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Breadvan Hommage

coachbuilding

Breadvan Hommage

Breadvan_update_043: KONI shocks

Breadvan Hommage with KONI shock absorbers

Niels van Roij Design and KONI have found each other for the creation of the latest project of our design house. The Breadvan Hommage. KONI develops, produces and sells hydraulic shock absorbers and systems. For instance, used in passenger cars and racing cars. Also buses, trucks, trailers, trains and wagons feature KONIs. And even defense vehicles and industrial constructions. Therefore, KONI is a great partner to provide the car with a set of specially developed dampers. They include historic Formula 1 technology. Above all, the dampers are developed specially for this project. With this, KONI provides a suitable follow-up to the development of shock absorbers for numerous models. For instance, including Formula 1 cars from the rich history of the Italian brand. With 150 years of experience, KONI has the know-how to optimize the driving performance and the handling of a vehicle. 

 

Coachbuilding and suspension technology

In 1962 the original Breadvan was fitted with specially developed KONI dampers. Founded in 1857 and the inventor of the adjustable hydraulic shock absorber, KONI was the main supplier of the Italian brand at the time. A collaboration that resulted in, among other things, KONI’s first steps in Formula 1. The Italian sports car manufacturer was the first Formula 1 team in 1958 to make use of KONI shock absorbers. Many production models in the past, were also equipped with KONIs. They have all grown into valuable collectibles over the years. “Many races and 16 world titles in Formula 1 later we are at the start of the collaboration with Niels van Roij Design. The Breadvan Hommage is a new interpretation of an icon. And a great opportunity for KONI to use advanced technology as a tribute to this successful racing car.” says KONI’s Frank Biesheuvel.

 

Coachbuilt car and F1 technology

Especially for the one-off Breadvan Hommage, KONI has developed exclusive one-off dampers. The dampers are based on championship technology. Including the Formula 1 and Can-Am. These 8211-series dampers are based on a Twin-Tube hydraulic shock absorber. As a result, there is the possibility to adjust the damping force both in compression stroke and in rebound stroke independently. And over a very wide range. Settings can be changed, whilst on the car. As a result, the perfect setting can always be chosen. A variety of circumstances and preferences for the driver are possible. The KONI 8211-series dampers are maintenance-friendly. Consequently, they can be completely dismantled and can be assembled and mounted again after modification. The set of dampers is exclusively produced by KONI for the Breadvan Hommage project. Therefore, it will not be available for sale.

Breadvan_update_042: car design

One-off car

The Breadvan Hommage will feature a bespoke interior. Therefore, we design and construct many new elements. For example, new door panels, centre stack and instrument cluster are an important part of the redesign. Lightweight components will replace OEM units. Consequently, the newly designed elements will have their own character. Cleaned of clutter. The team will use a unique blend of materials. We will apply black leather and blue Alcantara. Above all, the aim is to achieve a look of sportiness. The leather wrapped dasboard will link with the design of the original Breadvan, for example. We will use black leather elsewhere too. For instance to cover the headliner. We apply a special quilted pattern in different places. Ensuring a consistent design. Above all, this will blend all parts harmoniously. The upholsterer will also install blue Alcantara elements. A subtle touch. But, very important for good tactile properties.

Car interior design

In this photo shoot we show a part of the design process. Worth mentioning is the applications of the various high-end materials. In the interior Alcantara Signal Blue, for instance, is important. This colour is applied to the seats and details. We have shown the design of the embroidered headrests. Executed in a thread that matches the Signal Blue Alcantara. It generates a pronounced logo. Special extra thick padding foam will ensure more sculptural shapes in the seats. The internals of the seat bolsters are redone too. To make them extra supportive during spirited driving. Specialised upholstery material is used for stiffening the belt holes in the seats. Alcantara piping is made afterwards. To this piece a triple stitch is applied. To the back of the carbon seats it is applied. It will surround the seatbelts holes.

Car exterior design

On these photos we show the overview of the design. Design renderings are shown for interior and exterior . Both should speak the same language. And they should look consistent together. Visually the exterior should match the interior. So, for instance, the door grab handle will be removed. This will clean up the design even further. We will integrate the top unit of the arm rest in the door design. Rather than making it a separate part. We re-upholster each interior panel. Some panels we strengthen before installation. The technicians and upholsterers will follow the design sketches, renderings and tape lines to achieve this. The team makes metal elements by hand for the interior. These will exactly fit into interior apertures.

Breadvan_update_041: Coachbuilt exterior

The classic coachbuilder

A coachbuilder, or body-maker, manufactures bodies for passenger-carrying vehicles. Coachwork is the body of an automobile. The word “coach” was derived from the Hungarian town of Kocs. Custom or bespoke coachbuilt exterior bodies were made and fitted to another manufacturer’s rolling chassis. The work was done by the craftsmen who had previously built bodies for horse-drawn carriages. As well as true bespoke bodies the coachbuilders also made short runs of more-or-less identical cars. Separate coachbuilt exterior bodies became obsolete when vehicle manufacturers started with producing unibody or monocoque designs. These are combined chassis and body structures. Starting from the middle years of the 20th century these became standard. It is because they provide the rigidity required without incurring the heavy weight of separate chassis. With the change of production methods, the crafts of designing and coachbuilding one-off cars was nearly lost.

 

Coachbuilt exterior of the Breadvan Hommage

The crafts of designing one-off cars was nearly lost, but not completely. For our Breadvan Hommage we are obviously working on a modern, monocoque design. However, our work in-fact has not changed much from the old coachbuilders. And neither that of the coachbuilder craftsmen. The technical base of the Breadvan Hommage might be modern. The ideas, methodology and process is very much similar to the way the old coachbuilders used to work. We are still designing and producing exciting, one-off vehicles. We are still sitting down with the owner. And we’re still making something truly unique which will likely live on longer than any mass produced object. These photos, were made by photographer of the house Luuk van Kaathoven. They show the surfacing, or skin of the car, coming closer to the final product. Or perhaps closer to the last sketch.

 

Car design for coachbuilding

The subtle surface changes now really become apparent. Small shifts in direction of the material are tighter and more visible. Intricate elements like the facet around the airvents, for instance. Or the crisp details such as those surrounding the rear window. Whilst clean light catchers in between the taillights make the car look wider and divide the visual mass. Another example is the faux shutline we have designed. This will run from the top of the windscreen. It will follow the real shutline between the roof and the glass. From there is picks up. It will guide the eye not down towards the A-pillar, but over the corner towards the side. It will create the visor look we are seeking. One strong black graphic. The first piece can be seen on the photo. A testfit to judge its initial effect.

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Image credit
Robbert Moree
Luuk van Kaathoven

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