Saturday, February 27, 2010
Brand New? Well it was in 1985. I took this photo in a local BMW dealer showroom when I was maybe 12 years old, wandering around with a pile of brochures under my arm whilst my Dad chatted to the salesman (he had a 3 series at the time).
The M535i was unveiled at the 1984 Paris motor show and was basically a regular 535i with the M-Technic bodykit, suspension and wheels. 218bhp from the 3.5 litre engine lead to 143mph at the top end and 0-60 of around 7 seconds made for a rapid Porsche-worrying executive express, with only the hand built 286bhp M5 super saloon sitting higher in the 5er model tree.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I've been going through some old photos from trips to Europe, putting up onto Flickr the ones I missed first time around. This one is of an Amphicar, the 1960s Triumph-engined German amphibious boat-auto hybrid.
Random fact: Hans Trippel, the designer of the Amphicar, was also responsible for the famous Mercedes Benz Gullwing doors!
It was quite a sight on the German Autobahn!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The car on which the Bugazzi was based, the Lincoln MkIV, was quite striking as it was but the Bugazzi is of another league entirely. The pinstriping is hand-applied gold leaf, the headlamps sit in brass surrounds and the wheel covers feature more gold - 24 carat. Thirty coats of pearl lacquer lay over the base white, and the interior is decorated with Italian marble. Only in 70s America could such wondrously kitsch vulgarity exist.
Twelve were made in total, selling for nearly three and a half times the cost of the base Lincoln and $10,000 more than a Rolls-Royce. Three are believed to still exist today. This one sold for $19,800 on the day I saw it and was recently back up for sale at $99,000 - quite an increase! But even at that price, what else could you buy that looks quite like it?