Issue: Apr 2016


Zen and the art of car design



by Ed Richardson


Click on the cover image above to read this issue

Innovation, creativity and a passion for cars are what drive the motor industry. Given all the constraints of mass manufacturing, the industry needs maverick outfits like DiMora Motorcar of Palm Springs, California.

Founded by Sir Alfred J. DiMora, the company is creating the world’s first hand-built, US$2 million, sixteen-cylinder production automobile: the Natalia SLS 2 sport luxury sedan. It is described by DiMora as “the world’s most luxurious, expensive, and technologically-advanced creation”.

Those not wanting to wait to have a Natalia SLS 2 parked in their garage can purchase the DiMora Vicci 6.2 Emperor, described by the company as “1.2 million dollar rolling art, which features many aesthetically pleasing features that showcase the DiMora brands’ originality and set them apart in the automotive world. The DiMora Neoclassics series of luxury automobiles includes the Vicci 6.2, now in production, and the Adina, now in the prototype phase. The Natalia SLS 2 sport luxury sedan is scheduled for production in 2017.

The Vicci 6.2 Emperor is the result of a collaboration between DiMora and Zen Master Lee Sun-Don it was introduced to the world at the Art Revolution Taipei in 2014. During the show the first two cars in the series were sold for US$1 million each! Features include gold-leafing strategically placed throughout the car; DiMora’s Carbon DFD to provide corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, and electromagnetic interference shielding for the body while reducing the vehicle weight to 2,820 pounds; an aluminum radiator; a 430 hp and an optional supercharged 556 horse powered option, 6.2 liter aluminum engine; state-of- the-art electronics; exclusive wire wheels; racing suspension and an aluminum drive shaft. Italian leather and English Wilton Wool carpet add to the luxury ambience. A Bosch Hydro-Boost Power Booster accompanies the Wilwood 4-wheel disc brakes. The custom welded and machined exhaust tips were designed “as if they are a fine piece of jewelry,” according to the company.

Mated to the 430-hp engine is an aluminum 4-speed or 6-speed paddle shifter along with a posi rear end. The car is completely handcrafted by one of the last independent coachbuilders, taking 1,700 man-hours to build.

Once Master Lee Sun-Don completes a custom painting for each car, the process of transferring it to the DiMora Vicci Emperor begins. It takes the DiMora team of artisans no less than 700 man hours to replicate the artwork onto each individual Vicci Emperor. The artisans carefully reproduce every fine detail from the original canvas. Each owner buying a limited edition—1 of 25 from the DiMora Vicci 6.2 Emperor Series—also receives the original canvas painting by artist Master Lee Sun-Don that defines the custom painting on the unique, hand-built production car.

The development and unveiling of the Natalia is designed to be a premier Internet, televised, educational, and media event of unprecedented proportions. Millions of viewers from around the world will be able to watch DiMora craftsmen creating the Natalia via multiple live Web cams transmitting from its production sites.

Sir Alfred J. DiMora

Sir Alfred J. DiMora was inducted into the Knights of Malta in 2001. He is a member of the Motor Press Guild and the Society of Automotive Engineers. He was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame of Gates-Chili High School, and he was honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.

A native of Rochester, New York, DiMora was fascinated by cars from the age of 10. He worked at service stations in his early teens, during which time he rebuilt a burned-out 1939 Buick before he was old enough to drive. Working in a co-op program, he earned his machinist degree and became a certified welder.

In 1976 DiMora moved to Santa Barbara, California, where he built limited-production luxury cars as an early employee of the then recently-formed Clenet Coachworks. He later co-founded Sceptre Motorcar Company, and their Sceptre 6.6S won the Best-of-Show award at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 1978.

After Clenet Coachworks halted production and filed for bankruptcy, DiMora bought the assets and revived production at his new factory in Carpinteria, California. As owner, CEO, and Chief Automotive Designer at Clenet, he created and manufactured the Series IV Sportster and designed the prototype Series V Clenet.

Clenets were produced and sold to celebrities, royalty, and other motor enthusiasts around the world. Clenet is arguably the most beautifully-styled automobile series ever built. Each limited-production model was conceived, designed, and produced in the 1970s and 1980s. The automobile’s distinctive 1930s styling and meticulous hand craftsmanship turned heads wherever they went. Clenets boasted the latest in drive train and suspension system technology under a body of steel giving them superior reliability to go with their beauty.

When former president Ronald Reagan declared 1986 the Centennial Year of the Gasoline-Powered Automobile, DiMora’s Clenet was selected as the Official Centennial Car. He and the automobile were honored at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Michigan. Clenets were called “Drive Art” by Automotive Age and the “American Rolls-Royce” by Fortune.

As an entrepreneur and business consultant, DiMora has advised and built companies in industries as diverse as chemical recycling, public relations management, software development, television infomercial production, and real estate development.

In the mid-1990s, he turned his innovative mind to chemical recycling, automobile and truck antifreeze production and distribution, as well as hazardous waste management at PRS, Inc. He served on the American Society of Testing and Materials Committee as the first non-chemist. During this period he created the first ready-to-use 50/50 antifreeze, which quickly went on to be a bestseller.

In 1997 DiMora founded Star Bridge Systems, Inc to advance reconfigurable computing technologies. Star Bridge created powerful, high-performance computer platforms and a new software language called Viva, for a new supercomputer platform DiMora called hypercomputing. Star Bridge customers include NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and the National Cancer Institute. DiMora served as Chairman, CEO, and President.

As owner of DiMora Entertainment, he is a major participant in the development of very large Ferris wheels to be constructed in North America and Asia. He also served as Vice President for Finance of Envision Entertainment, Corp, producers of such major Hollywood movies as Freelancers starring Robert De Niro and Forest Whitaker.

DiMora owns a telecommunications company, DiMora Mobile, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Luna Mobile, developers of the Luna ROX series of smartphones.

With DiMora’s track record of only putting out the best on the market, it’s no wonder people are standing in line to partner with him.  



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