London,The Jack Barclay Showroom
11 June 2002
1978 PANTHER LIMA TWO SEATER SPORTS
Registration No. Not Registered
Chassis No. 180S 4680
Engine No. 18 H
Black over red with black and red interior.
Engine: 4 cylinder, 2,279cc; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension: front, A-arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar, rear, rigid axle with coil springs and anti-roll bar; Brakes: four wheel disc. Right hand drive
Run by ex-Superspeed founder Robert Jankel, Panther Westlands started life with pastiches of bygone classics, but there were plenty of attempts to create something unusual and striking. Jankel consistently claimed that he never built a car unless he already had a buyer for it. His skill was in producing what his wealthy customers wanted, and the speed at which he did it was unsurpassed in the industry.
Perhaps Panther's most significant model was the 1976 Lima. The recipe was simple a 1930's style 2-seater open body on a strengthened Vauxhall Magnum floorplan. In a bid to keep costs down, Panther departed from its normal practice and made the bodywork from non-stressed glassfibre. The Lima was sold though selected Vauxhall dealers, which proved a mixed blessing, as sales were strong, but there were problems with dealers not used to selling sports cars. There were a number of variants that included DTV tuned and 178bhp Turbo versions. A production of 900 were made.
From the inscription on the plaque fitted to the bulkhead, we believe that the car was originally built for Export straight to Japan for Mr A Kinji. Little of the car's history is known from when Mr A Kinji owned the car, but we believe that the car has always been in Japan. From the condition of the car it is apparent that it has never been restored, although the condition is good, with good shut lines, there are chips to the door and bonnet shuts giving the car an older feel. The interior has creasing to the seats, but the carpets and hood are in good condition being free of tears. Due to the length of time the car has been in the present collection ownership, Christie's would recommend that a full mechanical inspection be completed before the car is used. Ready for the summer months this Panther will give affordable open top motoring, giving a vintage feel with modern reliability.
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