Bugatti Design Director Achim Anscheidt on His Personal 911 Project
"It’s kind of a sign of our times, isn’t it? The fact that you start to feel relieved if you take things away and start to concentrate on the essential things in life – and also on your product.
You see all these single-speed bikes here in Berlin and they all adhere to, I guess, a very similar principle although it also feels like I could barely find the same fixie twice.
You know, all those bikes you see here in Mauerpark where people have done their own thing. It’s just really nice to see. Special handlebars, cut from something else, everybody does his little design project.
I like that.
When you’re used to working on a Bugatti product – it’s such a different world, it’s such a different approach to car design, and to pioneering techniques in general. There’s such an emphasis on concentrating on high-tech performance, these high-tech values. And also on extreme refinement of materials.
It almost feels like a relief from time to time to do exactly the opposite and and come back to super simplistic approaches that maybe also don’t cost the world.
It reminds me a little bit of my early moped days.
There were Kreidler mopeds at the time where you could easily exchange parts on the engine to make a faster moped.
911s, in a way, feel the same. The car was built in it’s Karosserie – it was built so simply, but also so solidly, and in a very similar way to the Kreidlers, you are able to exchange parts and combine them to form your personal take on the car.
My car is a 1981 SC body, stripped down completely, and all the panels that are mounted on that body – which is a zinc-coated body – were replaced with Kevlar panels. Meaning the engine cover, the bumpers, the door, the front fender, and the bonnet. That, paired with a completely stripped out interior and plastic windows made the car extremely light.
It is now down to 820 kilograms.
It has no heater, and the whole engine bay is cleaned out. This all contributes to the overarching concept of an interesting power-to-weight ratio of the car.
Okay, this is really a minor detail about this car, but when it came to – everybody who has tried to paint a Fuchs wheel by hand had to, at some point, tape it up and mask area where, you know, the silver and the black contrast.
If you ever try to do that yourself, it’s really – for me, it was really difficult to get my head around how to do it.
And I tried to find all kinds of tricks to make it work. And in the end, we – I put it in water and added some soap to take away the capillary action, you know, and let the water come up through the wheel to make a perfect mark all the way around. This marking showed me I could finally tape up the wheel.
And since then, I look at Fuchs wheels completely differently and I can see which ones are done very well and which ones are done not so well.
That experience was a little insight into just doing things yourself on your own personal 911 project.
Failing a couple of times, and then having a chance to get it right."