Top Risky Pick Today: Most High-Mileage Panoz AIV Roadster in the Globe

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By Car Brand Experts

Have you recently pondered about Panoz? As for me, a few weeks back I covered a Panoz Esperante, but the exclusive American racing squad and sports car label haven’t been making waves in the automotive world for years. Nonetheless, there exist a handful of steadfast Panoz enthusiasts ready to acquire and possess some of its more thrilling sports cars. If you are one of them, or aspire to be, this 1997 Panoz AIV Roadster is seeking a new caring owner.

Allan Schrag has possessed the extremely rare 1997 Panoz since June 1, 2021 and, instead of treating it as a showpiece, he has regularly taken it for drives. “I have been using it as a casual Sunday rider,” he disclosed to The Drive. Schrag is the third owner and it is presently residing in its third location. It commenced its journey in Phoenix, Arizona, then relocated to Houston, Texas, and it currently stays in Wichita, Kansas. In essence, it has been mostly situated in drier, warmer regions, and this is evident. Not a trace of rust can be observed in any of the pictures on the Facebook Marketplace listing, and the car appears to be in outstanding condition, particularly considering its 134,000 miles. Given that most Roadsters on sale have less than 10,000 miles, this stands as the most well-utilized model we have ever encountered.

<em>Allan Schrag</em>
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Allan Schrag

What defines the Panoz Roadster? Apart from its similarity to a Plymouth Prowler designed for driving enthusiasts, the Roadster marked Panoz’s debut in the sports car realm in 1992. However, for the 1996 model year, Panoz revamped the Roadster with an aluminum framework, from which arises the “AIV” (Aluminum Intensive Vehicle) designation. With this modernized aluminum chassis, a fresh 4.6-liter V8 from the 1996 Mustang SVT Cobra entered the scene (substituting the former 4.9-liter Mustang V8) and it generated 305 horsepower. Mated to that V8 was a five-speed manual transmission, propelling solely the rear wheels.

Only 176 Panoz AIV Roadsters were made available to the public, rendering each one inherently appealing. This scarcity might lead to challenges and high costs in sourcing replacement parts when problems eventually arise. While Schrag mentioned that it hasn’t incurred any expenses during his ownership period, it remains a 134,000-mile vehicle from 1997. Obstacles are likely to emerge at some stage. Engine components won’t pose a challenge to find, as it employs a Mustang V8, but exclusive car-specific parts will be more challenging to acquire.

The current listed price for the Roadster stands at $25,500, considerably lower than the $44,000 average, according to This reduced cost may reflect its mileage, as it has traversed roughly 10 times the distance of a typical (if such exists) Panoz AIV Roadster. Yet, I posit that relegating a purpose-oriented car like this to mere display status would miss the mark. So, based on its condition and your intentions, this Roadster could make for a superb addition to your collection. Above all, it is an open-top, V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive sports car with manual transmission, barely longer than an Mk8 Volkswagen GTI. Its allure is self-evident.

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