Proof There Is A God: Here Is A Photo Of A Panoz Racing A Vector

Truly today is a day of miracles: on Polish Wikipedia I have discovered a picture of a Panoz Esperante GTR-1 chasing down a Vector M12 GT2 race car. I am currently in a state of shock.


This picture was apparently shot in 1998, according to the Wikimedia uploader. Who is that uploader? There could only be one person responsible, as the photo credit reads: “Jon Lewis, President American Spirit Racing, permission sent via email to wikipedia commons.”

As it turns out, there was a time when two of the most strong-headed American sports car companies in history shared the very same track. Which track exactly this was, I do not know.

For those of you not familiar with Panoz, it was one of the most hilarious and great sports racing cars ever. Don Panoz, the American racing yahoo and hero, decided to compete in the top GT1 class in international sports car racing with a front-engined design, basically a V8 muscle car duking it out with ultra high-tech McLarens, Porsches and Mercedes-Benzes. They called it the ‘Batmobile’ for visually-obvious reasons. The chassis was actually British, from Reynard, making it kind of like a Shelby Cobra or a Ford GT40 of the ‘90s.

The Vector, well, the Vector was the most incomprehensibly unhinged American supercar to ever live. We remember it mostly for showing up every few years claiming it was selling a car that did 280 miles per hour or something or doing a photo shoot with nips.

This particular car was a race version of the M12 road car, itself just a Lamborghini Diablo rebodied in fiberglass. Here is another shot of the thing:


I remain stunned. This is a moment.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.


These look cartoonishly evil in person and I absolutely love them. This is from Atlanta Concours d’Elegance - they’re built right up the street from where the event was hosted.

I’d previously only seen this car in photos and video games - it’s got fantastic presence in person. I don’t know if it’s the wild styling or the color-shifting paint, but there’s something very “TVR” about the Esperante GTR-1.