During the late 1970s, Alfred DiMora and Ray Kinney, two members of the Clenet team, joined Tom McBurnie to form Sceptre Motorcar Company to design and produce a unique luxury sports car. The Sceptre 6.6S was an art deco design with the flavor of the late 1930s classics. This hand-crafted, limited-production, specialty car was reminiscent of such vehicles as Delage, Delahaye, Bugatti, 1935 BMW, Alfa Romeo, 500 XK Mercedes, as well as the 1950s Jaguar. Perhaps the closest car of this style is the Talbot-Lago. Yet the Sceptre is not a replica of any one automobile.
Appointments included hand-rubbed lacquer paint and an interior of Connelly leather and walnut burl that complemented the latest in drive train and suspension technology. The Sceptre won the Best-of-Show award at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 1978. Sceptre Motorcar Company produced 15 of these $39,000 automobiles ($50,000 for the turbocharged version) that emphasized sporty features compared to the luxury of the Clenet series of automobiles. Many of these automobiles were acquired by celebrities and dignitaries. The sixteenth was never completed from the factory but exists uncompleted to this day.
The body of the Sceptre is made of fiberglass applied to a tubular steel frame. Only the doors are made of steel. The engine is a powerful 400-horsepower V8 connected to a three-speed automatic transmission. The Sceptre will go 0-60 in 7.2 seconds. The weight of the entire car is slightly over 3,000 pounds. The Sceptre is known for its high reliability factor. It is said that no other car has been built like the Sceptre with the exception of the Ferrari.
Many articles were written on the Sceptre at its introduction, including: an article by Dennis Adler which appeared in the March 1979 edition of Car Collector, the 1980 edition of Elite Cars, an article by Ted West in the February 1979 edition of Motor Trend, and an article by Jack Kroll in the February 26, 1979 edition of Newsweek, just to name a few.
This section provides a glimpse at the history of Sceptre including never-seen-before artist renderings and prototype assembly photos.
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