LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A year after the government-backed electric car company bearing his name filed for bankruptcy, Henrik Fisker is back.
The Danish designer on Thursday will unveil a souped up Ford Mustang to be sold in limited numbers by Galpin Auto Sports, a Southern California car dealership that specializes in customizing vehicles.
The carbon fiber-bodied “super Mustang” will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show just three months after Fisker approached Galpin President Beau Boeckmann with sketches for the vehicle, which they have dubbed “Rocket.”
The debut marks a sort of revival for Fisker, who resigned as chief executive of Fisker Automotive in March of 2013 after clashing with the board of directors over strategy. He has since stayed out of the limelight.
Fisker Automotive, known for its more than $100,000 Karma plug-in hybrid sports car, filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 22 of last year after raising $1.4 billion in private and public funds. The company was founded in August 2007 with the goal of building a beautiful, “green” car that could rival exclusive European brands like Maserati and Aston Martin.
Fisker made a name for himself as the designer of sexy cars like the BMW Z8 and as design director for Aston Martin before co-founding his namesake company.
Despite lofty ambitions, Fisker Automotive delivered less than 2,000 Karmas before running out of cash.
Fisker Automotive was bought out of bankruptcy by Chinese auto parts maker Wanxiang Group, which is working to relaunch the Karma.
Henrik Fisker is now working in an even tinier niche of the automobile market. The “Rocket” will be a “low-volume series,” Galpin said, without giving specific numbers. The vehicle’s first deliveries will begin early next year.
Calling it “the ultimate American muscle car,” the Rocket’s look was inspired by the specialty Mustangs from the 1960s and ‘70s, including the 1968 Shelby GT500.
Fisker has founded a new company, HF Design, a Los Angeles firm focused on ventures in the automotive, consumer products and technology industries.
Galpin Auto Sports is a division of Galpin Motors, which owns the world’s largest-volume Ford dealership. It is based in Van Nuys, California.
Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Dan Grebler