Bell Aurens Longnose "Yacht Tail" in Sahara cream.
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One look onto this very special offroadster is enough to get the impression one had missed out on something for centuries in the history of classic British automobiles. This evolution of a Series Land Rover 109 is likely to search for drafts or indications of such a special edition in the archives of the 60ties and 70ties of this traditional brand from Solihull.
Nothing distracts from the clear, self-confident facial expression that in an instance captures even novices in the fraternity of Land Rover enthusiasts. This face has written automotive history. As a synonym for endurance and functionality. Character defining for generations of automotive grandchild’s in its almost provocative reduction to the absolute essential.
By the time the engine raises its sonorous, powerful voice for the first time even the most experienced Land Rover owner will listen closely and take a closer look.
Truly an offroader from the front fender to the rear lights – yet still a roadster. Who ever searched for evidence that cross-over can be an art in itself – here is the answer.
No attempt of retro-directed design exercises a la Volkswagen Beetle or BMW Mini – rather a deferent evolution of an icon of the British automotive industry. Resulting in an automobile that should have been built 40 years ago. Vintage without compromise - no concession to fashions or trends. No ingratiation to target groups of up-to-date marketing concepts. Instead the Longnose faces its future owner at eye-height – full of character, authoritative, stylish.
Some inspirations develop to fascinating ideas on reflection. Really good ideas develop into a vision you cannot ignore anymore. They demand for realisation with the irresistible consequence of a baby on its way to birth.
Exactly such an idea is the Bell Aurens Longnose. From first thoughts via first sketches and 3-D studies the strong wish for realisation could not be ignored anymore. On the contrary the birth of the first prototype became just a question of time and opportunity.
Who ever went greenlaning or city cruising with a Series Land Rover, windscreen down, will appreciate the fascination that lies in the idea of a cross-over between a classical British roadster and a thoroughbred offroader. Both types of car unite in the Bell Aurens Longnose in such a congenial way, that the labeling offroadster virtually springs to ones mind.
In the front optionally 8 or 12 cylinder care for propulsion to the physical limits. Far back at the end of a sheer endless bonnet the Bell Aurens offers a driver cell, which by combination of classic, noble material with minimalist equipment layout exceeds highest drivers' expectations. The traditional leaf spring chassis reports every detail of the roads surface unvarnished and without any compromise to the drivers' spine.
The visible exhaust manifolds in the front wings care for a powerful visual appearance, which foreshadows the acoustical presence of the Longnose. The reassuring knowledge about the unsurpassed offroad capabilities of a real Land Rover, with four wheel drive, offroad gear reduction and central locking differential, invites to extensive rides through heavy terrain. Or a run through the North-African
deserts to Akaba.
The search for a suitable design factory which would be able to stem a project like this can be compared to the search for a needle in a haystack. After all, the potential partner not only had to deliver the technical competence and skills but more important live up to the poise and attitude of the team. Right from the start it became clear that the job was mainly about distinguishing the many willing from only a few able among the contestants.
After all manual vehicle construction nowadays can be regarded as a form of art. And those artists are getting rare. Over and above this effect true artists of this kind work in secrecy. Thanks to their rare talents they are very seldom in need for blatant public appearances. So as often it was a chain of luck and coincidence that led us on the trace of Dipl. Ing. Jörg Lorenz and his team.
Under the name of Lorenz and Partners in a village near Nuremberg a small group of highly motivated specialists works with the methods used by those great coachwork designers of yesterday. A first glance into the factory halls says it all. Immediately the classicist realises which jewel is hidden there in the outback of Bavaria. Oldtimers undergo a scrutinising restoration process to perfection, bodywork is partly or totally re-built from a flat metal sheet. And a chat with Jörg Lorenz completes the picture: this man and his team love their job and follow a mission. So much that his enthusiasm for our project feels like an accolade.
Thus it goes without saying that future owner of a Bell Aurens Longnose are formally invited to visit this very special manufactory while their individual automobile is built. And witness a process that in its exclusivity can only be phrased as the "birth of an automobile".
The owners club.
To own and drive a Longnose is a statement – far and above the typical automotive affection. It is evidence of a very special attitude towards life. The Bell Aurens Longnose will be one of potentially several automotive expressions of such self-conception - and a
very distinctive one too.
The resulting small number of birds of a feather will most certainly without any assistance create a community of their own under this unique brand. In an exclusivity that is hard to beat. As not money, status or introduction is the entrance card to that club, but the mutual fascination for a special idea – the ongoing daily battle against the ordinary.
The Bell Aurens Owner Club mirrors that shared philosophy. So ordering a Bell Aurens Longnose is the ticket into a very distinctive club. A club without doormen, leather armchairs or silver plated cutlery. Instead the members of this club show heart, soul and attitude. And the knowledge to be part of the chosen few that share the Longnose experience.
Heart of the Owners Club will be the Bell Aurens register, an exclusive documentation of all Bell Aurens Longnose built and their owners. Although centrally kept, every owner automatically gets his own, personal copy of the Longnose register. And with every new automobile sold he receives a high quality register completion telling him all about the new driver-automobile couple in the Bell Aurens family.
Every new automobile will be recorded in every detail, be it the equipment and fittings or every person involved in building that particular car. So even after many years any owner knows which group of metal sheet artists, saddlers and mechanics built his individual car.
As a special element of the Owners Club we plan a gallery of all Longnose automobiles. The idea being that every automobile will be portrayed by a selected artist. This way step-by-step a collection of individual portraits is created, that will accompany the Longnose on fairs, exhibitions and presentations. And of course will be shown on the Bell Aurens website. It goes without saying, that every owner gets his own portrait as a high quality print on hand-made deckle edged paper.
An interesting alternative or evolution would be to win an automotive-minded artist as mentor/curator of such a growing gallery. Together with him we would select young talented artists, so each automobile is portrayed by a different artist in his very personal style. A potentially young and wild combination of interpretations contrasting with a "historical minded" automotive topic would be the red tape of that collection idea.
On top of regular invitations for the Longnose owners to fairs, exhibitions, shows and racing events with Bell Aurens participation there will be a yearly Driver Summit from the 10th sold automobile onwards. As the name Driver Summit implies, driving would be the core fun of those events – namely in those challenging regions where the legendary forefathers of the Longnose do their duty until today, be it the desert or the mountain pass, tarmac or sand.
With all the exclusivity it almost sounds trivial, that if wish be, any Bell Aurens Longnose comes with worldwide road assistance. So in the unlikely case that driver and automobile get stuck somewhere they know themselves in secure hands to make their way home.
Thomas Bell, born 20th December 1974, is the father of the Bell Aurens Longnose. His ideas and first sketches created the basis for this unique, automotive concept. His firm conviction awoke the vision Longnose – his passion demanded for the mission Longnose. His love for the idea reaches down to perfection of the smallest detail. And made him push the idea for an exclusive automobile towards an automotive statement – the Bell Aurens Longnose.
Thereby he can justifiably claim that the Land Rover brand and with it the love for this automotive icon was put in his cradle – in the form of a red plastic Land Rover model. A silhouette that left a lasting impression and obviously influences him until today.
The little red car grew into „Little Lucifer“– an eye-catching Series III ex fire brigade of the British Rhine Army. Not his only but surely one for which Thomas is renowned among Land Rover enthusiasts throughout the country.
Holger Kalvelage, born 20th August 1961, is the voice of the Bell Aurens Longnose project. Over 20 years International marketing- and creative consultancy for many car brands on agency and client’s side would be explanation enough for his fascination and
role in this project.
But his personal dedication to this project is rooted in a longstanding affection to the Land Rover brand in general and the Series models in particular. Born in Münster, Northrhine-Westfalia, the sight and sound of the Land Rover vehicles of the British Rhine Army became music in his ears from his early childhood on. Resulting in the ownership of two Series IIa Land Rover from 1965 and 1967 next to his personal
evolution of a 110 Defender.
The inescapable team-up of the two "roof - and wind deflector - dispraisals" took place on the campfires in the widths of the International Land Rover community – as strong devotees of the classic Land Rover Series models. Addicted to the very special feeling of tilted windscreens, aviator goggles and leather helmet. With the mission to develop an ultimate driving machine.
(source: Bell Aurens)
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