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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's nothing like my Viper GTS but you need a little variety in cars like...well, you know. Anyway, I picked up a '98 Panoz Roadster about 6 weeks ago. What a freakin' blast to drive. 305hp/300lb.ft. feels like alot in a 2500 lb. car. Drives like a go-cart on steroids! 4.5 sec. to 60, not bad.
 

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Hey,

I got one of those AIV's as well! fun car. Not to much support for them though. Where do you live? No Panoz dealers near LA, so I am going to have to service it myself or find a competent mustang shop. Anybody have any suggestions near/in West LA for a good high performance mustang shop?

Guess because there were so few, not to many of the owners online.

Maxed it out just over 140(probably had a couple more MPH but it was in Connecticut on rt 84, to many cars). Sunglasses left the car, out of the little Velcro pockets, didn't try to reach over and grab them.

Have you noticed that if you are not sticking your left elbow out the "window" when driving, you best be wearing goggles. Think the little plexiglass wind deflectors need to be modified...

If you guys think the viper is "raw" this car has it beat... Gets more looks than any car(much more than my viper). It didn't like NYC much though, knocked the tires of the rims twice(no damage to tires or rims, but did have to remount twice). Will be much happier in SoCal...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
cj,
I didn't think I'd find anyone on this forum with one of these...now I'll have to sell it (jk). Funny you mentioning the elbow out the window thing. When I bought the car, I had to drive it 2 1/2 hrs. home, mostly highway at 75 MPH. It took me half way home to figure out the elbow thing. I was deaf in the left ear by then and couldn't breath out of my left nostril at that point. But, it definitely gets more attention than my snake. It's a bit of a pain explaining who Panoz is though to people not into racing and cars. Like the viper, I like the raw nature of the car; otherwise an entirely different experience than the GTS. Talk about a taut suspension! I hit a bump on the drive home and the car jumped into the next lane...got my attention.
I plan on doing general service myself. Any engine work should be able to be done at Ford since it is a Cobra engine. Better keep the body panels in one piece though, you won't find any lying around. BTW, I live in rural midwest, great roads, not many skilled people so I'm mostly on my own.
 

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probably pay between 26-40k. Year doesn't seem to matter. None of them have high miles, most under 5k when I was looking. I have already put 5k on it this year, no mechanical problems at all, except due to NYC potholes and the tires coming off the rims.(poteholes were 1 ft wide by 6-8 inches deep, more like trenches)

Don't make them any more, and the market is rather limited. They only made approx 300. It is missing some things normal cars have, like roll up windows, and a cigarette lighter(although you can custom wire the radar detector in...)

One of the most fun cars around, easy to whip around. Exhaust is the best I have heard on any other car.

Viper still faster, and feels more "solid". different cars, both fun. Got in until the elise comes out, although now that I have it, not 100% sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I paid 36K. 7000mi. Not a bad price for the fun you get. I also considered an Elise due out next year but no way I can drive a 4-banger with no torque. I know the Elise will weigh even less but 4 cylinders...NO WAY.
These cars were 62.5K when new...definitely overpriced. 36K a good deal. The exhaust sounds awesome...not as deep and rumbly as my snake with its headers/high flow cats/borla but more like a Ferrari I think.
They made 235 of these and last ones made in '99. Don't see them come up for sale often. I'd love to take it to the track (road) but presume I'd need to put a roll bar and don't want to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They use a version of the Panoz GTS cars at the driving schools. You can buy one of those new for about $50K. Not street legal but an inexpensive way to go road racing. SCCA legal. 385 HP...a pretty good deal really for what it is. Not enough HP for the class in which you must race it though. They have a racing league of their own though, like the VRL.
 

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ViperRay - totally cool car, I'd love to toss one around someday, looks like a bunch of fun! How are they to drive? As touchy as the Viper, I mean, can you kick the tail around pretty well? I'm suprised they're selling for that low, damn I'd really like one HAHA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They have such a wide track they're incredibly sticky around turns. I think the steering is overboosted though; not as good feedback as I would like. The steering is more responsive than in the viper..a slight twitch in the wheel has you changing directions. I'd say it leans more toward oversteer than understeer so you have to be careful. Also has surprisingly big wheels/tires for such a small car; same tire size as the rears on my ZO6.
 

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CitySnake said:
Don't they still use them at the Panoz driving school?
The racing school uses the GT-RA, which is a tube-frame/sheet-metal version of the Esperante (the primary connection being the general shape, and the Ford 302 under the hood). Photo below. The actual numbers are more like 45K and 250HP, and 5th gear is pretty much useless. See link below.

http://www.panozracingschool.com/profile.asp

[image]http://www.panozracingschool.com/images/Photo_2cars04.jpg[/image]

Funny thing about the elbow-out-the-window thing on the roadster... They've taken major heat in magazines about that. Panoz claims it was intentionally designed that way. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
McGuire V10,
Thanks for the correction on the Panoz Racing School cars. I know they make an Esperante GTS per their web site (panazauto.com) which looks very much like their school cars and I thought they were related. That one has a 5.8L with 385 HP.
I do wish there was something I could rig that looked decent to substitute for the "arm out the window". Perhaps a larger piece of plexiglas for the wind wings?
 

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I will be working on that problem with the elbow. when it was in NYC, didn't have the time to deal with it, no tools. More tools now. Going to try to "wind tunnel" it with some flexible. I'll PM if I get it solved.

Spoke to a panoz rep at the LA auto show, they were looking at making something "more reasonably priced" but in the same vien at the AIV.. They are priced nicely now for people whom like this sort of car.

Another cool thing about the panoz, is the support from the factory, try calling them up with a question, one may get the guy that built/helped design your car.
 

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Thanks fellows. I'm doing the school in the spring! Guess I'll have to set my wife and daughter up in Atlanta somewhere while I'm there.

Now, can someone please explain the "elbow out the window" issue. I'm a bit elderly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
CitySnake,
The "elbow out the window" thing only refers to the Panoz roadster, not the school race cars. At highway speeds, the roadster has a brisk side wind hitting the driver in the face; this wind is blocked simply by resting your elbow on the top of the door (there are no windows).
I was thinking of going to Panoz Race School also next year. I have heard good things about it. Report back about your experience.
Ray
 
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