About Us | Panoz

About

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Don Panoz Founded Panoz Motors the Mot Custom Sports Car

The company was founded in 1989 by Daniel Panoz, who had applied in 1988 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.

In 1997 Dan’s father, Don, decided to enter racing to better promote his son's products. The difference between Panoz and many other manufacturers was that it strived to keep its racing versions as close as possible to the road cars.

The next model Panoz model was the Esperante GTR-1, a street-legal version of the race car developed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Featuring a front/mid-mounted American V8, it quickly became a “fan favorite” at  races worldwide.

While the Panoz family has Italian and Irish roots, Panoz Auto Development is as American as apple pie. Not a big volume manufacturer of sports cars, Panoz has remained true to its roots of treating is exclusive cars with great respect. It hand-crafts each car and rigorously tests every creation before it is handed over to the new owner. Panoz sports cars bear the ultimate mark of exclusivity. 

To better develop its products, Panoz intensified its involvement in racing. Panoz created the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 1998, founded a racing school, and took part in other racing championships, such as the U.S. Road Racing Championship that it won in 1998.

In 2000 Panoz developed the Esperante GTS, a car that competed in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) events, as well as several spec racer and GT car feeder series. Great measures were taken to ensure the car was affordable to maintain, and engineers placed a focus on race safety. Replaceable acrylic body panels were among the many innovations that keep the GTS race car popular to this day.

All efforts paid off in 2006 when the Panoz Esperante GTLM scored two huge wins. Multimatic won its class at the 12 Hours of Sebring, and Team LNT scored the GT2 class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In both cases, the Esperante GTLM beat every major sports car manufacturer, including Porsche and Ferrari.

If you yearn for an American sports car with ultimate exclusivity and true motorsports heritage, Panoz is the only choice.

Panoz, based in Hoschton, Ga. and part of the DeltaWing Technology Group, is a designer and manufacturer of exclusive, American-made luxury sports cars. It was the first U.S. auto manufacturer to use super formed aluminum panels for its bodies and created America’s first Aluminum Intensive Vehicle (AIV), the Panoz AIV Roadster. The Panoz headquarters also features the Panoz Museum that showcases Panoz sports car and racing history and accomplishments such as the 1997 Le Mans GTR 1, the 1998 Q9 hybrid Le Mans prototype – the first modern hybrid race car, and the 2000 Panoz LMP1 Roadster S that won the 1000km of Nürburgring. Please visit Panoz.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For images, please visit our Flickr page.

  • 1989

    Panoz Auto
    Development Founded

  • 1992

    Roadster Introduced

  • 1996

    A.I.V Roadster Introduced

  • 1997

    Panoz Enters Sports Car Racing

  • 1998

    Panoz Wins
    USRRC Team Championship

  • 1999

    Panoz Dominates
    American Lemans Series

  • 2000

    Esperante GTS
    Race Car Introduced

  • 2001

    The Rebirth of the
    American Sports Car

  • 2002

    Panoz Launches
    New Limited Edition
    Driver's Esperante

  • 2003

    Panoz launches New
    Esperante "GT" Edition of
    America's Premier hand-built
    aluminum sports car

  • 2004

    Panoz Esperante GTS
    Spec Racer to Move to
    SCCA's GT2 Class

  • 2005

    Panoz unveils Esperante
    GTLM Performance model

  • 2006

    Le Mans GT2 Winner

  • 2008

    Fastback, Evolution

  • 2011

    Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans Unveiled

  • 2014

    Introduction of Panoz
    25th Anniversary Spyder

  • 2014

    Panoz 25th Anniversary
    Spyder GT Debut

  • 2016

    Panoz Avezzano
    Revealed at Petit Le Mans