Barrett-Jackson: Panoz Esperante Flying Car Takes Off for Only $45,000

Jalopnik still loves flying cars — it may still be part of our masthead, we can't remember — but here's a perfect example. It's the $100,000 Panoz Esperante converted by Jesse James of Monster Garage into an airborne vehicle whose first flight matched the success of the Wright Brothers. Seriously — they took it to Kitty Hawk where it actually flew in a straight line and then hit the ground just as hard as the Wright plane did. Here's the full description of the "Flying Car" from Barrett-Jackson, which just sold for a steal of a price at $45,000 (just under $55,000 with the auction fees):

Ever since "Monster Garage" premiered on Discovery Channel in June 2002, Jesse James led teams to build vehicles that make beer, do wheelies, shake trees, even transport gorillas. But all the while, Jesse was turning his thoughts and his dreams to the sky. Everyone said he couldn't do it, and the lawyers begged him not to do it, but Jesse James and his 9 man team managed to take a $100,000 Panoz Esperante sports car and create an airborne vehicle whose first flight matched the success of the Wright Brothers'. After the team tore out the Panoz's plush interior to make room for a roll cage, installed a used propeller engine in the trunk, mounted 36' handmade wings to the car's exact center and secured a rear tail with a 15" fuselage, the flying car was taken to Kitty Hawk, NC, home of the Wright Brothers' first flight. Under the power of the original Panoz engine, Jesse taxied the flying car onto the runway, started the propeller engine and, after hitting 80mph, guided the automobile off the ground for 280 feet, landing safely without even a scratch to the Red Baron paint job. THE DESIGNERS: Jesse James, custom-bike builder/designer, West Coast Choppers, Long Beach, CA, Fireball Tim, artist and car designer, Malibu, CA, Dan Panoz, founder and owner, Panoz Auto Development Company, Braselton, GA, Ed Sweeney, aircraft mechanic, Black Forest, CO, and Neal Willford, engineer, new product development, Cessna Aviation, Andover, KS. THE BUILDERS: Jesse James, custom-bike builder/designer, West Coast Choppers, Long Beach, CA, Jason Barnes, vehicle engineer, Panoz Auto Development Company, Flowery Branch, GA, Niclas Jancic, Panoz Auto expert, GA, Mark Palmer, aircraft-design engineer, Peru, KS, Ronnie Powers, airplane builder and owner, Atlanta Air Salvage, Griffith, GA, Johan Ragnarsson, custom-car builder, Beuford, GA, Chris Rusch, fabricator, Two Rivers, WI, Andre Stowe, welder and metal-shop owner, San Diego, CA, Ed Sweeney, aircraft mechanic, Black Forest, CO, JD Terry, avionics/electrical engineer, Cessna Aviation, Wichita, KS, and Neal Willford, aircraft engineer, Cessna Aviation, Andover, KS. VEHICLE SPECS: Height: 80"; Width: 38'; Length With Parts Extended: 26'; Ground Clearance: 2.5". **SOLD ON A BILL OF SALE ONLY. SPECIAL CONDITIONS APPLY**