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The Cycle Is Closed: The History Of Individual Bodybuilding. Part Three: From The 1980s To The Present Day

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The Cycle Is Closed: The History Of Individual Bodybuilding. Part Three: From The 1980s To The Present Day
The Cycle Is Closed: The History Of Individual Bodybuilding. Part Three: From The 1980s To The Present Day
Video: The Cycle Is Closed: The History Of Individual Bodybuilding. Part Three: From The 1980s To The Present Day
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More recently, we have already found out that after the Second World War, coachbuilding companies had a hard time: some were forced to close, others radically changed their field of activity, and still others began to establish links with mass producers. However, the 1980s were inevitably approaching - times that for such firms can be called "the era of renaissance."

To immediately fit into the context, recall that the 1980s were also the golden era of motorsport. The insane "Group B" appeared in the rally, and the power of the Formula 1 engines became quite frenzied. A lot of money was drawn into the race from tobacco and alcohol companies, and at the same time - from firms with extremely dubious origins of capital.

And the people who gave money for the races also loved cars. Therefore, they gave a lot. They also wanted to spend their money so that their cars did not look like other people's cars - in general, on the street of coachbuilders and customizers, a truck with gingerbread turned over again.

"Six" BMW in the back of E24 from Gemball is a classic example of tuning in the 80s
"Six" BMW in the back of E24 from Gemball is a classic example of tuning in the 80s
"Six" BMW in the back of E24 from Gemball is a classic example of tuning in the 80s
"Six" BMW in the back of E24 from Gemball is a classic example of tuning in the 80s
"Six" BMW in the back of E24 from Gemball - a classic example of tuning 80s
"Six" BMW in the back of E24 from Gemball - a classic example of tuning 80s
Ferrari Testaross Biturbo Roadsterby Koenig
Ferrari Testaross Biturbo Roadsterby Koenig
Ferrari Testaross Biturbo Roadsterby Koenig
Ferrari Testaross Biturbo Roadsterby Koenig

Tuning on the verge of coaching

The boundaries of coaching began to blur after the Second World War. Well, by the 1980s, it became increasingly difficult to understand where tuning ends and individual bodywork begins again.

Take, for example, the Hamburg firm Caro International. Since the early 1980s, she has been making custom limousines and armored vehicles, but she did not disdain and completely insane individual projects. In 1990, the company released the Mercedes 560 TEL - a station wagon based on the S-class in the 126th body, which uses lights from the E-class station wagon S124. This car was talked about a lot in May 2020 when the Stuart Parr Collection put the original station wagon up for sale.

Caro International Mercedes 560 TEL
Caro International Mercedes 560 TEL
Caro International Mercedes 560 TEL
Caro International Mercedes 560 TEL
Caro International Mercedes 560 TEL. Pay attention to the workmanship: the trunk has the correct shape, and the window line is made as harmonious as possible
Caro International Mercedes 560 TEL. Pay attention to the workmanship: the trunk has the correct shape, and the window line is made as harmonious as possible
Caro International Mercedes 560 TEL
Caro International Mercedes 560 TEL

A similar machine could have been produced by the Binz company, which dates back to 1936. After the war, the company started producing special vehicles based on German cars (mainly Mercedes), which makes a living to this day. However, along with hearses, ambulances and multi-door limousines for airports, the company produces luxury VIP-class limousines, including Gelenevagens with sliding (!) Doors (scroll through the pictures).

Mercedes-Benz 300c Station Wagon with Binz body, commissioned by Caroline Foulk. 1956 year
Mercedes-Benz 300c Station Wagon with Binz body, commissioned by Caroline Foulk. 1956 year
Mercedes-Benz 300c Station Wagon with Binz body, commissioned by Caroline Foulk. 1956 year
Mercedes-Benz 300c Station Wagon with Binz body, commissioned by Caroline Foulk. 1956 year
Mercedes-Benz 300c Station Wagon with Binz body, commissioned by Caroline Foulk. 1956 year
Mercedes-Benz 300c Station Wagon with Binz body, commissioned by Caroline Foulk. 1956 year
Mercedes-Benz 300c Station Wagon with Binz body, commissioned by Caroline Foulk. 1956 year
Mercedes-Benz 300c Station Wagon with Binz body, commissioned by Caroline Foulk. 1956 year
Six-door limousine based on the Mercedes E-class W210 by Binz. 90s
Six-door limousine based on the Mercedes E-class W210 by Binz. 90s
Mercedes G 63 AMG by Binz, also known as G-XXL
Mercedes G 63 AMG by Binz, also known as G-XXL

Italians also annealed in those years. Salvatore Diomante of Autocostruzione SD, commissioned by sheikhs from the Middle East, built open four-door Rolls-Royce. Because you can hardly think of anything more eye-catching than an open-top Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit in yellow. In 1986, such a pleasure cost 200 thousand pounds, which today is equivalent to 470 thousand pounds (or 41.2 million rubles).

Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit by Autocostruzione SD, 1986
Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit by Autocostruzione SD, 1986
Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit by Autocostruzione SD, 1986
Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit by Autocostruzione SD, 1986
Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit by Autocostruzione SD, 1986
Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit by Autocostruzione SD, 1986
Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit by Autocostruzione SD, 1986
Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit by Autocostruzione SD, 1986

In Germany, they also hunted by modifying sports and supercars in every possible way. For example, DP Motorsport turned the Porsche 944 into spectacular shooting breaks. Optionally, the power unit was also modified.

Porsche 944 by DP Motorsport
Porsche 944 by DP Motorsport
Porsche 944 by DP Motorsport
Porsche 944 by DP Motorsport
Porsche 944 by DP Motorsport
Porsche 944 by DP Motorsport
Porsche 944 by DP Motorsport
Porsche 944 by DP Motorsport

Factory Coach Building

Naturally, not only relatively small offices, like DP Motorsport, but also the automakers themselves wanted to profit from petrodollars and just dollars of the rich. So firms like Ferrari and Rolls-Royce, whose cars are popular with wealthy clients, began to open special units for individual projects.

Most of them appeared in the late 1980s, when the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, fully realized his passion for cars and began to collect the largest, most exclusive, most expensive and perhaps the strangest collection on the planet. It was his immense wealth that led to the emergence of McLaren Special Operations (in 1993), the individualization program for Ferrari cars, which later grew into Ferrari Special Projects, and a number of other "special" departments.

The cycle is closed: the history of individual bodybuilding. Part three: from the 1980s to the present day
The cycle is closed: the history of individual bodybuilding. Part three: from the 1980s to the present day

Such projects required the involvement of outside help from specialists with extensive experience in bodywork and design. In the case of Ferrari, it was the Pininfarina studio, Aston Martin - Pininfarin and Zagato … And Bentley and Rolls-Royce, whose position was not the most enviable in the 1980-1990s, collaborated with almost all the studios in Western Europe interspersed.

Here are just a few unusual cars built for Hassanal Bolkiah.

1988 Ferrari F90 Speciale Pininfarina
1988 Ferrari F90 Speciale Pininfarina
Jaguar XJ220 Pininfarina, 1995
Jaguar XJ220 Pininfarina, 1995
Jaguar XJ220 Pininfarina, 1995
Jaguar XJ220 Pininfarina, 1995
Ferrari FX Pininfarina, 1996
Ferrari FX Pininfarina, 1996
Ferrari FX Pininfarina, 1996
Ferrari FX Pininfarina, 1996
Ferrari FX Pininfarina, 1996
Ferrari FX Pininfarina, 1996
1996 Ferrari 456 GT Venice Estate Pininfarina
1996 Ferrari 456 GT Venice Estate Pininfarina
1996 Ferrari 456 GT Venice Estate Pininfarina
1996 Ferrari 456 GT Venice Estate Pininfarina
1997 Aston Martin Vantage Special Series I
1997 Aston Martin Vantage Special Series I
1997 Aston Martin Vantage Special Series I
1997 Aston Martin Vantage Special Series I

For Bentley, it was the Sultan's orders that became the saving straw: the company could demand astronomical sums (over a million dollars per copy) for Dominator SUVs or Rapier coupes, and the Sultan paid them. And then he had new ideas, and he returned for a new portion of strange machines.

Later, both celebrities and collectors began to be among the customers of individual programs. It is thanks to them that the personalization programs have survived for many brands to this day.

Race cars for ordinary roads

When it became clear in the late 1980s that race cars were becoming too powerful and dangerous, the Federation of Motor Sports (FIA) stepped in and drastically revised the regulations for rally and endurance championships. Yesterday's trail conquerors went to museums and private collections. But there were so many copies of some racing models that it was difficult for them to find a new use, and they did not want to put them under pressure. It was then that the new wave of coachbuilders appeared, represented for the most part by yesterday's racers. They couldn't think of anything better than converting racing prototypes for public roads.

The most interesting in this sense is the Porsche 962, which was "freshened" by at least five firms. And if the conversion from Switec or Dauer did not differ much from the racing car, then the 962nd from Koenig and Schuppan was cut very thoroughly.

Porsche Schuppan 962CR
Porsche Schuppan 962CR
Porsche Schuppan 962CR
Porsche Schuppan 962CR
Porsche Schuppan 962CR
Porsche Schuppan 962CR
Porsche Schuppan 962CR
Porsche Schuppan 962CR
Porsche Schuppan 962CR
Porsche Schuppan 962CR

The Schuppan 962CR was created by Australian racing driver Vern Schuppan, winner of the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans. The machines were assembled by ModenCars from Great Britain.

In fact, the 962CR is the most real 962 with a freaky 600-horsepower engine. Only slightly cultured, which was expressed both in the cabin with minimal amenities and in design. By the way, for this very design, inspired by the Porsche 959, Schuppan received a scolding from Porsche and a court order prohibiting the use of the brand emblems on the car.

Advanced customization

By the 1990s, tuning began to turn into a more widespread phenomenon. For relatively little money, it was possible to turn a simple Civic into a sports car capable of traveling faster than 200 kilometers per hour. The cult manga Initial D appeared, and the culture celebrated in The Fast and the Furious began to emerge.

Since tuning has ceased to be synonymous with wealth, companies have emerged that can give a little more than new bumpers and wheels. It's hard to call them full-fledged coachbuilders, but still sometimes they shoot with very radical machines.

VeilSide MazdRX-7 Fortune
VeilSide MazdRX-7 Fortune

In the mid-90s, Chip Foose opens his studio, which is known to most for creating hot rods based on American classics. However, Fuzz's portfolio includes not only radically tuned Plymouths and Fords, but also cars whose bodies were built from scratch.

Foose Hemisfear, 2006
Foose Hemisfear, 2006
Foose Hemisfear, 2006
Foose Hemisfear, 2006
Foose Hemisfear, 2006
Foose Hemisfear, 2006
Hot Wheels DeorII by Chip Foose Design, 2000
Hot Wheels DeorII by Chip Foose Design, 2000
Hot Wheels DeorII by Chip Foose Design, 2000
Hot Wheels DeorII by Chip Foose Design, 2000

Founded in 1993, West Coast Customs, renowned for its Pimp to Ride Show, also knows more than installing monitors in every vacant body panel.

DeLorean DMC-12 by West Coast Customs, commissioned by Will.i.am
DeLorean DMC-12 by West Coast Customs, commissioned by Will.i.am
DeLorean DMC-12 by West Coast Customs, commissioned by Will.i.am
DeLorean DMC-12 by West Coast Customs, commissioned by Will.i.am
DeLorean DMC-12 by West Coast Customs, commissioned by Will.i.am
DeLorean DMC-12 by West Coast Customs, commissioned by Will.i.am
Dodge Viper SRT-10 Bravado Banshee by West Coast Customs
Dodge Viper SRT-10 Bravado Banshee by West Coast Customs
Dodge Viper SRT-10 Bravado Banshee by West Coast Customs
Dodge Viper SRT-10 Bravado Banshee by West Coast Customs
Dodge Viper SRT-10 Bravado Banshee by West Coast Customs
Dodge Viper SRT-10 Bravado Banshee by West Coast Customs
Dodge Viper SRT-10 Bravado Banshee by West Coast Customs
Dodge Viper SRT-10 Bravado Banshee by West Coast Customs

Some of the body kits of the Japanese company VeilSide, which completely reshape the outlines of the cars, can hardly be called simple tuning. Remember the RX-7 Han from Tokyo Drift? Well, this is exactly VeilSide.

VeilSide MazdRX-7 Fortune (FD)
VeilSide MazdRX-7 Fortune (FD)
VeilSide MazdRX-7 Fortune (FD)
VeilSide MazdRX-7 Fortune (FD)
VeilSide MazdRX-7 Fortune (FD)
VeilSide MazdRX-7 Fortune (FD)
VeilSide HondNSX Fortune (NA2)
VeilSide HondNSX Fortune (NA2)
VeilSide HondNSX Fortune (NA2)
VeilSide HondNSX Fortune (NA2)
VeilSide HondNSX Fortune (NA2)
VeilSide HondNSX Fortune (NA2)

Is this not the best proof that it was at the end of the twentieth century that the line between coaching and tuning was completely erased.

Coaching today

Coaching is experiencing a renaissance these days. The departure from simply advanced tuning, in which only the body panels were changed, to deep structural changes is returning to fashion, albeit not on a mass scale.

In the wake of the growing popularity of individual bodies, the Touring Superleggera studio, which we talked about in previous articles, has revived. Since 2006, she has been involved in both custom body design and advice to car manufacturers, as well as helping to recreate historic models.

Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation, released in 2017. Superlegger roll cage has been reinforced to meet safety requirements
Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation, released in 2017. Superlegger roll cage has been reinforced to meet safety requirements
Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation, released in 2017. Superlegger roll cage has been reinforced to meet safety requirements
Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation, released in 2017. Superlegger roll cage has been reinforced to meet safety requirements
Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation, released in 2017. Superlegger roll cage has been reinforced to meet safety requirements
Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation, released in 2017. Superlegger roll cage has been reinforced to meet safety requirements
Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation, released in 2017. Superlegger roll cage has been reinforced to meet safety requirements
Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation, released in 2017. Superlegger roll cage has been reinforced to meet safety requirements
AlfRomeo Disco Volante, created by Touring based on the AlfRomeo 8C Competizione. year 2013
AlfRomeo Disco Volante, created by Touring based on the AlfRomeo 8C Competizione. year 2013
AlfRomeo Disco Volante, created by Touring based on the AlfRomeo 8C Competizione. year 2013
AlfRomeo Disco Volante, created by Touring based on the AlfRomeo 8C Competizione. year 2013
AlfRomeo Disco Volante, created by Touring based on the AlfRomeo 8C Competizione. year 2013
AlfRomeo Disco Volante, created by Touring based on the AlfRomeo 8C Competizione. year 2013
AlfRomeo Disco Volante, created by Touring based on the AlfRomeo 8C Competizione. year 2013
AlfRomeo Disco Volante, created by Touring based on the AlfRomeo 8C Competizione. year 2013
Bentley Continental Flying Star Touring body. 2010 year
Bentley Continental Flying Star Touring body. 2010 year
Bentley Continental Flying Star Touring body. 2010 year
Bentley Continental Flying Star Touring body. 2010 year

Independent studios with a history, like Pininfarin and Zagato, increasingly create custom-made cars for customers. Although, of course, the main source of profit remains the automakers, who want to instill in their cars the original Italian charm.

Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake, Zagato body. year 2014
Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake, Zagato body. year 2014
Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake, Zagato body. year 2014
Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake, Zagato body. year 2014
Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake, Zagato body. year 2014
Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake, Zagato body. year 2014
Rolls-Royce Hyperion with Pininfarina body, 2008. Based on Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Rolls-Royce Hyperion with Pininfarina body, 2008. Based on Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Rolls-Royce Hyperion with Pininfarina body, 2008. Based on Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Rolls-Royce Hyperion with Pininfarina body, 2008. Based on Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Rolls-Royce Hyperion with Pininfarina body, 2008. Based on Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Rolls-Royce Hyperion with Pininfarina body, 2008. Based on Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe

What's more, Pininfarin is doing so well now that the company is about to launch its own Battista electric car. It would be ironic if some electric supercar buyer turns to Zagato with a request to reshape it in a new way.

Special individualization programs from car manufacturers also live to the full. Ferrari rolls out a new model almost every six months, created by the order of another collector. The same is done at Lamborghini, Bugatti, McLaren and so on.

Ferrari SP12 EC, which cost Eric Clapton $ 4.75 million. year 2012
Ferrari SP12 EC, which cost Eric Clapton $ 4.75 million. year 2012
Ferrari SP12 EC, which cost Eric Clapton $ 4.75 million. year 2012
Ferrari SP12 EC, which cost Eric Clapton $ 4.75 million. year 2012
Ferrari SP12 EC, which cost Eric Clapton $ 4.75 million. year 2012
Ferrari SP12 EC, which cost Eric Clapton $ 4.75 million. year 2012
McLaren X-1, created by McLaren Special Operations in 2010 for a customer in Bahrain. At the heart of the car is the MP4-12C coupe
McLaren X-1, created by McLaren Special Operations in 2010 for a customer in Bahrain. At the heart of the car is the MP4-12C coupe
McLaren X-1, created by McLaren Special Operations in 2010 for a customer in Bahrain. At the heart of the car is the MP4-12C coupe
McLaren X-1, created by McLaren Special Operations in 2010 for a customer in Bahrain. At the heart of the car is the MP4-12C coupe
McLaren X-1, created by McLaren Special Operations in 2010 for a customer in Bahrain. At the heart of the car is the MP4-12C coupe
McLaren X-1, created by McLaren Special Operations in 2010 for a customer in Bahrain. At the heart of the car is the MP4-12C coupe
Ferrari P80 / C created by Ferrari Centro Stile based on the 488 GT3. A purely track car built according to the Special Projects program. 2019 year
Ferrari P80 / C created by Ferrari Centro Stile based on the 488 GT3. A purely track car built according to the Special Projects program. 2019 year
Ferrari P80 / C created by Ferrari Centro Stile based on the 488 GT3. A purely track car built according to the Special Projects program. 2019 year
Ferrari P80 / C created by Ferrari Centro Stile based on the 488 GT3. A purely track car built according to the Special Projects program. 2019 year
Ferrari P80 / C created by Ferrari Centro Stile based on the 488 GT3. A purely track car built according to the Special Projects program. 2019 year
Ferrari P80 / C created by Ferrari Centro Stile based on the 488 GT3. A purely track car built according to the Special Projects program. 2019 year

Japan has become one of the main points of attraction for coaching in the 21st century. In a country that, in principle, gave a lot to custom culture, companies such as Rauh Welt Begriff by Akira Nakai and Liberty Walk have sprung up. You've probably seen super-wide Porsches and Lamborghinis with riveted fenders and giant winglets. So - that's all of them.

Porsche Rauh Welt Begriff
Porsche Rauh Welt Begriff
Porsche RWB 930 Wide Body
Porsche RWB 930 Wide Body
Porsche RWB 964 Wide Body Coupe
Porsche RWB 964 Wide Body Coupe
Porsche RWB 964 Wide Body Coupe
Porsche RWB 964 Wide Body Coupe
Porsche RWB 993 Wide Body
Porsche RWB 993 Wide Body
Porsche RWB 964 Wide Body Coupe
Porsche RWB 964 Wide Body Coupe
Porsche RWB 964 Wide Body Coupe
Porsche RWB 964 Wide Body Coupe
Nissan GTR by Liberty Walk
Nissan GTR by Liberty Walk
Lamborghini Huracan Zero Fighter by Liberty Walk
Lamborghini Huracan Zero Fighter by Liberty Walk
BMW M3 by Liberty Walk
BMW M3 by Liberty Walk
BMW M3 by Liberty Walk
BMW M3 by Liberty Walk
Ferrari F40 by Liberty Walk
Ferrari F40 by Liberty Walk
Ferrari F40 by Liberty Walk
Ferrari F40 by Liberty Walk
ToyotSuprby Liberty Walk
ToyotSuprby Liberty Walk
McLaren MP4 by Liberty Walk
McLaren MP4 by Liberty Walk

Considering that coachbuilding dates back to the Bronze Age, this delicate and beautiful craft can be considered one of the oldest on Earth. It is thanks to him that cars around will never be the same. At least we really want to believe it.

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