Auto Speciali, from Bromsgrove Worcestershire, is one of the more difficult self build car manufacturers to find information about. The driving force behind the company, Keith Kirk, appears to have passed away around 2007 and he was known for his engineering, rather than his record keeping, skills.
So far as I know, and I stand to be corrected, the origins of the design of today’s featured Auto Speciali Veleno lie in the discomfort 7’1″ NBA star Wilt Chamberlain got fed up with when sitting on the floor of his Lamborghini Countach because the both the cockpit and seat were too small.
To rid himself of the discomfort Wilt had Peter Bohann design a bespoke mid engined sports car called the Chamberlain Searcher 1 that cost some $750,000 to build. The Veleno has some elements of the Searcher 1 design, including the rear flying butresses, incorporated into it.
The Veleno is built around a custom space frame designed to accept the running gear from a Toyota MR2, the licence plate on this vehicle suggests the doner car may have been built in 1993 and that the kit was completed in 2008.
Anyone wanting to build there own Veleno may be able to get hold of a kit from Vindicator Cars the manufacturing agents for Auto Speciali who’s contact details can be found on this linked page.
Thanks for joining me on this “Passing NBA Influence” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the last of February’s series of special Bentleys. Don’t forget to come back now !