On the Road with Joe Vitale & “Ladybug”

No marketing lesson today. This one is all about fun.

What could possibly be more fun than going for a ride in “Ladybug”, Joe Vitale’s new Panoz roadster?

Joe Vitale's Panoz AIV Roadster
Joe Vitale's Panoz AIV Roadster

Well, how about DRIVING it?

Bill Hibbler & Joe Vitale

Wow! What an experience. “Ladybug” is a rare 1998 Panoz AIV roadster that once belonged to Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler. Tyler even autographed the car’s engine and owner’s manaual.

The car has an amazing amount of power. Panoz put the same 300 horsepower V8 Ford uses in its Shelby Mustang inside an aluminum body. It goes from Zero to sixty in under five seconds!

Joe and Nerissa dropped by in the car and Lisa got to take a ride around our rural neighborhood first. The car is so loud that Nerissa and I could hear them during the entire journey. When they returned, Lisa was as delighted as a kid on a roller coaster and told Joe he’d made her ‘month’.

Next, Joe took me for a spin and really put the car through it’s paces. The cockpit is pretty tight but comfortable. Stephen Tyler’s guitar pick is glued to the dashboard. The doors are so small you could fit them into your carry-on luggage. The sound is incredible.

When we pulled back into my driveway and parked. Joe said the magic words, “Wanna drive it?” I think I leaped back in the car before he could change his mind. Joe rode shotgun and away we went.

Joe Vitale, Bill Hibbler & Panoz AIV
Joe Vitale, Bill Hibbler & Panoz AIV

I’ve owned several sports cars including some hot-rod V8’s in my day but I’ve never driven a car as powerful as “Ladybug”. The combination of big block engine with an extremely lightweight body makes for one quick automobile.

I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling since the test drive. Thanks, Joe, for a great early birthday present.