Magnolia Special Roadster

The Magnolia Special Roadster is, surprisingly, not British. Or even European. This unique, compressed natural gas roadster was designed and built by motorcycle designer JT Nesbitt in New Orleans (you may be familiar with his bikes over at Confederate), development started in 2008 and the hand-built Magnolia Special rolled out of the garage last month.

The Magnolia uses the infamous 4.2 litre straight-6 engine from the E-Type Jaguar, specially converted to run on CNG. They chose the engine due to its high torque output and size restrictions caused by that beautiful (though narrow) swooping bonnet.

The engine puts out 200hp and 300nM of torque and as the car only weighs in at 2,700lbs it has a slightly better hp:weight ratio than a brand new Porsche 911. Not too shabby.

You may have noticed the large chrome design elements that run down both sides of the car, they’re actually the CNG tanks and they double as chassis stiffeners while provide a total range of over 700 miles. The body work is all hand fabricated from aluminium and the interior was created bespoke for this car. Sadly JT Nesbit has no plans to put the Magnolia Special into production so this is the first and last one you’ll see. Seems almost a crime.

Nesbitt and his friend Max Materne are taking the roadster on a tour of the US this Autumn, they’ll be driving from New Orleans to NYC and then across the LA in order to showcase the car and highlight the viability of CNG as an automotive fuel source. I am hoping that they both make a point of wearing white scarves and goggles when in the car. It just seems right.

Read more via Bienville Studios.




Published by Ben Branch -