First off, I realize there has been a deluge of Ferrari posts on the Nocturnal Bandit in the past couple weeks and I assure you that this was totally unintentional. However, it’s now time to look at a special car without a prancing horse on the hood.
Living in Dubai, a person gets to live a very global lifestyle. One can interact with numerous different nationalities, experience a host of international cuisines and pilot the most exotic metal the automotive world has to offer. When something is built in Dubai, however, it catches people’s attention.
I heard about the Jannarelly Roadster for the first time when I was invited to attend its launch at Tomini Classics. The car was beautiful in the flesh, taking multiple design cues from the original Ferrari 250 TR and the AC Cobra.
A few weeks later, I’m just outside the city, surrounded by sand dunes on a remote stretch of asphalt. The Jannarelly Roadster is glinting in front of me, as the afternoon sun accentuates its details. The car is named after its designer Anthony Jannarelly, who is standing to my right. Frederic Juillot, the co-founder and engineer behind the project, is standing to my left. Both look on with admiration at their creation.
Jannarelly, a former designer at W Motors, teamed up with Juillot, a composites engineer, to create a car that they think will embody the classic car experience without the hassles that usually accompany ownership of a vehicle built a few decades ago.
Speaking purely from an aesthetic standpoint, they’ve created a real beauty. The swooping lines and the haunches of the car lend it an old-school look, while the projector headlights keep things modern up front. The large ‘mouth’ for the radiator and the twin intakes on the hood like the (old) Ford GT indicate a machine built solely for performance. Out back, the exhaust pipes are integrated into the grille, which also holds the taillights. Body pins, an old-style fuel filler cap and small chrome wing mirrors are other little touches which are essential to the overriding theme.
Powered by a 304hp V6 motor from the 350Z, the car definitely has plenty of ‘go’ to accompany the ‘show’. A surprisingly throaty exhaust note ensures that the driver and passenger are not left lacking in the auditory department.
Even in the cabin, the focus is solely on driving. A few switches for the fuel pump, ignition, battery and emergency lights were all that I found on the carbon fibre dashboard. A 350mm MOMO Prototipo keeps things tasteful, while the carbon fibre gear knob is another nice touch. A seating position replicated from a KTM X-Bow completes the experience.
After taking a few photographs, I got talking to Jannarelly and Juillot. Both were inspired by the emotions and the lifestyle portrayed in the videos that Petrolicious has become so adept at producing in the last couple of years. Inevitably, the conversation soon turned toward the state of the classic car market and how most desirable cars are rapidly moving out of reach for average folk like us. Both Jannarelly and Juillot saw this as a hindrance for people to experience classic car culture, and sought to remedy this issue with the Jannarelly Roadster.
In my opinion, they’ve done a very good job. A beautiful car that has just the right amount of styling cues to bring a twinkle to one’s eye without drowning them in nostalgia. An engine that ticks all the boxes, producing the right amount of power for such a light machine. A price point that won’t terrify wallets. The opportunity to get the car made to your personal specifications, from colour combinations to the choice of engine.
All these things from a car made in Dubai? It’s positively unheard of, until now.
Additionally, the car in the photos was a test mule, barely completed from the factory. A little more tweaking and tuning and Messrs. Jannarelly and Juillot are on to a winner, as long as the car drives as well as it looks. After talking to them I don’t think that will be an issue.
Special thanks to Anthony Jannarelly and Frederic Juillot for trucking their beautiful creation a considerable distance into the desert. They’ve created something truly unique and the Nocturnal Bandit wishes them the best for the future.