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Panoz (Autoskunk Review) by ShawnSkunk

Panoz (Autoskunk Review)

ShawnSkunk

giving the fact that this month is March and St. Patrick's day is coming soon and I'm sporting a little a green and talking in an Irish accent even though I really don't have one I'm just faking it (what can I say? I have Scotts/Irish heritage of course I'm gonna try to do the accent for St. Patty's day ;3), I thought it be fitting to review not just a car, but a car brand and one that who's emblem features a green shamrock, (Alfa Romeo Quadrfoglio?) no! not that one! I'm talking about Panoz, the car company that's seemingly forgotten in my opinion because I never hear anyone talk about it, but they're still around, still kicking, and still racing, and they're located only an hour and a half away from where I live right now in a town I never heard of or visited before called Braselton, Georgia.
and for one time way back in the late 2000's when I had a playstation 2 and was playing Gran Turismo for the first time with my first GT video game title (GT4) I got to try out a Panoz race car in the game and it was a lot of fun to drive though insanely expensive.
so grab yourself a pint of fine Irish beer and turn on an Irish Rovers soundtrack, this is the history of Panoz.
now this wind up being the shortest review I ever wrote because not there's not much information about Panoz, info on the history of the brand is very scarce so there's not really much I can say on here but I'll try my best but with no guarantees that there probably won't be any big gaps, if you guys know where I can find more info on Panoz then please let me know in the comments section below with links and maybe in the near future I'll revisit this review and do a refresh, other than that here we go.
Panoz LLC or just Panoz was established in 1989 in Braselton, Georgia, but originally the company was called Panoz Auto Development,it was founded by Daniel Panoz (Dan Panoz for short) and today is currently owned by by his father Don Panoz, the Panoz brand is no stranger to racing, Panoz's have been competing in motorsports since 1997 and recently in 2018 last year Panoz made a return back into the Pirelli World Challenge but we'll talk about that later in the review.
the story of Panoz I would say actually starts back in 1988 with Dan Panoz, a year before the company first opened it's doors, Dan applied for a job at the Thompsan Motor Company an Irish car company.
when the company was liquidated Dan seized the oppurtunity and bought the rights to one of their chassis belonging to TMC and designed by world renowned car designer Frank Costin the same designer who built chassis for Maserati, Lotus, and Lister.
a year later in 1989 Dan started his own car company calling it Panoz Auto Development now known today as just Panoz, two years later Panoz would debut their first model, the 1992 Panoz Roadster and was built their small factory north of Atlanta and was the car that supposedly reignited the true spirit of the American roadster, by 1995 another roadster would be added to the line up and go into full production , the Panoz AIV Roadster, it was the first American Aluminum Intensive Production car.
in 1997 Don Panoz (Dan's father) decided to enter racing to promote his son's cars, the difference between Panoz and other auto manufacturers was that Panoz strived to keep it's race cars as close as possible to it's road car variants.
for racing Panoz developed the Esperante GTR-1, this was a road car version of their race car variant developed for competing the Le Mans 24 Hours race, it featured a front mid mounted V8 engine and quickly became a fan favorite at races world wide.
while the Panoz family has Irish and Italian roots Panoz is pure American, while not a big volume auto manufacturer Panoz has remained true to it's roots of treating it's exclusive sports cars with care and respect, it's cars hand crafted and rigorousely tested before it's handed over to it's new owner, Panoz's bear an ultimate mark of exclusivity.
to better develop it's cars Panoz intensified it's involvement in motor racing, they created their own racing series, the American Le Mans Series (ALMS for short, the series would later be sold to Nascar in 2012 and then later later in 2014 it was merged with the Rolex Sports Car Seriesto form United Sports Car Racing) and in 1998 their opened their own racing school and took part in other championships such as the U.S Road Racing Championship, by the end of 1998 Panoz would win the USRRC championship title.
after the 90's and the new millinnium arrived and the Y2K scare came and went, Panoz developed and introduced a new car, the Esperante GTS, this was a car that competed in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) events as well as several spec racer and GT racing 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 even to this day.
in 2006 all efforts were paid off when the Esperante GTLM scored two big wins, one in the 12 Hours of Sebring and one in the Le Mans 24 Hours winning in the GT2 class, the Esperante GTLM beat every major sports car manufacturer including Porsche and Ferrari, it also came in second the 2006 Petit Le Mans.
in 2017 a new Panoz made an impressive debut in 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GTS Championship, the 2017 Avezzano, this car would finished the season with 6 wins and 10 podium finishes in 18 races and take the Panoz factory team back on the Manufacturers Championship podium in second place, just narrowly missing out on victory.
in 2018 returned to the Pirelli World Challenge with an expanded two car Avezzano line up and won the GTS/Sprint-X Manufacturers Championship title with Ian James at the wheel and joined by Matthew Keegan during the Sprint-X weekends while Preston Calvert drove for Panoz in the GTSA and Sprint-X classes.
led by Tom Milner and crewed by the Panoz racing team comprised of both men and women two Panoz cars achieved a combined 8 wins, 12 podiums, and 5 pole positions.
while winning the Manufacturers Champoinship title, the team also placed third in the Team Championship, GTS Driver's Championship, and the GTS-X Championship.
achievements in 2017-2018 seasons:

2018: 8 Wins, 12 Podiums, 18 Races

1sts:
Lime Rock Park, Race 2 #50

Road America, Race 1 & 2 #50

Portland, Race 1 #50

Portland, Race 2 #51

Utah, Race 1 #50 & #51

Watkins Glen, Race 2 #50

2nds:
Portland, Race 2 #50

Utah, Race 2 #50 & #51

Watkins Glen, Race 1 #50

2017: 6 Wins, 10 Podiums, 18 Races

1sts:
Road America, Race 1 & 2

Mid Ohio, Race 2

Utah, Race 2

Circuit of the Americas, Race 1

Sonoma, Race 1

2nds:
Lime Rock, Race 1

Mid Ohio, Race 1

Sonoma, Race 2

3rds:
Utah, Race 1

since 1989 Panoz has been building quality hand built sports cars for people who just love sports and love driving sports, these were cars that are made to be driven and to have fun with nd not just drive occasionally and then sit them on a pretty green manicured and gawk at them, and since 1997 Panoz has been racing and done quite well, proving themselves to be a worthy opponent to some of the most respected and prestigious marks from around the world, company has done almost everything from creating their racing series, their own driving school, to even starting their automotive technology company specializing in high tech innovations for racing.
if you live in Georgia and you don't live too far from Braselton?, I would suggest visiting their museum (or if you don't live in Georgia at all then you can check out their website in the link below), it would be worth the drive, I myself haven't visited that museum yet but hopefully I could make the time perhaps in July for my birthday and maybe while i'm up there I could probably try to find out more about the history of Panoz and have more to add to this review but now this is all I have come up with about Panoz for this review and I hope you all enjoyed it.
next time in the next review I'll be talking about Peugoet's planned return to the North American market as well as do a review on the history of the Peugoet brand and I would be excited and highly anticipate their return to the United States but until then I'll see you guys on the next AutoSkunk review. :3

the Panoz emblem was drawn by me using Windows Paint

information was gathered from these soources below

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panoz,_LLC

http://www.panoz.com/

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