Panoz Roadster Registry

Panoz AIV Roadster Features

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Panoz AIV InfoAIV ConstructionSVT Engine97 vs. 98 vs. 9997 Panoz AIV


Designed and prototyped in 1996, the first Panoz AIV Roadster was sold in 1997. Production of this model ceased in 1999, but some were sold as 2000’s. There were even some cars that remained unregistered and were first sold in more recent years.

The Panoz AIV Roadster was made possible by the special engineering of its aluminum frame. Discussed in detail in this section, cars with aluminum frames are now much more common. Some Honda, Audi and Jaguar models are now built this way. However, in 1997 there were very few. The Acura NSX used aluminum unibody construction. The Plymouth Prowler used a partially aluminum body on an aluminum frame. What made the Panoz car so special was that it came from a small independent manufacturer who produced an innovative design before the majors.

Another event that allowed the Panoz AIV Roadster to come into being was the production of the Mustang Cobra. First offered in 1996, this Mustang had an all aluminum sophisticated V-8 engine. These engines were built by hand by a two person team. Each had a plaque that carried the signatures of the engine builders. The Mustang Cobra was built by the Special Vehicle Team (SVT) of Ford - the arm of the company that designed and built high performance vehicles. Panoz employed Roush to help fit this new engine and its five speed Borg-Warner transmission to the new Panoz Roadster chassis.

The Panoz AIV Roadster employed many other systems that were used in the Mustang Cobra such as the brakes, heating, air conditioning, ventilation system, wiring, engine computer, instruments and so on. As a result, the car can be serviced at any SVT Ford dealer.

The Panoz AIV Roadster was a mix of the very latest technology with features derived from cars of the 40’s and 50’s. For example, the top is a two bow affair with cloth covering that is erected and snapped onto the body with plastic side curtains similar to early British sports cars. In many ways, the car is a cross between the Shelby Cobra of the 60’s and a modern American hot rod.

In this section of the Panoz Roadster Registry, many details are provided about the AIV’s construction and engine. In addition, model year and running changes are documented and shown.

                    Panoz AIV Roadster Information

                    Panoz AIV Roadster Construction

                    Ford SVT Mustang Cobra Engine

                    97 vs. 98. vs. 99 AIV Roadster

                    My 97 Panoz AIV Roadster
                    Panoz AIV Roadster vs. Prowler