L’Automobile Storms Miami Beach With Concepts, Customs, and Supercars
Second Annual Event Showcases World Class Cars
When you think of Miami, visions of the unhinged 80s immersed in a tropical lifestyle with a dose of narcotics come into focus. However, Miami is now recognized as an international hub of fashion, culture, and art renowned the world over for producing leading-edge designers. The car in Miami is more of a statement than basic transportation and even six-figure supercars are heavily customized and modified to make an impact in South Beach, Brickell and emerging hot spots like Wynwood and the Design District. With this fashion, art and culture movement producing a show like l’Automobile would certainly succeed, transcending car enthusiasts to cater to the design inherent in cars and the talent designers who visualize and craft them as well.
L’Automobile (French for ‘The Automobile’) is in its second year and being a new show, at a fresh venue with an innovative approach, gained momentum as car design aficionados caught on. The founder, Elo is no rookie in the high end, design and custom car scene. That’s right, the founder goes by only one name and comes by it honestly coming from the fashion world in the UK and Europe and setting up shop in Miami to establish a high dose of sophisticated car culture in one of America’s leading arts locales.
The 2021 show forged ahead through the pandemic with strong attendance for international cars and infamous car personalities such as:
- Fabio Lamborghini: The nephew of the famous Ferrucio Lamborhini, Fabio trained in engineering and worked at divisions of the fabled automaker until 2007. He was also active in contributing to the Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum in Sant’Agostino, Italy, which these days is more of a special guest at auto events around the world.
- Maurizio Corbi: Active designer from Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina and responsible for the Ferrari legends, the F355, the 550 Maranello and yes even the exclusive 349 unit F50 flat-12 supercar from the 1990s.
- Malcolm Bricklin: Most famous for the mid-1970s composite panel V8 supercar bearing his name the Bricklin SV-1. Bricklin is an auto exec that has had many successes over the years and remained a force in the automotive business into his 80s.
Beyond the star power invited to the event, the Miami VIP car elite showed up en masse with millions of dollars in supercars, hypercars and classics sitting out in the parking lot forming a show itself. Dozens of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and McLarens graced the lot with the odd Koenigsegg and Pagani to make a statement. But inside the show the collection got even more eclectic, exotic and rare being hand picked by Elo himself.
Likely the most expensive vehicle at the show was the Red Bull HONDA-powered F1 car to promote F1 Miami. The show also included a high value of the late model supercars, as well as an array of customs and prototypes, which are truly priceless. We’ve seen the outrageous coachwork on the Lamborghini Espada rat rod built by Danton Arts Customs of France but in reality, the impact never fades on us. The Espada again graced another Miami show but it was it’s neighbor the Salvage to Savage DeLorean twin turbo widebody that shocked the crowds. This show was the first appearance of the 2021 SEMA hit show car, that easily made the largest impression on attendees at the Vegas show.
Built just north in Boca Raton, FL, the widebody DeLorean is literally a concept from famous 3D designer, The Kyza (Khyzyl Saleem) meticulously crafted into metal and composites. This is a true fantasy-concept sitting at the l’Automobile show but far from a rolling clay shell, this retro supercar makes real jam. Under the bonnet is Garrett twin turbo-powered 5.2L LS V8 channeled through a 6-speed Porsche 996 transaxle to the rear wheels. Not only was the first time anyone has seen the car wrapped in this rich gold hue, there is more to the build we are featuring soon.
A pair of retro highlights captured audience attention, the first was the Maggiore Project M. The limited to 40 units Project M, is based on the venerable Ferrari 308 with a fresh take on wider bodywork, composites and modern technology to make an all new approach to the Magnum-mobile. Another fan favorite was the Miami-themed Land Rover restomod. A nut and bolt restoration of this offroad legend, has been reborn with everything replaced or renewed and in a high-impact color-scheme that got a rumored $250,000 offer to buy the truck after the show.
With all of the gasoline-powered legends new and old, it was in fact a pair of EV concepts that caused a frenzy of activity. While gear heads play out the final decades of the internal combustion era, next-level projects like the EV-powered Shelby Daytona Coupe really commanded attention. This sleek silver car by Superformance was clearly missing trademark design cues like the massive side-pipes and gated manual. Although we did still spot a fuel pump switch, oil and water temp gauges, this work-in-progress has a dual EV motor set up capable of over 1000lb-ft of torque with a sub 3-second 0-60mph claim.
Beyond the Daytona Coupe EV was what appeared to be a Porsche 911 930 that curiously was missing the exhaust pipes out the rear fascia. The car called the Electric GT certainly looked like a gas car, yet had a pair of massive electric motors mounted to the rear axles resulting in one fast, yet silent assassin on the track.
Once again l’Automobile asserted itself as not a traditional Miami car show. Dozens of high-end and rare supercars from Bugatti, Koenigsegg and Pagani are seen regularly at many shows in South Florida but still the unique content at this oceanfront show setting sets itself apart.