Bienville's Magnolia Special is CNG Sex on Wheels (gallery)

Oh, lawdy what have we here!?  This, dear friends, is a fully custom, hand-fabricated and massively powerful roadster designed and built by Bienville Studios in “old” New Orleans – and I won’t lie to you.  My awe of the thing is surpassed only by a powerful jealous rage.  Not only do I wish this car (the “Magnolia Special”) was parked in my driveway, I wish I’d conceived the thing.  It is gorgeous, in just about every detail.

In other words:  Wow.

Construction on the Magnolia Special (seriously, how great is that name?) began in 2009, and focused on a unique, hand-built chassis – itself made from “specially-formed” and fully-boxed steel rails to meet the wheelbase requirement of 116 inches.  The chassis is built around a pair of CNG tanks, which feed clean-burning natural gas into the massive inline-six engine, whose “massive torque” (Bieville’s words) should be more than enough to hustle the Magnolia down the road at prodigious speeds …

… which is really the point of the thing.  At least, to JT Nesbitt and the rest of the people (artists?  craftsmen?) at Bienville.  According to the Bienveille Studios website, the Magnolia was born to run!  I’ll let them explain, below.

In the Fall of 2011, after validation and endurance testing, The Magnolia Special will embark upon a coast to coast record setting run, New York to Los Angeles. She has been built with this purpose in mind. Every engineering decision has been inspired by the desire to produce a long distance endurance racecar that extols the virtues of a clean burning domestic fuel. Aesthetic considerations have been applied with regional influences taking precedent. She has been born of New Orleans and it is our wish to imbue our prototype with the beauty of Louisiana, in honor of our namesake on whose shoulders we stand. We hope that our efforts will delight you, as much as our goals have stimulated and challenged us, to strive for excellence.

Damn.  They can write, too!

Regardless of my extreme jealousies (professional and otherwise) regarding Nesbitt’s Magnolia roadster, you can’t deny the car’s beauty, craftsmanship, and attention to detail.  These people are automotive artists of the highest calibre, and if you don’t like this car, then you’re a bad person.

I’ve included a few “choice” shots of the Magnolia here, but know this:  there is a huge build gallery over at the Bienville Studio’s website with over 120 photos chronicling every stage of the Magnolia’s build.  You owe it to yourself to check it out.


Source:  Bienville Studios.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.