The Shape-Shifting Platypus of Vintage BMW’sS

Take one part Talbot–Lago, one part Bugatti, season with a dab of Ferrari and a dash of Gullwing Mercedes, and you end up with this Bavarian chimæra of taxative desperation: the 1955 BMW 326 LeBlond.

The LeBlond was designed by a certain Eugene Martin for Talbot–Lago, the French carmaker responsible for those trippy ‘30s coupés that fetch millions at auctions. Unfortunately, the French tax system was about to deliver a coup de not particularly grâce to the company in the shape of holier-than-thou taxation on large engines, so T–L gave up on building Martin’s car then went completely under.

The design was picked up by a certain Alber LeBlond who used a 2.0-liter straight-six from a pre-war BMW 326—yes, the same 326 which became the post-war Bristol 403—and added the suspension and brakes from a Bugatti Type 57 SC to end up with this completely un-BMW BMW. The resulting combination of the Mercedes–Benz 300SL’s front wheelarches, a Bugatti horseshoe grille, and a Ferrari berlinetta silhouette are enough to trigger a violent headache even in someone not averse to the life and habits Ornithorhynchus anatinus. If you were in attendance at the 2005 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, you know what that feels like.

On the other hand, it looks rather brilliant.

Photo Credit: Conceptcarz. Hat tip to Robert Wood for bringing this to our attention. You can see more pictures of the car on Flickr.