Back in 2005 I read in Robb Report magazine that a Panoz (pronounced "PAY-noze") car was one of the top five luxury sports cars in the world. I had never heard of a Panoz. I later heard they make race cars that win at Sebring and Le Mans. It took me a year to actually see a Panoz, though. When I did, it was love at first site.

Francince is a 2005 Esperante GTLM made by the Panoz Automotive Company outside of Atanta. This particular car was offered as a fund raiser for a good cause. The gent who bought the raffle ticket and won this car had no idea what he had on his hands. All he knew was that he now owed a bunch of money to the IRS for having won a luxury sports car worth over $130,000. He instantly put the car up for sale.
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I found the car at Hovey Motor Cars in San Antonio. I drove it the first time and fell in love. I was so giddy from the experience of driving this street rocket that I told the salesman I had to go to lunch and calm down.

After lunch I went back and drove the car again. Whew! Francince is a hot mama. She's a flaming redhead. She's got 420 horsepower in a V-8 Cobra engine and she DEMANDS attention. She roars when I start her. And she wants to race every time I even think of driving her.

I bought her in October, 2006 (for far less than market value) and brought her home. As soon as I pulled in the driveway and she saw my BMW's, she told me, "That Z3 of yours is a go-cart from Toys-R-Us compared to me." Oh, she's got attitude.

Francince is the street-legal version of the Panoz company's award-winning race cars. They only make about 300 cars a year. Each is hand assembled. The motors are hand made. The leather is hand stiched. These cars go to collectors and true lovers of masterpieces that move. Here are some stats:

* Engine:

Horsepower @ rpm:420 @ 6,000
Torque @ rpm:320 @ 3,500
Fuel Injection:Sequential electronic
Transmission:Tremec T56 6-speed manual
*Hand assembled SVT, Supercharged, 4-cam, 32 valve, 90 degree V-8 with cast iron block & aluminum heads

Performance:

0-62 mph (0-100 km/h):4.2 sec
Quarter Mile:12.8 sec. @ 109.4 mph
Lateral Acceleration:0.98 g
Top Speed:180 mph (289.0 km/h)
EPA Mileage Rating:17 city / 25 hwy

Here are some pictures of Francince. Enjoy!

Click here to see Dr. Vitale whip into
his driveway riding Francine with her top down.

Joe Vitale with his 2005 Panoz Esperante GTLM hand assembled luxury sports car called
Joe Vitale with his 2005 Panoz Esperante GTLM hand assembled luxury sports car called "Francine."
Joe and his new girlfriend.
Joe and his new girlfriend.
Under the hood: The people who hand asembled Francine signed their name on the plates. They consider each Panoz car to be a work of art.
Under the hood: The people who hand asembled Francine signed their name on the plates. They consider each Panoz car to be a work of art.
Francine showing off her stuff. She's built for speed.
Francine showing off her stuff. She's built for speed.
Francince's cockpit looks like the inside of a jet airplane.
Francince's cockpit looks like the inside of a jet airplane.
Francine on the day I met her in October, 2006.
Francine on the day I met her in October, 2006.
Francine's hips are eye-catching, too.
Francine's hips are eye-catching, too.
Francince from the side. She's flirting with you.
Francince from the side. She's flirting with you.
The seats are hand-stitched luxurious leather.
The seats are hand-stitched luxurious leather.
The Panoz family makes the Esperante GTLM in other colors, too.
The Panoz family makes the Esperante GTLM in other colors, too. Panoz.com
Francine is bright chilli pepper red and always looks like she is smilin.
Francine is bright chilli pepper red and always looks like she is smiling.

Copyright 2007 by Joe Vitale and Hypnotic Marketing Inc