THE BOLDMEN STORY
GERMANY'S SMALL, FINE SPORTS CAR MANUFACTURE
Our customers are already enjoying the enormous driving pleasure of their BOLDMEN CR 4. Never before has a small series manufacturer succeeded in breaking into the phalanx of renowned automotive industry players right after the introduction of a new sports car model. From hundreds of test cars of the year 2022 (issue 02/2023), Auto Bild Sports Cars selected the fourteen best sporty vehicles from various categories. The BOLDMEN CR 4 was included in this series and thus created a great stir among insiders and car enthusiasts.
THE PEOPLE INVOLVED
Encounters by chance can sometimes bring about unforeseeable changes in one's private or professional life. This is what happened to the Bavarians Harald and Michael Käs, father and son, and the Westphalian Friedhelm Wiesmann They did not know each other and had no idea that they would start a sports car project together.
Harald Käs was self-employed for decades as an electrical and IT specialist and, together with his wife Monika, built up a very successful medium-sized company. His entire commitment was always to his company, but his passion was more for automobiles. He spent most of his limited free time in his private workshop, where he restored young and old cars and brought them back to new condition. This hobby gave him a lot of pleasure, so it was not surprising that he later implemented the "Everytimer" project with his son Michael.
Michael Käs was already involved in his father's hobby as a child and could not imagine anything else than working in the technical field of the automotive industry one day. So his career path was mapped out: car mechanic apprenticeship at BMW, youngest master car mechanic in Bavaria at the age of 19, then automotive body construction at Alois Ruf and later engine construction at Alpina. In 2014, Harald and Michael Käs developed their Everytimer 02 Convertible in the style of the legendary BMW 02 Convertible, which impressed the experts with its outstanding quality in detail and its full carbon body, which had never been seen before in this price range. They had delivered their masterpiece from scratch, which was built by hand in their own production halls in Welden near Augsburg in the shape of the Everytimer 02 Convertible.
The third member of the group, Friedhelm Wiesmann, is a Westphalian and has an extraordinary history. As a student, he contributed significantly to the expansion of his brother Bernd's car dealership, then he built up a textile factory with a partner and in 1985, together with his brother Martin, laid the basis for a company which years later was known far beyond the European borders as unique: the Wiesmann - Sportwagenmanufaktur. The brothers first created the legendary Wiesmann Roadster MF 3, later followed by the Roadsters and GTs MF 4 and MF 5. Almost 1,700 sports cars were built by hand according to the individual wishes of their customers, all of which today achieve prices on the market that are significantly higher than the new prices at the time.
Friedhelm Wiesmann had left the company after 27 years for personal reasons and lived with his wife at Lake Tegernsee. He gave lectures, advised start - ups and other companies from a wide range of industries and, in retirement, no longer thought of embarking on a new, automotive adventure. Until he received a call from the former boss of BMW M GmbH, who brought Harald and Michael Käs to his attention. The two were looking for an experienced man with experience in the manufacturing business, especially in the area of marketing/sales.
The first meeting
A first meeting in Welden near Augsburg brought the three together. While Harald and Michael Käs looked a little reverently at what the old man had already achieved in the past, he immediately recognised, based on his many years of experience, that highly motivated specialists were at work here. The thought occurred to him to perhaps consider a new project after all. Also, Harald and Michael Käs thought about tackling something new after the project "EVERYTIMER", which was a limited edition.
the decision for a new project
After a few meetings, the three of them decided to develop a new roadster together, to manufacture it by hand in the existing sports car factory in Welden and to set up the sales headquarters at the same location. In the meantime, the Wiesmann sports car factory had been sold along with the trademark rights, and a new brand name had to be found, which proved to be difficult due to many international trademark rights. Finally, the decision was made in favour of BOLDMEN, a fancy word which, as "bold men", means something like "brave, courageous men". It was fitting, given the tasks ahead.
the boldmen concept
Today's total electronic networking within modern vehicles requires, for purely economic reasons, the use of a base vehicle, as is now common in the industry. The decision was made in favour of the BMW Z 4 M 40i, which would supply the chassis, the drive technology, the electronics and other components. It would thus provide the basis, but not more. In more than 750 hours of pure manual work by proven specialists, a new, independent roadster would be created, which would pleasantly stand out from industrially manufactured mass products and has its own character - with a body made of full carbon, increased performance data and a quality in detail that can only be achieved by using selected materials and the highest level of craftsmanship. The defined core brand values set the guidelines for the development, for the construction and for the marketing and are always the focus of all considerations:
- handmade in Germany - the combination of top German engineering with German craftsmanship, realised in a manufactory.
- exclusive - small quantities ensure an otherwise unattainable, incomparable exclusivity
- individual - each roadster is a unique piece, built according to the individual wishes of the customer
- value-preserving - a minimal supply on the market as well as the existing long-term concept guarantee the highest value preservation, which is unrealistic for mass products
- technically up to date - state-of-the-art technology ( BMW ) meets the highest demands, service made easy
- pure driving pleasure - active driving versus being driven for people who want more than just to get from A to B, with open or closed top
modern combustion engine versus electric drive
Despite its high utility value, a BOLDMEN CR 4 / CR 4 S will only be a first vehicle in exceptional cases. Buyers usually have several vehicles in their garage, sometimes also an electric vehicle, which is mainly used for city or short-distance driving.
The pure driving pleasure we propagate is a central purchase criterion and is ensured by:
- a low vehicle weight, which offers great agility, especially when cornering, quite different from heavy everyday cars (large limousines, SUVs)
- the interaction of engine, transmission, chassis, steering and brakes, defined by the driver
- the sporty, rpm-dependent and variable sound
- active, self-determined driving
If the BOLDMEN had an electric drive,
- the extra weight of around 450 kg would significantly reduce agility, especially when cornering
- the "classic" interaction of engine and gearshifts would be replaced by the monotonous, stepless acceleration of an electric vehicle
- the sporty sound would be replaced by a hum and whir similar to that of an electric locomotive
- active, self-determined driving (gear changes, speed) would be restricted in big style
- the insufficient range and the lacking availability of charging stations, especially abroad, would quickly turn a holiday trip or participation in events and group outings into a fiasco.
At present, more than 90% of all prospective BOLDMEN buyers do not want an electric drive for this sports car, knowing fully well that a sports car, due to its low weight and low aerodynamic resistance (CW value), is in any case significantly more economical than a sedan car or even more than a SUV with comparable performance.
The environmental balance of a modern combustion engine will still be significantly better than that of an electric drive for years to come, because the required "clean" electricity is not available, especially internationally. Incidentally, technical progress will show to what extent hydrogen and/or e-fuels will ensure the continued use of combustion engines.