The Jankel Gold Label. A great car, but no-one could afford it.

Robert Jankel was car mad. He rebuilt his first car when he was just 16 years of age; he then opened a car dealership and continued renovating and customising cars, culminating in a 40 year old Rolls-Royce which he completely rebuilt and sold for a handsome profit. He decided there was good money to be made out of producing cars with bodies reminiscent of famous early models, but using modern components and engineering techniques. He formed a company called Panther Westwinds which was moderately successful at first, but which, as so often has happened to small car manufacturers, went bankrupt in 1979.

Prior to that, in 1955 he had launched the Jankel Group, a coach building company which specialised in building customised models for luxury car manufacturers such as Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce and Bentley and it was through his cooperation with these companies that he was able to buy components from them to fit into his own car designs. One of these was the Gold Label which debuted in 1991.

This was designed to be a luxurious two seater grand tourer and was not a customised car from one of the larger companies but built completely to Jankel's designs. The bodywork was handmade in aluminium, and the interior was sumptuous and trimmed in Connolly Leather with matching carpets by Wilton. The engine was a turbocharged Bentley 6.7 litre V8 producing 296 brake horsepower; top speed was over 150 mph with acceleration from nought to 60 in less than five seconds. Low down torque was enough to allow 70 mph cruising on overdrive at just 2100 rpm.

It had a power operated mohair soft top; electric seats, windows and windows; and a top-quality entertainment system.

The price it sold for has not been disclosed; but it would not be cheap and it was rumoured to be close to £250,000. Indeed most of Jankel's conversions sold for much more than the original car that they were based on. However there was not much of a market for extremely expensive cars that didn't come from established luxury car manufacturers and it has been said that only two of them were manufactured before the project was cancelled; one going to the Sultan of oil rich Brunei (an avid collector of rare and very expensive cars) and the other to an unknown buyer.

If this one ever surfaces and comes up for sale it will be interesting to see what one of the worlds rarest luxury cars will fetch!

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