KOZMO - The Dream of a Polish Sports Car
People who don’t take no for an answer deserve more admiration. James Glickenhaus is one of those people. James and his Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus are building exotic road cars which can be raced and done so competitively. Almost nobody does that anymore; most manufacturers just build road cars and subcontract the manufacture of racecars resembling those road cars to anonymous shops in North Carolina or southern England. But Mr. Glickenhaus has resources not available to us “normies” – funding, mainly. He has more than money, though. He has ambition, dedication, and he’s probably not the kind of person to take a no for an answer.
That’s great for him. What about you? What if you want to build your own car and you do not have millions of dollars at your disposal?
Because I am Polish, I’ve been receiving dozens of emails about this kid in Poland who wants to build a small sports car. At worst it’s going to be a drawing and a dream. At best it’s going to be a bunch of steel tubes welded together with a junk yard engine in the back. Delete.
After receiving an email from the only Polish auto writer I both know and admire, I decided to look further into it.
The story is cute. A car-loving 10-year-old kid named Tomasz Ferdek is diagnosed with Leukemia. While in hospital receiving treatment, he dreams up and pens his lightweight sports car in detail. Some years later, after shaking off his illness, he starts building it in his one-car communist-era city garage. Thousands of work hours later, he has a running prototype. Not only that, on an autocross course it runs times similar to some of the fastest cars there.
There is more here, however. This guy did not start off with a Miata or an E30 chassis. Nor did he copy an existing vehicle in hopes of creating another Ariel Atom. He didn’t scour for random parts off other cars, such as the Rally Fighter. That would have been the easy way out. But this project isn’t about being easy. Rather, it’s about creating something original. Everything save the Polish-built Fiat 500 Turbo engine and transmission was designed and manufactured by him, from the chassis layout to the power window mechanism.
This kid actually built something that moves and isn’t completely awful. Not only that, his plans, which I must admit I think are very ambitious, are almost realistic. So far Tomasz has spent about $30,000 on this project, which is a lot in Poland. It’s so much in fact that he is basically broke. Like so many do these days, he is looking to crowd fund the rest of this project. The Indiegogo link has a lot more information on the car itself than I can fit here.
But it’s not the car or how he built it that impressed me the most. Nor is it the story of a sick kid with a dream. Rather, I am impressed with the person and his stubbornness, his ambition, his pride, and his passion. He has appeared on many Polish television programs promoting this car and his ideas and now he wants global interest. He has somehow found direct contact to me, a person who left his homeland almost thirty years ago, in order to expose his Polish-made car to the world, and stubbornly won’t stop contacting me until I do something about it.
Well, here you go, America, a new Polish sports car.
Lead image: Blogomotive.pl
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