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Bufori makes a come back


It has Persian silk carpets, a French-polished walnut dash, 24k gold-plated instruments and an optional solid gold bonnet emblem, and it can go from 0-100km/h in 6.7sec.

Meet the Bufori Mk III La Joya, a retro-styled car with a modern chassis and drivetrain, which will be unveiled at this year's Australian International Motor Show.

Bufori, which will launch its Malaysian-manufactured cars at the Sydney show in October, started life on Sydney's Parramatta Rd more than two decades ago.

Back then the Bufori Mk1 was a simply engineered, retro-styled two-seat roadster hand-built by brothers Anthony, George and Gerry Khouri.

“The quality of the engineering and construction on these cars is simply amazing,” says Cameron Pollard, Bufori Australia's marketing manager.

“We believe they stand comparison with the finest marques in the world.”

The La Joya is powered by a 2.7-litre quad cam 172kW V6 engine mid-mounted just ahead of the rear axle.

The bodywork is made of lightweight carbon fibre and Kevlar.

The front and rear suspension is race-style double wishbones with adjustable dampers.

A number of contemporary safety features also belie the La Joya's old-world looks, including anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), driver's airbag, seatbelt pre-tensioners, and a tyre-pressure monitoring system.

La Joya is Spanish for 'The Jewel' and Bufori gives buyers the option of mounting their choice of precious gemstones anywhere on the vehicle.

“This is a car that will appeal to discerning individuals and we are confident there is a market for it in Australia,” Pollard says.

Bufori moved production of its cars to Malaysia in 1998 at the invitation of some car-enthusiast members of the Malaysian royal family.

The company now employs 150 people at its factory in Kuala Lumpur and exports their hand-crafted Buforis around the world, including the United States, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and now Australia.

“We've been selling cars all over the world but we are still Australian-owned and we still consider ourselves Aussie at heart.

“We're thrilled that we can now make a select number of these vehicles available to the Australian market,” Pollard says.