Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Panther Six

The Panther Six is a unique automotive curiosity, built to be excessive in all ways just for the sheer hell of it. A sixteen feet-long two-seater, it has a twin-turbocharged 8.2-litre V8 sitting over the back axle... and two axles at the front.
The plan was to create unbeatable levels of performance, and the headline figure of 600bhp made this dream look achievable. However, mounting a heavy Detroit V8 quite near the back of the car (and worryingly high up, too) made exploiting the power a little tricky. Still, being able to band around the holy grail of top speeds - 200mph - seldom requires proof, so the occupants could happily relax in their opulent surroundings, kept cool by the aircon system from a Mack truck whilst watching TV in the dash and calling their brokers on individual armrest-mounted telephones.

It was never a realistic proposition, of course, and the receivers were called in before Panther were able to build more than one example (although a subsequent second car was built from parts). But it's proof that any idea, now matter how absurd, can become reality given the necessary tenacity. Designer Robert Jankel drew inspiration from Tyrrel's six-wheeled F1 cars and allowed the madness to flow from there. And, for better or worse, it came to fruition. This Six, now on sale for £150,000, is a captivating glimpse of seventies ostentatiousness; if nothing else, it's much weirder than a Countach.
You can read more here.

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