Tony O'Kane | Jul 1, 2008

What do you get when you combine two Rover V8s, a vintage Land Rover 109 LWB and a tonne of bespoke engineering? You get a Bell Aurens Longnose, that's what. The brainchild of Deutschlander Thomas Bell the Longnose is perhaps the most extreme Land Rover based vehicle we've come across, with its huge body extension ahead of the A-pillar (hence the Longnose moniker) and 'yacht tail' coachwork only adding to the craziness that lies beneath its bonnet.

While the base Longnose is available with a 175kW 4.6-litre Rover V8, the company's preferred engine is its custom-made V16 made from joining two Rover V8s at the crankshaft. It's still under development and awaiting German MOT approval, but the monster V16 will come with a capacity of either 8 or 10-litres with power output being 309kW and 515kW respectively.

Still not enough grunt for you? Perhaps you'd like to tick the "Merlin V12" box instead. Yep, if you request it, Bell Aurens will plonk the 27-litre supercharged V12 from a World War Two Spitfire between the Longnose's frame rails, giving you approximately 1100kW to play around with.

Bell Aurens Longnose - TMR

Prospective owners should be warned though: this is not a machine you'd want to push to the ragged edge. The suspension and chassis technology of the Longnose is just as agricultural as the Land Rover it's based on. There's leaf-sprung live axles hooked up to the steel ladderframe and even though that 1000+kW Merlin will have no trouble making you go fast, the two-piston calipers on the front and rear discs might have a hard time getting you to stop. Indeed, with the Longnose's distinct lack of rollover protection and standard Landrover steering hardware, going fast would be an incredibly dicey operation.

Bell Aurens Longnose - TMR

Still, with that huge schnozz, old-school styling and Herculean power under your right foot, the Longnose is an eminently cool car. It'll be extremely exclusive too, with Bell Aurens planning to hand-build just 10 Longnoses per year. You'd better have a big hip pocket if you want one as well: the base model 4.6-litre V8 is estimated to cost €125,000 (AUD $205,161), and I shudder to think how much the Merlin-powered model will set you back. Of course, if you're a cashed-up eccentric with a taste for mud-bogging, then the Bell Aurens Longnose could be one of those 'must have' purchases...

Bell Aurens Longnose - TMR

[Bell Aurens]

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