7,000 Mile 2001 Panoz Esperante!

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Sports car fans know Panoz as an American sports and racing car manufacturer. Each Panoz model comes with the expectation of enthusiastic driving, and this 2001 Panoz Esperante in New Hartford, New York deserves nothing less. With fewer than 7000 miles on the clock, it borders on the edge of two futures. Delight its new owner, blissfully thrashing twisty two-lanes and road courses, or become a full-sized collectible Matchbox car, admired with minimal use, then returned to a climate controlled box. Either way the listing here on eBay includes the Make Offer option as well as a single click Buy It Now for $44,500.

In 2002 my family toured great state of Arizona. I spotted a Panoz like this in Tombstone. The driver explained that it was an EPA test mule, and the two guys we met drew the tough duty of driving the powerful convertible sports car, more or less wherever they wanted, to accumulate 10,000? “real world miles.” Nice work if you can find it, eh? At the time I drove an ’89 Mustang 5.0 and I knew the Panoz used the Mustang Cobra drive train. From the pictures you might think “Muscular Miata,” but in person the Esperante (“Hope” in Italian) looks more like a 21st-century Shelby Cobra.

Mustang enthusiasts may recognize the Cobra instrument cluster and rotary HVAC controls. Like many manufacturers, Panoz goes racing to boost sales of their road-going vehicles, but racing is in the DNA of every Panoz, and they have achieved true success on the track including the 24 Hours of LeMans. The steering wheel looks as handsome and inviting as any. If someone on the left coast clicks Buy It Now and wants this sweet Panoz delivered, let me know.

The 4.6L (281 cid) DOHC 32-valve V8 makes 320 HP and a glorious high-tech sound in the upper RPM range. As with a number of low-production sports cars powered by Ford V8s, parts for the Panoz drive train should be available ad infinitum. Whether you’re a sports-car fan or a general enthusiast looking for a fun collectible, this immaculate low-mileage Panoz may fit the bill. If cost was no object, how would you treat this rare gem?

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  1. Ike Onick

    No habla Esperante!

    Like 1
  2. Francisco

    The Italian word for hope is speranza.

    Like 2
  3. Mark

    Fantastic color! Green of course.

    Like 1
  4. ed the welder

    another ugly overpriced rebodied mustang.

    Like 3
    • Chevy Guy


      Like 1
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      My thoughts also.

      Like 1
      • MotorWinder

        hmm … First off I am a sml block GM fan but foremost a fan of the Automobile!!!

        Secondly when was the last time you seen a Mustang or a Camaro for that fact, compete at the 24hrs of Daytona or win at the Petit Le Mans 1000-mile enduro at Road Atlanta?

        *** A little shout out to a Canadian team racing the road circuits in an American built car!!! ***

        Like 7
    • Nick hockmanMember

      That qvale may have a few mustang bits but it has its own chassis.

      Like 0
  5. Joey

    “The 320 HP DOHC 32-valve V8 makes 320 HP…” What a marvelous coincidence.

    Like 2
    • Todd FitchAuthor

      Fixed! Thank you @Joey.

      Like 1
  6. Matt R

    I am a roadster guy and would love whipping this around. I’d take it down 116 from 101 up here in Northern California. Going west on 116 will wind you through redwood forest and along a river on the way down to the coast. Many smiles per mile – I’m spoiled here.

    Like 5
  7. Chevy Guy

    Come on Barn Finds! Just let me look at cars without having a weekly limit! I hit mine because i left the tab open. I don’t have the money t pay and this is the only thing that brightens my day!🙄🤬👎

    Like 9
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      You can’t afford $5 per month? Contact us and we will work out something. Thanks.

      Like 2

    Hate center instrument clusters. huge turnoff for me

    Like 3
  9. Jim

    I live in Braselton, Georgia, home of Panoz. I even would see Don Panoz at the Cracker Barrel every so often at lunchtime until he passed a few months back. Very interesting guy, invented the nicotine patch, yet continued to smoke like a fiend, developed Chateau Elan Winery and neighborhood and a sister property in Europe, and then got into car building and racing and was successful.

    Like 5
    • Ike Onick

      And he ate at Cracker Barrel. He used all the money he saved at the Early Bird Specials to build his empire. “Just A Good Ol’ Boy”

      Like 6
  10. TheStig

    Lovely car, incredible looks and blast to drive. I have driven a few and would love to have this one in green. It looks beautiful. If you choose to do more research, you will find some incredible accomplishments the brand has made over the last 30 years with aluminum, chassis development, carbon fiber, suspension, etc. All of this was done is Georgia.

    Like 5
    • MotorWinder

      Good for you Stig!!! wish I would have had that opportunity!!!
      And agree … this one is a great color as well.

      Like 2
  11. Moit

    All that ford stuff topped with a caddy steering wheel. LMAO!

    Like 0
  12. Victor Anderson

    I never understood why people buy these things. $44,500 – meanwhile you can go get a 18 year old mustang for 1/15 of the cost. They look ok and all — but at the end of the day, what are you really getting for that kind of money? There are a lot of other cars out there for that kind of money that look better that are not, for all practical purposes, noting more than a rebodied mustang. Even at half the price I wouldn’t find it tempting. .

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick

      Caddy XLR would be a much better choice than this kit car.

      Like 0
      • MotorWinder

        Kit Car???

        It just behoove me the comments that are spoken here …
        What happened to American pride? (supposing the majority here are …)

        Panoz is the furthest thing from a kit car, it is an example of American ingenuity, freedom of entrepreneurship, to create something better for those who can appreciate and afford the finer things in life!!

        Caddy’s are great so are Lincolns!! but call these kit cars???? read the history about this company, find out what they’ve achieved in the annals of history before making such sad commentary.

        I like old GM’s, and I just bought a Porsche … what an amazing piece of engineering ( maybe a ‘lil over priced : ) but I’d never turn down a nice old Cuda or a Panoz that I could afford!!

        It’s a good thing I don’t live by Social Needea … it would drive me crazy reading some of the feedback that is written! I do like Barn Finds, it’s like going to a car show everyday and just appreciate what many of us in North America have the freedom ability to own!!

        By the way I almost bought a Jag with a Ford power plant, does that make it anyless a car?

        Like 7
  13. Blyndgesser

    This is NOT a “rebodied Mustang,” any more than an original Shelby Cobra is a “rebodied Fairlane.” It’s a thoroughbred sports car that happens to have a Ford engine.

    Like 4
    • MotorWinder

      … And the Mustang WAS a re-bodied Falcon

      Like 4
  14. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    Neat car, but my 99 Vette convertible at $10k is just as much fun I would wager, just as good looking, and it has a bigger trunk.

    Like 3
  15. bog

    “Funny”, or “odd”…but owner/seller says in his eBay ad that his engine puts out 305 hp. Who’s right ? I’ve followed racing and the various Panoz street and full race products over the years and know that this isn’t a “rebodied” Mustang. More like an American version of a TVR. Neither have enough leg room for a guy like me, which is true of most sports cars. Oh, well. “First you want to be tall, then you want to fit in small sports cars…” Can’t have everything !

    Like 2
  16. Duvi

    Panoz GTS Race Car sold for $18,500 13 August 2018 at Bring A Trailor.

    Like 1
    • bog

      Duvi – I read the sales ad and all the specs. Not raced nor driven since rework, as owner got very ill…prompting the sale. I’ve followed the Panoz site over the years and this is/was a nice car…but as a racer, really “long in the tooth” and likely can’t be driven on any highway legally. “Likely”. So, for someone that wants to put in track-days it would be lots of fun. Having owned a BOSS 351, I’m curious why this guy built it with a Windsor block rather than a Cleveland, BOSS, or something from Ford Racing. Guess we’ll never know that, but that sure “cheapens it” in my eyes. Maybe that’s why it was offered and sold for 18,5

      Like 0
  17. Duvi

    Panoz GTS Race Car 2000

    Like 0

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