The Creative Workshop presents: the Sport Speciale-BMW V12
If you ever thought that restoring a car is one thing and building one from scratch is another then you are, well, right and wrong. That is the view of Jason Wenig, owner and founder of The Creative Workshop, whose most inspirational work was probably the Sport Speciale, a sort of 21st century American interpretation of the late 1950s Italian sports cars such as the Ferrari TR59, Maserati Birdcage and Aston Martin DBR1 as well as influences of the Etceterini movement.
"Building a car from scratch is a remarkable undertaking, unique and very challenging." says Wenig. "But we as coachbuilders and restorers are often tasked with making parts from scratch, customizing cars and doing things without any real game plan. Certainly this was the first massive completely built from scratch car. Every bolt it has its own challenges, but the idea of making something from nothing happens all the time here." It took about two years to complete the Sport Speciale as it had lots of challenges.
The entire car is hand formed in the Superleggera style build and many of the components on the car are original Italian from the 50s and the 60s, though a lot of the technology is cutting edge 2008, back when the car was built. "The most complex thing specifically on that car was to get the 12 cylinder BMW racing engine to function with modern day fuel injection. We had to custom design fuel injection system to power the 12 cylinders. It involved a lot of technology and computer programming." The engine choice was dictated by reality.
A V12 was a must and there were only three options available: an Aston Martin V12, which was rejected, and a Ferrari V12 was disqualified out of fear of Ferrari's wrath in case they suspected someone was pretending to recreate one of their classics. So the BMW V12 racing engine remained the default option. "Since I didn't want to go with the Ferrari engine because I was afraid somebody would think it was a fake or recreation, we opted to go with the BMW. It was the most exotic, yet purpose-built type of platform that wouldn't get us into trouble with Ferrari."
That BMW V12 spat out 450-475hp and the car weighed in at around 2,800 pounds, giving it a very respectable power-to-weight ratio that is certainly above the ratio that its spiritual ancestors were capable of. "We never did a track run with a stop watch," says Wenig, "but on paper its power to weight ratio, its horsepower, its torque and its theoretical gear ratios and 0 to 60 time is in the supercar status." Editor's Note: Stay tuned for the complete Creative Workshop interview with owner and founder Jason Wenig this weekend.