British sports cars bring you driving enjoyment at the cost of reliability. Today, Nice Price or Crack Pipe brings you an English cat with said reliability issues, but without the stigma of easy parts availability.
Yesterday we had a car that claimed a driver's throne made from the King of the Jungle. A roaring 98% of you felt, even with that attribute, it lacked pride.
Today, we have a different kind of cat to consider- a Panther. For those of you unfamiliar with the marque, it's English, and as such- eccentric. Founded in 1972, Panther Westwind built a series of hand-crafted, and terribly expensive boutique automobiles. The name came from its close approximation to the Jaguar brand, and, in fact, a number of Panther's cars were jag-powered. Two that were not were the 6-wheel Panther 6, both of which were Cadillac-powered, and the Lima, which took its heart from the Vauxhall Magnum, and its name from a legume.
This Lima is turbocharged, which brings the 2279cc 4 cylinder's horsepower up to a big cat-worthy 134. That should be enough to keep things interesting while the car's on the road, and as one of only 918 built, you're unlikely to see another one when you are. That rarity brings with it problems as well. Vauxhall was never sold in the U.S. and parts for much of the car (save its MG Midget doors/side glass) can't be found at the local Kragan. Tops, brake pads, air filters, ball joints, etc, will all have to be sourced from either the British Isles, or through some weird guy in South Carolina who has almost as many Vauxhall parts as he does liver spots.
So, is fifteen grand the cat's meow for this limited production English tabby? Or does that price make you want to cough up a hairball?
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