Panoz Takes Out Print Ads Over DeltaWing, ZEOD RC Debacle

Don Panoz print ad 2 photos
Photo: Nashville Tennessean
Don Panoz print ad against Carlos Ghosn
 The similarities between the DeltaWing racecar and the Nissan ZEOD RC are obvious, and DeltaWing owner Don Panoz is going to extreme measures in his attempt to prove that Nissan is improperly using his intellectual property. After filing a law suit against Nissan last year, the American racing mogul has now taken a more personal step to call out the Japanese automaker.
According to Automotive News, Panoz placed an ad in the June 13 issue of the Nashville Tennessean (the newspaper serving the area for Nissan’s North American headquarters in Franklin, TN) alleging that Nissan CEO has taken his idea of “frugal engineering” a bit too far with the design of the ZEOD RC. You can see an image of Panoz’s full ad below, but apparently this wasn’t enough so he also took out a similar ad the June 23 issue of Automotive News.

The root cause of this whole issue is the narrow front track that gives the cars a distinguishable arrow-shaped design. Panoz contends that this design is his company’s intellectual property, but the DeltaWing and ZEOD RC were both designed by the same man, Ben Bowlby. While the two cars do look similar, there are plenty of differences as well. Just like the designs of the Chrysler PT Cruiser and the Chevrolet HHR.

When it first took to the track in 2012, Nissan was a key partner in the DeltaWing racecar, but by the start of the 2013 race season, Nissan (like a number of other partners) had stepped away. Panoz takes issue with eventual Nissan designs that include not only the ZEOD RC but also the 2013 BladeGlider Concept, which gives a glimpse of how such a design could translate to a street-legal car.

Although both the DeltaWing and the ZEOD RC are still in their infancy, neither has experienced too much racing success. This ZEOD RC hybrid racecar made its racing debut this year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this month, but it had to retire after just five laps due to a gearbox failure.
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