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Panther Car Club to pay tribute to British designer

Published 01 November 2016
  
  

The Panther Car Club will pay tribute to English car designer Robert Jankel and his ‘unfinished symphony’ as part of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show’s Heroes and Heroines theme.

A remarkable car will greet classic car enthusiasts when they visit the Panther Car Club stand at Birmingham’s NEC from 11th to 13th November, for the club will be championing rarity in a big way and will showcase the last Panther model Jankel designed, the J99, which has never before been on public display.

This will be an extra attraction to the J72, De Ville, Lima and Rio models already destined for the stand as part of the tribute and adding further to the Panther Car Club’s show presence.

Panther cars, originally the Surrey-based, craftsman-built creations of fashion designer Bob Jankel from the early 1970s onwards, combined 1930s retro looks with modern Vauxhall, Ford and Jaguar mechanics. They were never produced in vast numbers, although their several hundred popular models have always attracted a keen following.

In contrast, this sporty little number, the J99, has lain dormant in storage since Jankel’s death in 2005. The two-seater coupe with gull-wing doors, was powered by a Ford Lincoln V8 mounted transversely to the rear of the cabin and driving the rear wheels. The front suspension has double wishbones and the car has roadster style wheel arches front and rear. The rear aspect is particularly impressive with four exposed tail silencers and a horizontal rear panel with end plates mounted low down featuring Chevrolet Corvette style round lights.

Standing at 1.7 metres wide by 3.6 metres long, it is a breathtaking car, one that only Jankel, well known for his designs, could have produced, in line with his world renowned Panther 6, which last caused a sensation at the NEC on the Club stand in 2008.

Now, more than a decade on, enthusiasts will get the chance to see – up close – what might have been. 'The never manufactured J99 on show would have rekindled the Panther market and surely taken Panther’s spirit of craftsman-built and highly individual motoring to new heights, but was unfortunately not to be,' said Panther Car Club spokesperson, Val Bridges.

'However, this makes Panthers doubly fascinating today, and we feel sure show visitors will be sharing our great excitement at having this truly amazing car on our stand and can only thank the Jankel family for loaning the car to us and allowing us to put on an unforgettable display.'

See this fantastic display and meet the Panther Car Club in Hall 5 at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show. For more information on the display along with the rest of the show features, the various ticket prices and booking details, visit www.necclassicmotorshow.com.

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