Monday, October 5, 2009

2003 Laforza Turin - One of a Kind

Yeah, yeah, I know. Just a couple of days ago I said that I didn't want to turn this blog into some sort of Laforza blog, but this vehicle turned up on eBay Sunday and I just have to point it out...

Had Laforza somehow managed to stay in business (and, having bought a lot of stock in the company, I wish they had) this is the direction the company was headed in.

This is the one and only prototype of their PSV (Personal Security Vehicle). It was to be called the Turin and was displayed at Concorso Italiano (Carmel, CA) in August 2002. This car, being a prototype, was not armored, but it does feature the supercharged GM 6.0 Vortex engine (all other Laforzas used 5.0 liter Ford engines), updated bodywork and interior that were to be used on the Turin.

Most of the updates on this vehicle (except for the engine and armor) would have probably made it to the "standard" Laforza, had the company survived. I absolutely love the interior, especially the dashboard / instrument cluster. The updated front end looks great, except for the "Pimp My Laforza" style headlights. I'd take them out and put in the older style (which were sourced from Audi and pretty easy to find). The new bumper, with integrated fog lights, looks great. The hood, with its power bulge and vents looks aggressive. The new integrated running boards are a huge improvement over the older style. The back end wasn't changed much, except for some different taillights. Once again, I'd go with the older style.

This Laforza has 12,000 miles on it. The opening bid is $30,000.00. That's a ton of money for a Laforza. But, this is the only one like it in the world. To some people that may make it worth the price. Me? As much as I love the looks of this Laforza, I'll go for a nice old standard Laforza and save $20,000.00 or more.

Located in California and being offered by Laforza guru Mark Z, click here to see the eBay listing for this 2003 Laforza (built on a 1989 frame).

1 comment:

Bob A said...

I drove that car for a few months after driving it from Escondido to Henderson, Nevada. The company that took over LaForza and re-branded it the Turin PSV was my employer. Horizon Sports Tech was owned by a kind man who owned several other companies. He had a passion for cars, and was building carbon fiber Cobra bodies for Shelby American among other things. They had a factory across the border and headquartered in Escondido, where they were also into electric vehicles. I was the design engineer for the Ride Vehicles division... Sort of. After I was hired, the owner became ill, forward progress stopped, and soon after that he passed away, and the company folded. That SUV turned heads, and could burn the tires for a city block. The rear suspension was a poorly designed, single pivot, long trailing axle that laid over hard at any speed over a crawl, and the airbags leaked overnight. The 11 gallon fuel tank would last almost 100 miles on the highway, so I parked it after a short time. Tom Tjaarda was also involved with the company, and I hung out with him and talked cars several times. He had done a special body kit for the new Mustang that the company was to market.