Gear Head Tuesday – Retromobile Wiesmann GT

Gear Head

Wiesmann GT

Fans of retro mobiles (that would be me and my affinity for Morgans) will like this little-known German retro mobile, the Wiesmann GT

Wiesmann was a German boutique maker of retro mobiles – low volume, hand-crafted,  and powered by modern gear trains – much like Morgan in England.

The company was founded in 1988 by engineer Martin Wiesmann and his brother, businessman Friedhelm Wiesmann. Their first production car, a roadster, left their factory in 1993. They sourced their engines and many other components from BMW.

Wiesmann - rs

The small company hoped to export cars to the U.S. market – a market that likely would have given them the sales volume they needed to continue. However, dunderheaded regulations by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Safety Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency made it impossible for this boutique car builder to bring its vehicles to the U.S. Now President Trump’s steady stripping away of government regulations, and new rules favoring boutique car builders would allow Wiesmann to sent its cars to the U.S. Sad to say, the company folded in 2013. They have been attempting since 2015 to re-launch but have yet to resume production.

Wiesmann - rr

The Wiesmann GTs were built with a lightweight aluminium chassis and a glass-fibre body concealing a BMW powertrain. Many of them were powered by BMW’s 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 producing 407 hp and a respectable 600 Nm of torque. The power ran through a 6-speed box to the rear wheels. The Wiesmann could dash to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 291kph (180mph).

In reading for this post, I came across a story of a Wiesmann, powered by a naturally aspirated BMW V-10, blowing past a Mercedes C63 like the Merc was standing still.

Here’s hoping Wiesmann can resume production and enter the U.S. market.

wiesmann-gt-mf4

gearThe old gas station photos series as posted at Curbside Classic continues today with this photo of Zimmerman Hardware and Gulf gas in (ahem) Intercourse, PA. Note the non-gas consuming vehicles just past the pumps.

Zimmerman Gulf

5 Comments

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  1. my first thought was Jag. I had a skipper who drove one that favored this. BUT I loved this article. Enjoyed every word. This auto is a ‘craft’ and sad it could not compete. I thought for years many good, wise and honest people were squeezed out by ridiculous regulations dreamed up just for that purpose.
    If today’s mindset was prevalent at the turn of the century we would still be with the Amish. The Wright brothers and Henry Ford would be in jail! What a load of CRAP!
    BUT thanks for telling me something I definitely did not know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Jack – the front of the car has very Jaguar-like appearance and I like that. I hope the Wiesmann brothers can get their company up and running again. I read that in 2017 they had worked out an agreement with BMW to continue purchasing engines. That’s a hopeful sign.

      Like

  2. rulesoflogic 31/07/2018 — 08:44

    56packardman,

    As usual a great piece. What do you think of the thesis that Americans favor SUVs and pickup trucks simply because most people in the US are overweight? Getting into a Wiesmann or similar vehicle is a non-starter for someone 100+ pounds overweight.

    https://disaffectedmusings.com/2018/07/09/monday-mishmash/

    Liked by 1 person

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