Slinky, isn't it? This is the Porsche 968 L'ART, a collaboration between Porsche and Parisian car dealer extraordinaire Arthur Kar, who believes in blurring the boundaries between motorised transport, fashion and art itself. The basis is the Porsche 968 of the early 1990s, the last of the front engined/rear wheel drive Porsches of the era, but you'd be hard-pressed to see the original beneath that all-new future-leaning bodywork. Is it art? Is it a fashion item? Or just everyday transport? Perhaps all three.
The 968 L'ART draws on a long tradition of art cars. Andy Warhol, so the story goes, finished his paintwork on a BMW M1 in just 28 minutes. It's not recorded how long Alexander Calder, the American artist most famous for his mobiles, spent on his rethinking of a BMW 3.0 CSL or David Hockney on a BMW 850 CSi, but the results spoke of their genius and turned the cars into artworks on wheels.
It's the bespoke bodywork, though, that sets this project apart from other art cars. It's a one-off, rather like similar in-house designs from the likes of Rolls-Royce. The 968 L'ART is way more than its fancy paint-job, available in any colour you like so long as it's this bespoke green. The first task, according to L'art de L'Automobile's Arthur Kar, whose apt surname is featured on a light panel to the rear, was to decide that this would be a roadster, and so the roof came off. You'd better hope for sunny days.
Porsche aficionados will already have spotted one main inspiration: the near-legendary Speedster of the 1950s, an example of which James Dean was driving when he died. There's the steeply raked front windscreen and the high line of the rear. Kar's car business has expanded into fashion, so it's no surprise that the interior is meticulously detailed. There's a bespoke TAG Heuer stopwatch to the dashboard while unique Recaro seats feature bespoke leather from high end specialists Ecco. Bose created the sound system.
The result is a car that's not attractive to all eyes from all angles but is certainly an eye-catcher, which of course is what Porsche will want, just as BMW wanted to startle with their Warhol M1. The 968 L'ART took 18 months rather than 28 minutes to create and it's now with its new owner after an auction at Paris Fashion Week. The price is undisclosed and, as they say in the world of haute couture, if you have to ask, then you couldn't afford it.