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Saturday, January 6, 2024

Revolutionary Australian Supercars: From De-Type GT5000 to AJF1 Fusion

Rare ONES - Embarking on a digital odyssey often leads us to unexpected treasures, and today, we unravel the story of Australia's avant-garde foray into the world of supercars. Our journey takes a detour through the innovative minds of Aussie car aficionados, who breathed life into a series of prototypes that etch a unique narrative in the tapestry of automotive history.
The AJF1 Fusion, an advanced iteration of the Delanda Demon slated for limited production, features scissor-type doors, prominent side inlets, and air dams. (Picture from: CarGuide)
The journey unfolds with the De-Type GT5000, a prototype that emerged from the sun-kissed workshops of Queensland, Australia. Crafted through the collaborative ingenuity of Lawrie Howlett, a maestro in the design of open-wheel and Procar Series race cars, and Darrell Barnett, a former cooling systems engineer with a knack for fabrication. 
The AJF1 Fusion is fitted with a mid-mounted Lexus V8, but the production model will be powered by a Chevrolet LS9 6.2-litre V8 and will sell for about $300,000. (Picture from: CarGuide)
This prototype flaunted an aluminum body and a box-section steel tube frame, housing the potent heart of a supercharged 3.8-liter Ford V6 engine within its sleek fiberglass/GRP exterior. Debuting under the moniker De-Type, the project underwent a metamorphosis, reborn as Delanda, ushering in new partners and funding.
The AJF1 Fusion's interior is adorned with two comfortable black-red leather racing seats, complemented by a steering wheel and a sleek, straightforward dashboard arrangement. (Picture from: CarGuide)
Among the triumvirate of GT5000 masterpieces, two cars found new homes – one auctioned on the digital marketplace of eBay Australia in 2013, while the other joined the ranks of Delta Automotive in 2018.
Alan Jones, famed Australian Formula 1 driver poses with the AJF1 Fusion, an evolved rendition of the Delanda Demon. (Picture from: CarGuide)
The narrative takes a thrilling turn with the advent of the Delanda Demon in the mid-2000s, retaining the GT5000 chassis but undergoing a striking visual makeover. The revised bodywork softened contours, reimagined headlights, and introduced a rear diffuser, injecting a breath of fresh air into the ever-evolving concept. A Delanda Demon even embarked on an unconventional journey to New Zealand in an unfinished state in 2017.
The De-Type GT5000 chassis features a box-section steel tube frame that encapsulates the robust power of a supercharged 3.8-liter Ford V6 engine. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
The spotlight then shifts to the legendary Alan Jones, an Australian Formula One racing icon and the esteemed 1980 World Drivers' Champion. Jones, with his racing pedigree, teamed up with Delanda in the early 2010s, envisioning a supercar that would echo his illustrious name. Leveraging his motorsport eminence, Jones attracted fresh capital, creating ripples in the Australian motoring media.
The De-Type/Delanda GT5000 emerged from the sun-kissed workshops of Queensland, Australia, and crafted through the collaborative ingenuity of Lawrie Howlett, and Darrell Barnett. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
In a candid 2011 interview with MOTOR magazine, Jones shared his vision for the project: "Every nation boasts its own supercar, and there's no reason why we can't birth a homegrown marvel." He stressed the vital quartet of aesthetics, performance, finish, and affordability, exuding confidence in the realization of these attributes.
The De-Type/Delanda GT5000's rear section inspired by Lamborghini Countach. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
The zenith of this collaboration takes form in the AJF1 Fusion, an evolved rendition of the Delanda Demon destined for limited production with prominent side inlets and air dams. The prototype initially showcased a Lexus powertrain, with plans to grace the "production" model with a Chevy LS motor, priced at a tantalizing $300,000. However, despite the promising prototype, the venture faced a twist of fate, eventually finding new custodians in Delta Automotive in 2016.
The Delanda Demon represents a progressive evolution in sports car design, built upon the foundation of the De-Type GT5000 chassis. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
Delta Automotive, seizing the opportunity, repurposed a GT5000 prototype as the cornerstone for the Delta Ligero. This ambitious endeavor involved breathing new life into the GT5000 chassis, integrating pivotal components sourced from early Porsche Boxsters, including the engine, transaxle, steering, and front suspension.
The unfinished prototype of the Delta Ligero, which was based on the chassis of the De-Type GT5000. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
Yet, the Ligero project appears to have encountered a crossroads, leaving behind no tangible evidence of a production-ready masterpiece. Simultaneously, their online presence dwindled into silence since 2018, enveloping the destiny of the Delta Ligero in a shroud of uncertainty. This intricate tale of ingenuity and enigma reverberates through the dormant echoes of these prototypes, crafting a narrative that defies the ordinary. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | RARECOMPONENTCARS | CARSGUIDE ]
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