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The Black Pearl: a rolling masterpiece

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The Black Pearl: a rolling masterpiece

9 febuary 2019

As announced in early January, the US car builder Rick Dore will be at 50th Sport Auto Show of Quebec, May 03rd to 05th, 2019, with The Black Pearl, a car built for Metallica’s singer James Hetfield.

Unlike other cars in the James Hetfield collection, The Black Pearl is built from scratch: a fully customized model. This is not a particular brand or model. Its carved and handmade body is inspired by the tears and harmonious body transitions of European and American cars of the 1930s and 1940s.

The Black Pearl stands on the outer frame rails of a 1948 Jaguar MK4 on which the aluminum panels were laid. To the surprise of Dore and Hetfield, the original frame found itself to be much more fragile than expected, the result of an English metal construction post World War II. It has been modified and solidified by famous Marcel DeLay, who died in 2018 at the age of 89.

Originally, the 1948 Jaguar MK4 is a four-door vehicle that Hetfield describes as a "saloon". That's why he asked for the car to be changed into a two-seater. Under the hood? A Ford V8 engine of 302cu.in. with 375 horsepower with a Ford C4 automatic transmission. An air suspension and new brake and fuel lines have also been added to the vehicle.

Custom interior! The seats are covered in cream-white leather, in complete opposition to the glossy black of the exterior. The dashboard gauges came from a Plymouth 1934, but the graphics have all been redone by Classic Instruments. The steering wheel? A Lincoln steering wheel from the early 1940s whose diameter was reduced to 17 inches. For people who don’t know much about car, don’t get yourself wrong if you recognize the center of the steering wheel and associate it with a Lincoln, this vehicle is not one!


For James Hetfield, The Black Pearl is a piece of art, a car construction that pushes the limits. Built from a hand drawing, Hetfield continues: "this has led to a whole new level of car building: from a drawing on a 8-by-10 sheet. "

Dore, for his part, is still surprised to have designed such a car: "They bent a quarter-inch steel bar to form a skeleton, designed a rough plan using duct tape and cardboard to fill it, and have entirely shaped the metal body by hand."


To admire this masterpiece, from May 03rd to 05th, 2019, the 50th Sport Auto Show of Quebec is the place, at Expocité's Exhibition Center!

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