposition between old and new(er).  Take a look at the photos on the eBay listing – there are dozens of them and they’re all high-res.

Straight from the Panoz website: In 1988, Dan Panoz applied for a job at the Thompson Motor Company (TMC), an Irish car builder. When the company was liquidated, Dan seized the opportunity and bought the rights to one of the chassis TMC was using, designed by world renowned designer Frank Costin, the man who also built chassis for Maserati, Lotus and Lister.  Just over two years after the birth of Panoz Auto Development, the first Panoz model debuted: the 1992 Panoz Roadster. Built in the company’s small factory north of Atlanta, Georgia, the car reignited the true spirit of the American roadster. By 1995 the Panoz AIV Roadster, the first American Aluminum Intensive production vehicle, went into full production.

Apparently only 44 of these first-generation roadsters were built from 1992-1995, which makes this a pretty rare car. Thankfully, it appears to be in excellent condition with just under 3,000 miles driven over the last 30 years. I’ve not seen one in this turquoise color, but it definitely seems appropriate for an early 1990s hot rod. The paint looks to be in great shape, the tiny bumpers are still nice and shiny, and all the exposed running gear looks to be free of any damage or corrosion. The hard top is also in good condition.  I’ve read that no Roadsters came with hard tops, so is this an aftermarket item?  If you have any knowledge, let me know in the comments!

The interior is probably not a place you’d want to spend hours on end for a cross-country trip, but for some excursions on winding back roads this car would be a blast! The interior looks just about brand-new, and although it is very simple it appears to be designed and built to a very high quality. Notice the minimal gauges on the completely padded leather dashboard. The racing harnesses definitely hint at the racing values of Panoz.

The engine is Ford’s Mustang 5.0L V8 engine, which put out 205 horsepower (some sources say 225) in the first year of production, and 300 lb-ft of torque tied to a 5-speed manual transmission in a car that weighed only 2,200 pounds. That gave it some quick acceleration and nimble handling! This will be a fun car for the next owner. If it were yours, what stretch of road would you take it on first?


  1. CCFisher

    The ’87 – ’92 Mustang 5.0L engine was rated at 225 HP. In 1993, Ford re-rated it at 205 HP, even though no changes were made. Ford claimed that it was 205 HP all along and they were just correcting the rating, but the automotive press at the time speculated that the rating was arbitrarily lowered to make the 215 HP rating for the upcoming SN-95 Mustang appear like a step up.

    Like 4
    • Jwzg

      Changes over the years were cumulative. The ‘87-‘88 models used speed density metering and a more aggressive cam (ramp rates). They were runners compared to the relatively soft ‘90-‘95 engines. That GT-40 intake on the Panoz is worth 20 hp (and about $2k).

      Like 3
  2. Uncle Buck

    Modern cobra?

    Like 1
    • SirRaoulDuke

      The modern Cobra version is the later AIV, pretty much the same looks but lighter and available with a Kenne Bell supercharged 4.6 DOHC engine.

      Like 2
  3. Todd Zuercher

    This one will probably be putting out a little more HP than stock thanks to the GT-40 intake visible on the engine.

    Like 3
  4. Stan

    These are cool and obviously very quick cars , nice to see. Forgot about them totally. Thanks.

    Like 2
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    Got to see a couple of these up close as Dr. Panoz had his office in the hotel at the Sebring race track where we race most of the time. He used one of the cars as daily transportation and had a parking space right by the front entrance and usually one of the coupes inside on display. The thing that always pulled me into liking the cars was the attention to detail and quality of the build. We’ve still got a couple of the coupes racing and they really look and sound good out on the track.

    Like 5
  6. malcolm boyes

    Why anyone would buy a Cobra replica when they can have one of these is beyond me. It’s a great car with real hotrod/old style sports car style and beautifully buiit.. a serious upmarket, much more comfortable and practical Lotus 7…heck I’d drive it cross country!

    Like 8
    • Frank D Member

      Everyone knows about Shelby, Cobras, and replicas. The only people who know Panoz is car people and Formula 1 fans. He made a great car!

      Like 7
  7. jwzg

    I didn’t realize these were live-axle cars.

    Like 2
  8. Howie Mueler

    Nice color, check out the sellers many other cool vehicles.

    Like 1
  9. Kenn

    An amazing resemblance to the $500 home-built sports car built with plans – and on the cover – of the November 1953 Mechanix Illustrated (though the plans called for, and was how I built it, the front fenders to be mounted directly on the backing plates so they turned with the wheels, as these do.)
    Wish I had never sold mine, but needed the money to finish college. Yes, lots of fun, fast and an eye catcher wherever I went.

    Like 1
  10. Will Owen Member

    One of the car books I bought, back when I had car-building ambitions, was Costin and Phipps’ “Racing and Sports Car Chassis design”. I still have the book. I also still have never come close to building a car … But HEY, I’m only 81. Plenty of time yet!

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