We had a double-blessing at Koenigsegg in recent weeks and it’s fair to say there was a lot of love going around.
Blessing #1 was a visit by the very first Koenigsegg prototype. This car now lives at the Motala Motormuseum, about 200km south-west of Stockholm. The prototype returned to the factory to be part of a photo shoot. We actually had a number of historic Koenigseggs present for the shoot, including a CC8S, CCR, CCXR Edition, CCXR, Agera R and the mighty Koenigsegg One:1.
Most of those models come through the factory from time to time, usually as part of their maintenance program. It’s a rare occasion when the prototype comes in, however, and you can see from the grin on Christian’s face that he’s enjoying the moment.
The prototype was a big drawcard as the factory staff finished work for the day, too. They usually walk right past the service bays on their way out of the factory but few, if any, walked by without stopping to take a look….
The prototype has a standard Audi V8 4.2 litre engine from the era along with a matching six-speed manual transmission and full composite bodywork. The wheels are three-piece BBS wheels with custom centers featuring Koenigsegg shield cutouts.
The prototype took the best part of two years to build and was finished in 1996. The fledgling Koenigsegg team had planned to unveil the car a year earlier but were unhappy with initial attempts to scale-up the build from the smaller scale model.
The prototype was first unveiled at a track meeting at Anderstorp in 1996. It was driven at that event by Swedish racing driver Rickard Rydell and the extra time and care that was taken in preparing the prototype paid dividends as Rydell was extremely impressed with the driving experience.
As you can see, the prototype was initially painted silver and interestingly, it actually had regular doors at the time. An early version of Koenigsegg’s unique dihedral synchro-helix door mechanism was added and that process involved some light butchering of the body panels, so the car was then re-painted in black.
Black proved too hard to maintain for a car that was being used frequently so a decision was taken to repaint the car, which resulted in the metallic brown you see today.
It wasn’t meant to be that way, however…..
Christian wanted a burnt orange that was being offered by Volvo at the time, so a paint job was arranged with a local painter in Olofstrom while Christian was away on business. They discussed the colour to be used over the phone. Christian and the painter both thought they had agreed on the colour but when he returned from his business trip, Christian learned that the painter’s idea of ‘orange’ was quite different to his own.
The moral of the story – if you’re re-painting a car, don’t arrange it over the phone 🙂
Below are some photos taken while the prototype was back home at the Koenigsegg factory. Remember, this is a prototype vehicle and it’s been standing in a museum for the best part of a decade. It’s not the Mona Lisa, but it was exactly the right start Koenigsegg needed.