Risky Buy of the Day: Highest-Mileage Panoz AIV Roadster in the World

If they’ve taught us anything, there’s no excuse not to daily.

byNico DeMattia|
For Sale photo
Allan Schrag, Facebook Marketplace, The Drive


When was the last time you thought about Panoz? As for me, I wrote about a Panoz Esperante a few weeks ago, but the boutique American racing team and sports car brand hasn't exactly been at the forefront of automotive headlines in decades. However, that doesn't mean there aren't a few faithful Panoz fans willing to buy and own some of its more exciting sports cars. If you're one of them, or you want to be, this 1997 Panoz AIV Roadster could use a new loving home.

Allan Schrag has owned the ultra-rare 1997 Panoz since June 1, 2021 and, rather than keep it as a garage queen, he's driven it regularly. "I have used it as an occasional Sunday driver," he told The Drive. Schrag is the third owner and it currently lives its third state. It started out life in Phoenix, Arizona, then moved to Houston, Texas, and it's now in Wichita, Kansas. In other words, it's resided mostly in drier, warmer climates, and it shows. There's no rust to be seen in any of the photos on the Facebook Marketplace listing, and the car seems to be in excellent condition, especially considering its 134,000 miles. Since most Roadsters for sale have less than 10,000 miles, this is easily the most well-used example we've ever seen.

Allan Schrag

What is the Panoz Roadster? Aside from looking like a Plymouth Prowler for people who actually enjoy driving, the Roadster was the first sports car from Panoz in 1992. However, for the 1996 model year, Panoz updated the Roadster with an aluminum chassis, which is where the "AIV" (Aluminum Intensive Vehicle) part comes from. Along with that updated aluminum chassis also came a new 4.6-liter V8 from the 1996 Mustang SVT Cobra (which replaced the old 4.9-liter Mustang V8) and it made 305 horsepower. Paired to that V8 was a five-speed manual, which drove only the rear wheels.

Only 176 Panoz AIV Roadsters were sold to the public, naturally making each one quite desirable. That rarity might make sourcing parts difficult and expensive when issues inevitably arise. And while Schrag said that it hasn't cost him anything during his time with it, it's still a 134,000-mile car from 1997. Issues are bound to pop up at some point. Engine parts won't be hard to find, since it uses a Mustang V8, but components unique to the car will be tougher.

The current asking price on the Roadster is $25,500, which is well under the $44,000 average, according to Classic.com. That low price may be a reflection of its mileage, as it's traveled about 10 times the distance of your run-of-the-mill (if there is such a thing) Panoz AIV Roadster. However, I'd argue that keeping a purpose-first car like this as a garage queen would miss the point. So depending on its condition and what you want to do with it, this Roadster could be an ideal addition to your stable. More importantly than that, though, it's an open-wheeled, V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive sports car with a manual transmission that's only an inch longer than an Mk8 Volkswagen GTI. That sells itself.

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