SPOTTED: 2006 FISKER TRAMONTO
Yep, it's a Fisker. But don't worry; there isn't a lithium-ion cell in sight
This one is number 10 of just 15 built and would appear to be the only right-hand-drive example ever made. Before Henrik Fisker (responsible for the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage to name just two of his designs) formed Fisker Automotive with the help of $528 million from the US Department of Energy and subsequently gave the world the hybrid Fisker Karma, he formed Fisker Coachbuild and produced the SL55-derived Tramonto you see here, as well as the Latigo CS, which had BMW 6-series underpinnings.
The Latigo did pretty well and each of the planned 150 cars were built and sold. They planned 150 Tramontos too, but that venture came to an end somewhat prematurely.
a full list of lots can be seen here) in Bedford, which is where I dropped in to have a quick peek. Up close, the Mercedes parentage is evident although the front of the car does also have a hint of Aston. The interior has also been beautifully trimmed and nailed together. Okay, the choice of colours may be a bit...challenging in this instance and perhaps the picture doesn't do it justice, but it really is a good place to be, and the standard SL55 cabin isn't exactly shabby in the first place.
Unfortunately a proper test drive wasn't possible, and a brief trundle around a quiet area of the enormous parking lot revealed little aside from the fact that the initial throttle response was strong to say the least, and that despite just 9,500 registered miles a noticeable 'knock' was emanating from the front somewhere, suggesting that something like a ball-joint, anti-roll bar bush, or rod-end has had enough. Also, there's only one stamp in the service book, which isn't great news after nearly 10,000 miles.
There is a similarly rare alternative to the Fisker, too. If you've already had a quick scan of the list of lots you'll have probably noticed that there's a Porsche 911 'Black Edition' (one of just 1,911 made) in there. I was afforded a brief look and it's in borderline-immaculate shape although again, curiously, the service book is bereft of stamps after nearly 9,000 miles.
Traditionally, the car market picks up a little in January, so it will be interesting to see what the level of bidding is going to be like. Expect keen interest in the 'Black Edition' 911. And perhaps bemusement at the Fisker...