You’ve heard of Quattroportes and Monopostos but how about a monoporte? Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Bremen Sebring lets you pop its top to get inside. Let’s see if this rare component car should have buyers popping for its price.
On first pass, forty-five hundred for yesterday’s 1996 Chevy Corvette seemed like a slam dunk. Then reality set in, and and the reality of a C5 ‘Vette with questionable mechanical provenance is that the asking price is just the beginning. In the end, it would likely end up nickel and thousand-dollar-ing you to death, much like taking a trip on Spirit airlines. That eventually resulted in a 55-percent Crack Pipe loss for the black ‘Vette with the low mileage heads.
If you’re a fan the HBO show Silicon Valley then you’re no doubt familiar with the conceit of using automotive door hinge angles as an indicator of personal wealth. According to the character Russ Hanneman there are “Millionaire Doors” and then there are “Billionaire Doors” and he loathes the idea of being saddled with the former. I wonder what Hanneman would make of today’s 1983 Bremen Sebring? It after all, has a “Zillionaire Door.”
The Sebring was a component car derivation of the Sterling kit car, and like its progenitor was based on the Volkswagen Type 1 architecture. The Sebring was the brainchild of one Al Hildenbrand, a fiberglass engineer at California Component Cars in Illinois, maker in the Midwest of the Sterling.
Hildenbrand had a vision of a more practical version of the Sterling, one that was offered not as a kit but a component car. He contracted with Bremen Motors in Bremen Illinois to mold the bodies and undertake the construction, and eventually bought the company outright to ensure his vision quest. The result was a short run of cars that are not quite baby bear kits and not quite papa bear fully-realized production cars.
That makes this Sebring mama bear nice, and you might just be saying “oh mama” over its lines. Yes, that’s a single door that pops-up for egress, and yes you do need to shimmy-shimmy-coco-pop across some pretty wide sills to get in there so don’t wear short skirts when driving the car, ladies.
As noted, the Sebring was VW-based, but they didn’t all have VW mills. This one in fact has a Mazda rotary and that is claimed to be supercharged. It says so right there on the tach. That’s a Roots style compressor that looks to be almost as big as the Wankel it’s feeding and
sucks pushing through what looks to be a four-barrel carb. The ad claims 300-plus horsepower, and it should be pointed out that that is a lot of ponies to have hanging out over the back axle. The engine bay looks remarkable tidy back there all the same, as does the car overall.
A few things you’ll note here. Yes, those are Fox Body Mercury Capri tail lamps, and yes, that does appear to be a rear wing off of an F-body too. The flag and eagle blocking rearward visibility is seemingly bespoke however. Centerline-esque wheels are wrapped with tires evidencing plenty of tread and no appreciable branding.
The seller notes that the car shows a little under 30K on the clock and that it comes with working A/C. That’s a necessity, as while the side glass will pop open to allow the errant bee out they don’t afford much in the way of ventilation. The rest of the interior is a mad mix of pieces. I think the snoods for the door rams are actually Hurst-style shifter boots, and the center console’s out of a Pep Boys. A pair of different steering wheels are shown in the ad, and I’m vexed that I can’t ID the source of those seats.
All together, these components make up an interesting car and one that will likely get you more attention when out and about than a second head. It’s registered as a Bremen Sebring, and according to the ad was the only one invited to the Carlisle Car last year.
The asking price for this Sebring is a cool $20,000. That’s a lot of moolah for something from Illinois, but then it is named after not one but two cities. Well, okay, a city and a township.
What’s your take on this rare companent car and that price? Do you think this Sebring could command $20,000? Or, is that price too high when considered on a per-door basis?
H/T to jmmauch for the hookup!
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