The End of Mosler’s Supercars |

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The recent acquisition of supercar builders Mosler and Rossion by RP High Performance will bring a sad end to the Mosler brand. It is an opportunity for us to admire nearly thirty years of innovative and rebellious car making. Since Warren Mosler revealed the Consulier GTP in 1985, his company earned the respect of many in auto careers, while breaking many so-called industry rules. That car was seemingly built from pieces of other cars, including a turbocharged Chrysler 2.2 L engine, but with no structural metal in its body, it had an amazing lightness and power-to-weight ratio. It was the first car to pull over 1g grip and well exceeded all speed and safety standards. It may have been appallingly ugly but it did so well in racing that it was eventually banned from numerous races.

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The GTP was the first carbon fiber and Kevlar-bodied vehicle to go into production and its creator famously offered $100,000 to anyone who could do a faster racetrack lap. Widely criticized for its appearance and plagued by terrible marketing and a high price, the first series sold just 10 copies. In fact, Mosler Automotive sold fewer than 200 cars in its over 26 year history and none in its last two years. Some suggest that uneven reliability, and bizarre design and automotive painting, kept buyers with sufficiently deep pockets away from Mosler.

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Mosler introduced the Intruder in 1993, a rebodied Consulier with a modified 300 hp Corvette LT1 V8 engine. After dominating races for a few years, it too was banned and only one of four built was sold. One was converted into a GT1 racer and the other two were converted into Raptors. The 1997 Mosler Raptor featured a radical V-shaped split windshield that reduced aerodynamic drag but cut visibility, blocking some air vents. The car continued to be a Frankenstein mix of parts, including a steering wheel from a Chrysler minivan. It was another winner of One Lap of America events but never passed the development prototype stage.

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It wasn’t until the 2001 MT900 Photon that design and performance earned greater recognition and respect but nowhere near the loyal following of a brand like Lamborghini. The MT900S won Car and Driver’s Lightning Lap despite mechanical problems. The last decade had seen some one-off supercars until Mosler’s relationship with chief engineer James Todd Wagner deteriorated. In the final days, Mosler was down to two employees and one remaining car in his Florida headquarters.

“The unfortunate thing is that the potential is so huge. So much work went into the engineering up front,” Wagner said. “All the materials were the most expensive and top-tier stuff anywhere. Everything. Ev-ery-thing. It had everything except that last exoticness.”

While surely lacking in car sales training, Mosler’s ingenuity and passion are inspiring to anyone setting out to make supercars. It is also a cautionary tale on the challenges of becoming a successful carmaker. Watch this fascinating interview with Warren Mosler, founder of Mosler Automotive, as he looks back on his career and the “disease” of his passion for cars.

Categories: Canadian Auto Industry News
Tags: atc, auto careers, automotive painting, car sales training

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