By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

My first impression of the Panoz Roadster came from a car calendar I had on my wall as a kid. The design was sensational at the time, and played heavily into the transition from squared shapes to curves that was happening in the mid to late 1990s.

But there was a lot more to the Panoz than just throwback Y2K-era curves, and the Roadster had some serious bark. While the formula for the original 44 cars included a stainless steel chassis and 5.0-liter Ford V8, the updated AIV Roadsters (1996-1999) featured significant upgrades. These final 176 AIV Roadsters were built on an extruded aluminum space frame with a central backbone. Replacing the aging 5.0-liter was the hot driveline from the 1996 Mustang SVT Cobra — an all aluminum 4.6-liter 32-valve DOHC V8. Panoz named the new Roadster the AIV, standing for Aluminum Intensive Vehicle, which is fair enough, as the new car was now 70% aluminum and weighed about 2,500 pounds.

With 305 hp and 300 lb-ft on tap, the Panoz was a pretty serious performer. Posted 0-60 mph times averaged about 4.3 seconds, a second and half quicker than the ’96 SVT Mustang, and the car would continue on to a top speed of 140 mph.

Built to AIV specification and logging just 3,400 miles from new, this Panoz Roadster on eBay could be one of the best of the breed. It’s relatively conservative in appearance compared to many examples, and wears black paint with Roush Cobra-esque wheels — a nice nod to its proven underpinnings.

While the AIV Roadster was available with an automatic, this example sports the SVT Mustang’s Borg Warner T-45, five-speed manual. The interior is finished in saddle leather with wood accents, and the car is said to look and feel like new throughout. The car has been freshly serviced and detailed, and doesn’t appear to have aged a minute.

The car has been listed by Beverly, Massachusetts, dealer Legendary Motors LLC. There isn’t an advertised price on the eBay ad, but their website lists the car at $39,500 — roughly the going rate for an average example. Check out the ad here for more information.