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Esperante enthusiasts’ hope is realized

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During the past 25 years of car development the Panoz name has been established several times over.

In early April, the Esperante Spyder returned to the market with much fanfare at an event thrown in the Panoz production facilities in Braselton, Georgia, USA. The hiatus began in 2007 and the company felt it time to re-introduce the luxury sports car to the market. There will be a limited release of the 25th anniversary edition – 25 vehicles.

2014 Esperante Spyder

2014 Esperante Spyder

John Leverett, Jr, head engineer said of the new edition, “We first showed this car in 2000…We really wanted to bring it back. This car has a real cult following. The Spyder was a great way to do it because we have such a strong motorsports heritage we were trying to build on that.”

He went on to mention the fluid design mentality they took on for the 2014 Esperante. “The biggest thing for us was that we got to do a lot of things that we hadn’t been able to do in the last couple of years.”

The new Spyer boasts a standard 430 hp, 305, aluminum block, 32-valve V8 and an upgraded version to 575 hp, supercharged 330, 32-valve V8. Both offer either a 6-speed manual, or automatic transmission w/paddle shifters. The chassis according to the spec sheet is, “extruded aluminum with pressed steel center section, tubular steel sub frame and carbon fiber composite superstructures.”

Those are the power-house particulars, but the car maker will add amenities per request in an “almost unlimited” availability.

Esperante Spyder

Freedom of design and form.

Restrictions on research and design were relaxed for the development of the anniversary edition and the owner says he is well pleased with the results of the labor.

Don Panoz said, “I think it’s a magnificent car. We always had that thing after you build a car – one guy would say if we’d done this or if we’d done that. So when we started this car back up I said, ‘I don’t want to know anything. I want you to do all the things you think you should have done.’”

Esperante Spyder

Gauges set in digital display.

The production team spent many hours of sweat and hard work preparing the vehicle for release. In fact, they were working through the night before to ensure the proper presentation of Panoz’s latest release.

One of the newest workers in the shop, Steven Goodspeed, apprentice, was pleased to hear the reaction of the attendees at the unveiling and gave his impression of the design, “I love it. It is a dream. The new tech it has shows how great an engineer Johnny is.”

The crew was putting the finishing touches on only hours before the unveiling. Goodspeed said, “I was overseas supporting the military rebuilding trucks on a six-day turnaround, so the long days here are nothing I haven’t been used to.”

Also at the event were several legislators including Georgia State Senator, Butch Miller. Miller touted the American spirit of entrepreneurship and praised the Panoz family’s drive. “Dr. Panoz is the epitome of the American dream if you think about what America stands for. He and his family have taken a dream and developed it into an entire corporation – into an entire genre of manufacturing and it is unbelievable that we are witnessing it today.”

Panoz website:

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