Mike's Panoz is SOLD. Sold by Cars Dawydiak in San Francisco in April 2005. It was a truly awesome car but after moving to Orcas Island I just didn't have any time or place to drive it. Click here for current high resolution pictures.

But I am keeping this page in memorium of one totally kick-ass performance car.

Its appearance might indicate that this is not a practical car. It is a noisy car with little or no wind protection, a rigid ride with open wheels and coilover racing shocks at each corner, seats consisting of leather cushions that attach via velcro directly to sliding aluminum bucket frames, no airbags, no ABS, no spare tire, no windows, no locks, it doesn't even have handles on the outside of the doors. In terms of performance it's like a Lotus 7 crossbred with a Shelby Cobra.

Here is a detailed list of all mods I've made to the machine. A summary follows:

It's tuned to be competitive in autocross, which includes 4-corner balancing compensated for my weight in the driver's seat, fine tuned alignment settings, race tuned suspension, carbon fiber interior, A/C system and bolt-on bumpers removed, and lightweight BBS 18" racing wheels with high performance tires.

It comes from the Panoz factory with coilovers and dual wishbones at every corner with an independent rear suspension.

The diff is geared about 14% shorter (bigger ratio) than stock at 3.73.

I installed Steeda underdrive pulleys which add about 9 hp at the rear wheels, and have an integral SFI vibration dampener.

I also installed FMS stainless steel 1 5/8" jet hot ceramic coated shorty headers. They flow better with a more optimal A/F ratio to produce more HP throughout the entire RPM range.

The car weighs 2500 lbs. ready to drive, about 100 lbs. lighter than stock.

Weight distribution is 48% front, 52% rear, and the cross weights are perfectly matched (less than 1 lb. difference) to a 175 lb. driver.

It is powered by a hand built 281 cubic inch all aluminum fuel injected Ford V8 with 4 overhead cams and 32 valves, with a straight intake and glasspack exhaust, producing 320 bhp and 317 ft. lbs. of torque. This engine produces a glorious ripping glasspack snarl to its 7,000 RPM redline, and provides a power to weight ratio of 7.8 lbs. per horsepower, more like a WWII fighter aircraft than a car.

The entire car, including the frame, is made of aluminum and fiberglass with some steel for reinforcement. This makes the car much lighter and more rigid than normal cars. The body panels are SPF plastiformed aluminum alloy and fiberglass, providing the ultimate in light weight, strength, and perfectly smooth curves. The car is one of about 200 hand built by the expert engineers and craftsmen at Panoz Auto Development.

Maximum / optimum shift points, max G acceleration, % gear change in gears:
1st: 43 / 43 @ 6800, 1 G
2nd: 73 / 72 @ 6780, 0.62 G, 41%
3rd: 109 / 103 @ 6450, 0.38 G, 33%
4th: 145 / 140 @ 6532, 0.21 G, 25% (top speed)
5th: 62 mph @ 2000 RPM, 33%
This car does 0-60 in 4 seconds flat.
The 1/4 mile comes up in 12 seconds flat at 108 MPH.
Lateral acceleration is over 1 G on street tires (1.3+ G on R compounds).

Due to its unique retro styling, the roadster is about as aerodynamic as a tree (0.45 wind drag coefficient), so it's not designed for traveling at triple-digit speeds. The top speed is a relatively mild 135-140 mph. But it is quicker than most motorbikes at double-digit speeds, and nothing street legal can catch it on a twisty road.

I've run it in SFR SCCA autocrosses, competing with prepared, modified and kit cars in OSP.

So how does this beasty machine drive? It's about halfway between a car and go-cart. The steering is light and sensitive, with extremely quick turn-in. The ride is rigid, but due to its low CG and high roll centers, it has little or no natural body roll tendency, thus does not need bone jarring springs. The brakes are sensitive and powerful, yet progressive and linear. Throttle response and acceleration are powerful and progressive, yet predictable. It accelerates through 1st and 2nd gear so quickly there is barely time to shift gears, and it pulls hard in 3rd to over 100 mph. The cornering is unreal, generating more than 1 G of lateral grip on clean dry pavement. In short, it is a great way to have a lot of fun or to get yourself killed, depending on whether you respect the beast.