Far From the Mainstream: Aspid to Borgward

We continue our stroll down the list of obscure brands that may tempt you from Opel, Ford and VW.

2012 Aspid: source
2012 Aspid GT-21 Invictus: source

I shall kick off with Aspid. Seven linger on the lists of Autoscout 24. Based in Spain, Aspid sell rather specialised sports cars. Wikipedia has two lines on the cars and those seven sellers of used Aspids can’t find the time or mean to upload photos of their cars. That I find very curious. Everyone knows what a Golf looks like so if you don’t include a photo it’s not such a big deal. Since Aspids are less common, a photo would be quite helpful to whet the appetite of a the buyer torn between a 2012 Focus 1.4 and a €35,000 car with 404 hp on offer. Without photos it’s hard to know what to make of cars listed as being from 1999 (before Aspid was founded) with 45 hp and costing curious sums like €4431. The next one costs €5000 and has 355 hp. TopSpeed ran an article about the GT-21 in 2012 and Car and Evo reviewed the SS in ’08 and ’09 respectively. The car GT-21 has a 4.4 litre  V8 and weighs half nothing meaning the claimed 0-60 last no longer than 2.9 seconds. It’s nice to know that cottage manufacturers exist outside of Modena and the British Midlands.

Aston Martin are one of those cottage industries. 837 cars are on sale now. The cheapest is €29,000 for miley DB7. A picture accompanies the advert. Tempted?

One model sits in the category “Auverland”. Sure enough, the car for sale is a 2008 Audi A4 Avant and if you want this exact car you need to go to Ravenna. There’s another erroneous listing for you. Do people pay to be on Autoscout?

2001 Bellier Divane 505 De Luxe: source
2001 Bellier Divane 505 De Luxe: source

Bellier make light commercial vehicles in France. You may select from 42 cars at present. The firm’s logo depicts a charming winged sheep. For €1500 you get this 15 year old car with what I can only call ironic decals. 4 hp musters the car. Like Aixam these are essentially road-going Daleks that don’t require a driver’s licence. A more recent example of Bellier’s art is the Jade. This one is from 2011. They did a neat job of the lamps.

2011 Belllier Jade 2 Luxe: source
2011 Belllier Jade 2 Luxe: source

I had a look at the firm’s website and I discovered it’s not only the Chinese who can rip off an existing design. This (below) is the B8 Italia special edition. The likeness is uncanny. Incidentally, the back of the Jade 2 looks like a Suzuki Swift, roughly. Other Belliers are more workaday, little pick-up trucks that I expect might be useful in an airport or a big warehouse. I haven’t seen them at airports though which makes me suspect they are not very robust.

2016 Bellier B8 Italia - unique: Source
2016 Bellier B8 Italia – unique: Source

There are no Bolloré cars on sale right now so I shall conclude with Borgward. None of the new cars are listed so we begin with a restoration project, a 1961 P100.

1961 Borgward P100
1961 Borgward P100: source

As Robertas knows, these are rather rare. Borgward produced them between 1959 and 1961 and only made 2530 examples. Among the attraction are Germano-American styling and a 2.2 litre straight six engine. Bankruptcy and technical problems curtailed the P100’s career. Boosters claim it held its own against Mercedes’ simpler and more thoroughly-engineered 220SE. In another world, the P100 would have been the ancestor to the P600 category-killer and Mercedes would be a Chinese-owned maker of cast-off  Austin designs.

I’m only at B. This could go on for quite a while.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

2 thoughts on “Far From the Mainstream: Aspid to Borgward”

  1. I rather liked the original Aspid Superport – a Caterham 7 for the 21st Century. If I was a person of leisure, who didn’t live in a city, I’d feel tempted. Except at €120,000 a go, it would be a pricey toy and, if a 15,000 mile car is on offer at €36,000, that is disappointing depreciation compared with, say, a Morgan or Caterham. I don’t know if it’s translation from the Spanish, but the website blurb is enjoyably florid and incoherent – but no criticism really, companies like Audi, who can afford to employ the best marketing people, produce truly indefensible, class-leading, puffed-up bullshit.

    I share your feeling about cottage manufacturers and I seldom feel that comfortable criticising them since they often represent a huge gamble and commitment, albeit to something that, on any objective level, is totally unnecessary. . Admittedly, some projects are cynical and ropey and unoriginal, but the Aspid looks well thought-out and has obviously had a lot of effort put into it.

    But I’m looking out for a small artisan manufacturer in Cornwall starting up with the intention of producing one 3 door 70hp £5,999 hatchback every fortnight.

  2. I’m more of a mobile.de person. I know that some people are Autoscout24 browsers, but these Aspin listings without photos that you mention seem to suggest it can be a bit ropey. Aspin is a relatively new company, so what is the 1998, 900hp, gasoline/electric, ‘Aspin’, with 28,900 km on the clock available in Madrid for €6,000 (negotiable)? I might just cancel that order for a LaFerrari..

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