Germany’s Weirdest Boutique Sports Car Brand Is Back
And the Wiesmann Brothers have a new model coming by the end of this year.
Wiesmann was dead. The boutique German brand channeled Sixties British sports cars for its designs—coupes and roadsters about as tall as a fire hydrant, with absurdly long hoods and lighting arrangements to trigger trypophobia. BMW provided the powerplants, from a 228-horsepower four-cylinder to a 500-hp V8 in the MF5. The company logo was a gecko, because “Geckos are grippy little suckers.” But the wares were dreamed up and built in Dülmen, north of Dortmund, an agricultural area so flat and straight that a patent leather loafer had all the stickiness you’d need. Wiesmann made “The most impressive cars you’ve probably never heard of.” And, in 2013, after two decades in business, it declared bankruptcy.
Now, the company’s coming back, rescued by a friendly investor climate. After a legal wrangle with a disgruntled Chinese creditor, Britons Roheen and Sahir Berry have purchased the carmaker and its assets. Gearing up the works operation with help from founding brothers Martin and Friedhelm Wiesmann, they plan to show a new car before the end of this year and restore the massive merchandising enterprise that died with insolvency. Only Ferrari had shotgunned its logo onto more tchotchkes.
The Berry brothers had been in talks with Wiesmann since before the company’s bankruptcy about opening right-hand-drive markets in England and India. Now backed by deep funding, Weismann will likely revisit those expansion plans. Oh, and Wiesmann was meant to make a stateside invasion back in 2010, too. Maybe the U.S. will (finally) get its overdue love. Long live the gecko.