Things aren’t as bad as they sounded at Bob Jankel’s Panther Westwinds Ltd. in Byfleet (see Motor Sport, February). Though the Receiver is indeed in residence, production of all models, including the Lima, J72, De Ville and Panther Six is said to be proceeding apace, to the extent that overtime is being worked and order books are buoyant. The second six-wheeled Panther has just been completed and was pre-sold. All the existing management remains, including Jankel.
It seems that what caused the hiccup was a major Japanese order for Limas from a trading company with which Panther had done business for four years. Panther produced a solid run of £250,000-worth of Japanese specification Limas and found themselves stuck with them when the letter of credit from Japan fell through. The Midland Bank were of the opinion that the cars were unsaleable anywhere else in the world because of the specification.
All the cars were sold to another Japanese outlet on February 21st, but there are other creditors and the Receiver is offering the company for sale as a going concern. We understand that prospectuses have been sent out to 40 people or companies who had expressed interest and seven potential purchasers are being considered. An announcement of the sale is expected shortly.
The talented Bob Jankel confirms that she stylish Vauxhall-based Equus “will be built” but not necessarily in Ireland, where plans were afoot to set up a production facility. — C R.