Founded in 1972 by Robert Jankel, the Panther company enjoyed success throughout the 1970s with retro-styled cars based on the mechanical components of standard production cars from other manufacturers.
Notable examples included 1975's Panther Rio: based on the Triumph Dolomite, but appointed to "Rolls-Royce standards" — the cost of which was equivalent to three Triumph Dolomites. Another, and particularly unusual, model was the three-axled Panther 6.
During the late 1970s the company was also engaged in developing a hovercraft using a pair of Honda Gold Wing, 1000cc motorcycle engines; one for the lift fan and one for the directional thrust fan. This was developed in some secrecy at the home of one of the directors of the company in a barn in Surrey with technical help at one point from a specialist race mechanic working for a Honda dealership in South London. Progress and development stopped when the company collapsed. The present location, or even existence, of the vehicle is unknown.
The Panther Westwinds company collapsed in 1980 and was purchased by Young Chull Kim. Production of J72, DeVille and Lima restarted in 1981. In 1982 Young Kim's Jindo Corporation in South Korea constructed the steel chassis platform and aluminum body for a Ford mechanically based car to replace the Vauxhall-based Lima. Production of the new two seater to be called Kallista began at Canada Road, Byfleet in February 1983. Production transferred to a second factory within the Brooklands racetrack in January 1984 and continued there until April 1988. In July 1987 Jindo sold their interest in the Panther Car Company to SsangYong. Another Panther car factory was opened at Harlow, Essex in February 1988 for the new Panther Kallista convertible and its production commenced there while also continuing at Brooklands.
The Panther J72 was a luxury and modern re-make styled on the classic 1936-1940 SS100. Designed by Bob Jankel and manufactured by Panther Westwinds Ltd in England between 1972-1981, only 368 exclusive J72 roadsters were made available to the world.
While the styling and looks were based on the SS100 the J72 is unique in its own design, construction and personality. Jankel crafted the vehicle with passion and with the luxury coachwork the J72 trumped near all of the competition including Rolls Royce at the 1973 London Motor Show receiving the Silver medal.
Featuring a Jaguar 4.2L XK6 engine and Jaquar XJ mechanicals including servo-assisted disc brakes the J72 boasts great performance and road handling within the retro class styling of its aluminum body. The leather interior and wood dash compliment the vehicle with luxurious comfort and style.
Make: Panther Westwinds Ltd
Model: Panther J72
368 Built (1972-1980)
Odometer : ~ 33000 km
Body: 2 Door Roadster, Soft-top Convertible, Aluminum
Length: 4064 mm
Width: 1664 mm
Height: 1346 mm
Engine: 4.2L Jaguar XK6, Water Cooled Straight 6
Bore: 92.07 mm x 106 mm (4235 cc)
Max 190 bhp at 5000 rpm
Torque 200 Ib ft at 2000 rpm
Top Speed 120 mph
0-60 mph 6.6 secs
Fuel Consumption 18 mpg
Transmission: Manual, 4 gear with overspeed-drive
Suspension: Front Independent Wishbones
Rear: Non-independent Live Axle
Steering: Recirculating Ball
Wheels: Five Stud “bolt on” Chrome Wires
Tyres: 225 x 70 VR 15
Brakes: Servo-assisted Disc Brakes
Interior: Connolly Leather Seats and Trim