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Press Pass 2005

The Coachbuilders, Part 3: The Secret to Success
By Andrew Gardner; photos courtesy Fisker Coachbuild, LLC, and credit Andrew
Jan 14, 2007, 12:45 PST
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Coachbuilders, Part III

Ok, so maybe Im not that clever. Perhaps given the time of the release of this publication, or your astute observations as to the name of this company, you already know or have some idea what the missing piece of the Fisker puzzle is.

Seven month development time? Tested, certified, calibrated, ready to rumble in seven months?

Whats more, there are currently three employees at Fisker Coachbuild. Three.

Howd they do that?

Well, they have somebody else make a car for them. Then, they strip it and rework it, massage it, bolster it, beautify it, make it a born-again automobile. This is coachbuilding, the customization of a vehicle to allow for personal expression. Once upon a time, Coachbuilding was a task for a small carrozzeria to take an enormous chunk of change from a movie star or business super-baron and make for them an automobile out of a production car.

The Tramonto began life as a Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG convertible, complete with automated hardtop. Fisker Coachbuild, with its affiliates, stripped and gutted the car. Then, the road to the sunset began. Carbon fiber and aluminum bodywork was fitted, using mainly the stock attachment points. Underneath, all crumple zones, bumpers, and structural work remained intact this, Fisker says, allows him to avoid all the crash-test certification work that would certainly kill any hopes of completing a car in such a short period of time.

Kleemann sets to work under the hood, wringing well over 100 extra horsepower out of the AMGs already potent powerplant. The interior is mostly re-covered, although some reshaping of the center console is done. The finest materials are used on the seats, doors, and headliner fine leather, Aluminum, alcantara headliner the works. Fisker-designed wheels adorn the exterior, topped off with custom stamped steel center caps.

On the Latigo, the C-pillar is even moved back a few inches to provide a sexier profile. The center console here is more significantly reworked. But the angular BMW shapes on the dashboard most certainly remain.

And on both cars, we find an abundance of familiar shapes. The original cars' form is lost to the untrained eye, the personality totally changed. Instead we find Fisker - new Fisker and old Fisker. The Tramonto especially evokes Aston Martin DB9 in the side profile, and some BMW Z8 in the rear. The front of course is dominated by the new face of Fisker Coachbuild, the grille inspired by the F/A 22 Raptor jet surrounded by a sunset halo, aggressive in stance and ready to gobble up anything in its way.

Fisker Coachbuild is a lean, mean machine. It is infinitely large in its reliance on vendors for fabrication, manufacturing and engineering. It is nimble for having a design direction chosen quickly by a brilliant few, and formidable as it is headed by one of the world's permier designers. The world will be a better place, especially for those chosen few who get to own one of these uber-exclusive automobiles, thanks to Fisker Coachbuild. The initiative to embark on such a venture shall, likely, be well-rewarded.

 

 

 

© Copyright 2005 by MotorSportsCenter.com

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