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PANTHER (1976-1982) CAR HISTORY

Car review on PANTHER

PANTHER is one of the most unusual companies in motoring history. In the 1970s, it became one of the most spectacularly successful British specialist manufacturers with a startlingly wide range of products.


Founded by Robert Jankel in 1972, PANTHER Westwinds started life with pastiches of bygone classics. The J72 was the first, a copy of the pre-war SS100 using Jaguar engines. The hand-built J72 sold to the rich and famous, including the film star Liz Taylor, for it certainly wasn't cheap, retailing at almost twice the price of an E-Type Jaguar.


Its next car was the 1974 De Ville, a creation of unrestrained opulence, with vaguely Bugatti Royale lines and superb craftsmanship. Mechanically, the De Ville was all Jaguar XJ12, including its suspension. In 1976, came the two-door De Ville Convertible, famous for being the most expensive car on British price lists - and the motorcar star of the film 101 Dalmatians.


The concept behind PANTHER's 1975 Rio was quite sound: to create a small, economical car with the finish and luxury of a Rolls-Royce. In the troubled fuel crisis days of 1975, it looked promising but suffered from comparisons with the car on which it was based, the Triumph Dolomite, which cost a third of the price. In commercial terms, the Rio was a complete flop and perhaps deserved a better fate.
Not so the Lima, PANTHER's "car for the masses", which sold very well. The recipe was simple: a 1930s-style two-seater open glassfibre body on a strengthened Vauxhall Magnum floorpan, including the Magnum's engine, gearbox, suspension, steering and brakes.


Its successor was the 1982 Kallista. This used all-Ford components, including Cortina double-wishbone front suspension and a Capri live rear axle, and the revised bodywork was aluminum. It was not particularly quick, but was more roomy, more refined and better-handling than the Lima. It sold j very healthily.

Apart from the incredible six-wheeled mid-engine PANTHER 6, PANTHER's last model was the 1990 Solo, a monocoque aluminum-and-carbon-fibre 2+2 super car fitted with Ford's Sierra Cosworth 2.0-litre turbo engine and Ferguson four-wheel drive, making it the world's first mid-engine foul-wheel-drive production car. Some described it as the best-handling road car of all time, but its disappointing performance, harsh ride and questionable build quality were unforgivable in a £40,000 ($67,000) sports car. Even at that price, it was uneconomic to make. After one of the shortest production runs ever, the Solo was axed with just 12 cars sold.


In 1987 PANTHER had been acquired by the Korean firm SsangYong, which wound production down and used PANTHER expertise to design new SsangYong products. In retrospect, PANTHERs are often regarded as vulgar and unseemly jewelry, but they were all hand-built to the highest quality.



PANTHER (1976-82)

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

4-cylinder

CAPACITY

2279 cc

POWER

108 bhp @ 5000 rpm

TRANSMISSION

4-speed manual

3-speed auto

TOP SPEED

105 mph (169 km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

918

 

 

 

 

 

 
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PANTHER CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > PANTHER


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Shopping Mall :PANTHER Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: PANTHER Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: PANTHER Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: PANTHER Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, Lemon Car Check