Gee Tee SUV: 1989 Laforza Magnum GT

Obscurity exists in many forms, and today I found out it can come in a SUV package.  A military bred, Italian penned, American powered beast hand built in small quantities.  Never heard of it?  Don’t worry, hardly anyone else has either.  Find this 1989 Laforza Magnum GT for sale in Washington, DC for $10,900 via craigslist.

Believe it or not, these were available for sale in the USA from 1989 to 2003.  Originally manufactured by Magnum Industriale and designed to be used in military and police operations, Tom Tjaarda was recruited to style a version for the luxury 4X4 market.  In Europe they were branded as the Rayton-Fissore Magnum and could be had with a varied selection of gas & diesel power plant options.  To meet USA emissions, rolling chassis were shipped from Italy and retrofitted with a Ford powertrain in the US.

The interior spared no expense.  Rich hand-stitched leather and burled walnut was used everywhere.  Touted as the Ferrari of SUV’s, the idea was to compete with Range Rover and hopefully win over the Footy player WAGs.  Alas, the Beckham’s never swayed from RR and eventually Victoria got her own Land Rover Special Edition Evoque.

As if it wasn’t rare enough to begin with, this example is the uber-rare GT model.  Take Ford’s 5.0L, massage heavily with a Kenne Bell supercharger, and kapow!…300+ HP at the disposal of your right foot.  Now, if you could just dig up an old Whatizit mascot suit from the ’96 Atlanta Olympics you would have a match made in heaven!

See another…um…ahh…enigma ? email us here:

When not receiving complaints of “distracted by cars…again” from his wife, Glenn can be found in the kitchen whipping up exotic cuisine and nourishing nosh.