Not all the cars at the 2014 SEMA Show are covered in wild paint jobs, fitted with wheels the size of moons and featuring obscene amounts of horsepower. Some, like the Panoz Esperante Spyder GT 25th Anniversary Edition, just look like very good sporty cars.
After a few years out of the production auto business, Panoz is making cars again, and it's returning with the limited-edition Esperante Spyder GT to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary building cars. This week, Don Panoz swings by Jay Leno's Garage to talk about the latest model, and then Jay takes a drive in it with the company's lead (and only) engineer.
Panoz has kept the Esperante around for about fourteen years now, making it one of the longer-serving models on the market. But in Monterey this week, the American niche automaker is introducing a revised version of the Esperante that aims to keep it current.
Less than a month since the Esperante Spyder and Spyder GT 25th Anniversary Editions were first shown in very rough prototype form, Panoz has finished the first car – a standard Spyder – with an aluminum body painted in eye-catching red paint with carbon fiber accents and a tan leather interior. For the moment, it sits in the entranceway of the company's new headquarters in Georgia.
Panoz forged a legacy of creating race-winning endurance and open wheel cars through the late-1990s and early-2000s, but the company has been relatively quiet for the past few years. However, with its 25th anniversary looming, the American sports car brand appears to be on a comeback. It's prepping several new models and opening a new headquarters in Georgia on April 3.
Panoz, an automaker that specializes in building endurance racers, has announced it will build you any of its machines - road car or racecar - for the street, Endurance-Info reports. That's great news for people who've always dreamed of driving a road-legal racecar, and even better news for people who can afford one of the bespoke creations.