Panther De Ville
|Panther De Ville|
|Manufacturer||Panther Westwinds Ltd|
|Production||1974 - 1985|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door saloon|
|Engine||4.2 L Jaguar XK6 |
5.3 L Jaguar V12
|Transmission||3-speed automatic (1974–1976)|
4-speed automatic (1977–1985)
|Wheelbase||142.0 in (3,607 mm)|
|Length||204.0 in (5,182 mm)|
|Width||71.0 in (1,803 mm)|
|Height||61.0 in (1,549 mm)|
|Curb weight||4,370 lb (1,982 kg)|
The Panther De Ville is a neo-classic luxury vehicle which was produced by Panther Westwinds, the British specialty maker, from 1974 to 1985. The De Ville was conceived by Robert Jankel to appeal to the taste of nouveau riche customers, including singer Elton John and actor Oliver Reed. About 60 De Villes were hand-built, including eleven two-door convertibles (for many years Britain's most expensive listed production car), and one pink and gold six-door limousine.
With a wheelbase of 142 inches (3,600 mm), the tubular-framed De Ville used a straight-six engine or a V12 engine from Jaguar Cars. The flowing wing lines and big headlights of the De Ville were styled to imitate the Bugatti Royale. The cockpit of the De Ville was modern, without the exterior's pretense of pre-war styling.
The Panther De Ville was equipped with Jaguar suspension, power steering and automatic transmission, so it was an easy car to drive and quite quick, although poor aerodynamics tended to keep the top speed low. Interiors were lavish and often featured TV sets and drinks bars. The doors of the De Ville were from the BMC 1800 family car.
A Panther De Ville was used in Disney's 1996 live-action movie 101 Dalmatians and 102 Dalmatians as Cruella de Vil's car. The Jaguar engine in the car was replaced with a small-block Chevrolet V8 to better withstand the rigours of stunt driving.
The Panther de Ville was hand painted by Alexander Mitchell.
Sources and further reading
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