Everybody knew Bagheera, and nobody cared to cross his path. . . Thus Rudyard Kipling introduced the jungle cat who became Mowgli's chief protector. Today, Nice Price or Crack Pipe has his namesake- at a price you shere khan afford.
Yesterday's counterfeitach couldn't fake you out, and 91% of you gave it a hearty Crack Pipe Salute. While that faux-Italian's disguise didn't fool anybody, let's see how you do with a real Matra Hari.
It was through their purchase by Chrysler, that Simca became intimate with auto, aerospace, bicycle, and hand grenade maker Mécanique Avion Traction, or 'Matra' to its friends. Over the course of their relationship they collaborated on several co-branded models, including the Murena, Rancho, and the subject of today's debate- the Bagheera.
Named after the cool black panther in Kipling'sThe Jungle Book, and nearly as sleek, this little mid-enginer borrowed many a part from the Simca sedan line, including its entire drivetrain. The Bagheera has a steel chassis which is covered in a body made from John Waters' favorite material- polyester. This means that its plenty ding-resistant and makes for a light weight machine. This '79's polyester panels have benefited from a recent re-spray in Dodge Viper silver, which is set off against gold FPS alloys and some aftermarket aero-aids.
Those add-ons and a number of other modifications - including a Pantera shift gate and velocity stacks that you may want to rip directly out of the eBay ad - may not be your cup of espresso. Something that may be - and is a unique feature of the Bagheera - is its three-abreast seating. Unlike the McLaren F1, which centers the driver between wife and mistress, the Bagheera puts the pilot behind the pedals on the left, and the passengers side-by side next to him. That means that you'll be able to take home that cute girl you met at the bar, AND HER CONJOINED TWIN, for a memorable night and a Penthouse Forum entry that pretty much writes itself.
Not only was the Bagheera a relatively low-production car, but it was never officially imported to the U.S., where French sportscars are looked upon with the same derision as French healthcare and French maids. Well, maybe not the maids, but this still means that there are only a handful in the states, so you won't be pulling up next to another one at a traffic light anytime soon. That also would normally mean that getting parts here would be problematic, but not to worry, the seller will throw in a garage full of spares for no extra charge.
Now, about that charge- He's asking ten grand, and that gets you that polyester body, triple-threat seating and a 1442 cc engine that puts out about 85 my little ponies. And while that may not seem like a lot, it's enough to get the little plastic fantastic galloping up to sixty in about 12 clicks, even with you and your Siamese twin friends on board. You also do get that garage full of extra parts, whether you'll ever need them or not.
So how about $10,000 for a rare french chat with a way-cool name? Is that a price that even Baloo could afford? Or would you have to be King Louie to buy it?
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