Daily Archives: 28 October 2007

The Tramontana, With Enthusiasm From Spain


Before you get all excited, let me tell you a secret: I am not a car man. I do not like cars very much. I am not in awe of sports cars. I do not follow the Formula I antics. I am definitely not a fan of Michael Schumacher (who collected his Príncipe de Asturias award two days ago in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain). I also would not like to own a Porsche. If they gave me one for free, I would most likely sell it.

So, what drives me to write a blog entry like this one, which is about the latest car, designed, constructed and built in Spain? The Tramontana does, a custom-made, hand-crafted vehicle that comes at a price. Highfaluting madness. Admirable though for the single-minded enthusiasm that created it.

What I like, apart from the general chutzpah, is the enthusiasm that is evident behind the story of the creation of this strange car. The fact, that the new car is made to the ergonomic measurements of the buyer. That the car is custom-designed and built according to each client. This includes using the materials of the buyer’s choice and, finally, by differentiating each unit with an engraving of a poetic verse by Catalàn poetess, Carme Pagés, in the chassis of the car. These characteristics assure that each Tramontana is a unique work of art modelled on the specific desires of the client.

The Spanish automotive industry used to have a name for excellence and superior craftsmanship. Those times are long since gone. No more iconic Hispano-Suizas. No more innovative Barreiros. Today, only Fords, Opels, Seats, VWs, some French and some Japanese cars are assembled in Spain. No more engineering required. No more craftsmanship. No chutzpah. Not a single Spanish make (SEAT having been bought by VW many years ago). No enthusiasm.

But now, a group of young and very enthusiastic Spanish engineers has developed a new automobile instilled with the same old values. It is the ambition of the young team of Tramontana car engineers to focus on the values and feelings that have been forgotten in the car-making world.

A. D. Tramontana S. L. in Catalunya has now created a custom-built, hand-crafted vehicle that is distinguished by its unique character and which is tailored to specifications, such as fixing the seat and pedal positions to the driver’s personal dimensions. And only 12 units will be built per year.

If you have to ask how much the cars sells for, then you are obviously not in the position to buy one. Just as well, I would say. You could most likely not drive the car’s powerful central V12 bi-turbo engine with over 700 horsepower to its cruising speed of 300 km/h in the country of your residence, anyway. At least not on the road, and not legally.

If you want one of those strange automobiles, here’s the Tramontana website. There you will find all the technical blurb, and some of the story behind the car.

I understand from the national press in Spain, that 3 Tramontanas have been sold already. Only 9 more to go. Now, they just have to be built.

I also understand, that a more family-oriented car is already on the drawing boards. Hopefully, that family saloon car to come will be somewhat more economically priced than the 680,000 € of the Tramuntana extravaganza