Car designer on Breadvan Hommage

Niels van Roij on the Breadvan Hommage design work.

“These are very basic sketches drawn with a black Bic pen,” he explains. “I’ve done hundreds of them. Though imperfect, they allow for idea exploration. For instance, some sketches retained the 550’s original lights, showing that despite all body modifications, the car still looked like a Maranello.”

“We quickly decided with the client to change the headlights as the original ones didn’t allow room for the characteristic ‘nostrils’ on the hood of the 1962 car,” he adds. “These sketches also helped determine the rear section’s angle, balancing between a shooting brake look and the Breadvan’s unique appearance. The only element we directly copied was the angle of the rear panel, as none of our alternatives worked. The design drawings help the client understand these decisions.”

Clay model car design

Once the design was finalized, a more detailed version was created on a computer, and the shape was then sculpted directly on the car. A structure supporting a four-inch-thick layer of clay was assembled on the donor 550, allowing precise three-dimensional shaping. This process ensured the surfaces were perfectly aligned, guiding bodyman Bas van Roomen in shaping the metal accurately.

“A car is a complex, three-dimensional sculpture that must look right from all angles and under different lighting conditions,” van Roij notes. “Like sketching, the clay modeling process is iterative; the Breadvan Hommage was reshaped multiple times to achieve perfection. Once the correct proportions were established, we focused on refining the surfaces and transitions, including the intricately sculpted air vents on the fenders.”

Alcantara and leather car interior

Attention to detail extends beyond the bodywork to the interior. When I opened the door, the blue seats, reminiscent of Ferrari’s racing cars of the era, stood out against the predominantly black interior.

“We could have used two Recaros, but our donor car had rare factory carbon-fiber bucket seats,” he says. “Rather than replacing them, we restructured the foams and reupholstered them.”



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