Panther Westwinds, commonly known as Panther Cars, was a British manufacturer of luxury and sports cars. Founded in 1972 by Robert Jankel, the company was known for producing cars that combined classic styling elements with modern technology.

Key aspects of Panther Cars' history include:

  1. Founding and Philosophy: Panther was established with the aim of creating exclusive, hand-built cars that offered a blend of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary performance. The company's designs often harkened back to classic styles of the 1930s and 1940s, but with modern underpinnings.

  2. Notable Models: Panther's first car, the J72, launched in 1972, was a classic roadster style reminiscent of the Jaguar SS100. Other notable models included the Panther Lima, a more affordable sports car with Vauxhall mechanicals, and the Panther De Ville, a luxury saloon that featured retro styling reminiscent of pre-war cars. The De Ville was particularly famous for its extravagant design and was owned by several celebrities.

  3. Innovative Designs: Panther also produced some unique and innovative designs. One of the most unusual was the Panther 6, a six-wheeled convertible powered by a Cadillac V8 engine, which was introduced in the mid-1970s.

  4. Financial Challenges and Ownership Changes: Despite producing well-regarded vehicles, Panther faced financial difficulties. The company went through various ownership changes and was eventually acquired by the South Korean company SsangYong Motor Company in the late 1980s.

  5. End of Production: Under SsangYong's ownership, Panther introduced a few more models, including the Panther Kallista, which replaced the Lima and continued the trend of classic styling combined with modern mechanics. However, the production of Panther cars ceased in the early 1990s.

  6. Legacy: Panther Cars is remembered for its unique approach to automobile design, blending classic aesthetics with modern performance. The brand holds a special place in the history of British car manufacturing as an example of a company that pursued a niche market with bespoke, handcrafted vehicles.

Panther Cars' legacy lives on among classic car enthusiasts, with its vehicles being prized as collectibles for their distinctive styling, craftsmanship, and rarity.

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