Ares Design’s Wami Lalique Spyder Is a 1950s Throwback

Ares Design’s Wami Lalique Spyder Is a 1950s Throwback

Why is Ares Design calling their new limited-run retro-roadster Wami Lalique Spyder? Maybe they thought Panther, the name of their Huracán-based DeTomaso Pantera tribute, was just too easy to pronounce. While the Wami Lalique Spyder’s name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue—instead it gets caught up there, flops around a bit, then falls to the floor with a resounding thud—these computerized renderings show the car itself to be a work of mid-century-inspired art.

For those unfamiliar, Ares Design is an Italian concern started by Dany Bahar, best known as the former chief of Lotus, where he implemented a six-model vaporware program then left under a cloud. Ares opened its doors in 2014 and began modifying high-end cars for the super-rich. Project Panther was their most extensive project until the Wami Lalique Spyder was announced.

The shape of the Wami (as we think it ought to be known to its friends) isn’t based on any one particular vehicle, but it is clearly influenced by… well, pretty much every European sports car of the 1950s. We see traces of AC Ace, Alfa-Romeo 6C, Aston-Martin DB2, and perhaps just a hint of Allard K3 in its aluminum and carbon-fiber body—and those are just the ones that start with A. While there is more than a whiff of Mitsuoka in that slightly-longer-than-necessary front end, we do love the classic 1950s touches like the wire wheels, straight chrome exhaust pipes, and bumper overriders.

The Lalique in the name comes from the French glassmaker, known for their artful crystal creations, perfumes, and other expensive doo-dads ($72 scented candle, anyone?). True to the name, the Wami Lalique Spyder will have “hand-made crystal embellishments” to compliment its English oak dashboard and handcrafted Italian upholstery. The one nod to modernity is a centrally-located infotainment screen, which retracts into the dash so as not to harsh the 1950s buzz.

Ares has said nothing about what’s going on under that beautiful body work, though we hope like crazy the Ferrari/Audi A8-style gated shifter is indicative of a manual transmission. (Though if it is, and assuming the car has the capability to move itself backwards, there are only gates for five forward speeds.)

Our chances (and yours) of actually driving a Wami Lalique Spyder are pretty slim, as Ares Design will only build a dozen examples. And while pricing has not been announced, but with Panthers priced in the £450,000 range (around $600k), we’re sure it will be at least slightly more expensive than a Fiat 124 Spyder.