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The 2002 Panoz Esperante Jan Magnussen Driver's Edition at 2011 Mecum Indy

While the name Panoz Esperante (es-per-ahn-tay) may not sound like an American vehicle, the sleek supercar shown on the right is build in Georgia, powered by the same drivetrain as the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra and at the 2011 Mecum Indy Auction there was a rare special edition version of the high performance road car.

Panoz is more well known for their race cars but from 2000-2009, the Georgia-based automaker built the sporty Esperante with drivetrain help from Ford Motor Company’s Special Vehicle Team. The engine is the same 4.6L dual overhead camshaft engine found in the 2001 Ford SVT Cobra – sending 320 horsepower to the ground via a 5-speed manual transmission and a state of the art suspension system. The Esperante used a suspension design and telemetry from the Panoz race cars, making this sporty two-seater a rare American supercar.

Very few 2002 Panoz Esperante convertibles were sold but only ten were fitted with the Jan Magnussen Driver’s Edition package. This limited edition package includes a carbon fiber rear spoiler, a carbon fiber front splitter, carbon fiber side vents, a carbon fiber engine cover, Baer high performance brake rotors, tuned suspension, BBS Wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport tires, an upgraded sound system and a special paint code and badging unique to this special Esperante. This particular Esperante is #4 of 10 and the original MSRP of $88,950 was driven up to $117,765 by all of the options but at the 2011 Mecum Indy Auction, this modern American masterpiece sold for just $51,000.

This limited edition Panoz Esperante is another fine example of the high performance, rare vehicles available at Dana Mecum’s massive collector’s auctions. If you missed this past weekend’s Indy event fear not – the next Mecum auction is June 17-18 in St. Paul Minnesota.
Check out the gallery below for a closer look at the 2002 Panoz Esperante Jan Magnussen Driver’s Edition.

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