Carla Zampatti Ford Laser
While Carla Zampatti made her mark in the fashion industry as a talented designer, in the car industry her impact was unfortunately more like a stain. Zampatti partnered with Ford Australia to create special edition versions of the KB and KC Laser.
The first release came in 1985, and was followed up with a second collection including Meteor’s in 1987. The KB featured two-tone paint, a colour coded grill and Carla Zampatti badging, while the KC was available in bright yellow with red pinstripes.
Oh, and let’s not forget the bonus key-holder and purse to sweeten the deal. The overkill factor came in the form of light brown upholstery with Carla Zampatti stamped ALL OVER the interior.
We’re talking front and rear seats, as well as doors. DIY in two simple steps. 1. Get your hands on a nikko or whiteout. 2. Graffiti the shit out of your car.
Hit or Miss? In a word – ridiculous.
Nissan Pulsar Reebok
The year was 1990. John McEnroe was kicked out of the Australian Open. A law against people being within two feet of nude dancers was introduced in Salem, Oregon. Homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organisation’s list of mental illnesses. And Reebok Pumps were all the rage. Nissan jumped on the bandwagon (of the latter), releasing the special edition Nissan Pulsar N13 Reebok in 1990.
Only 200 were made, 100 with a manual transmission and 100 automatics. The limited run featured sports seats, a 1.8-litre engine and sporty Reebok decals on the sides. A pair of Reebok Pumps was thrown in as a gift with purchase.
We found the ad on YouTube – watch it here.
Hit or Miss? There was nothing particularly polarising about the look of the car at the time (the one pictured above features modern aftermarket wheels). It was relatively inoffensive, aside from being a blatant sales tactic. I’d have to say it was a hit, given that almost everyone in the office has heard of it and, back in the day, our boss would have sold his soul to get one.
Land Rover Defender Tomb Raider
Who could forget Angelina Jolie playing Lara Croft in Tomb Raider; the movie that was a spinoff of one of the world's most popular video game franchises. The Land Rover Defender also featured in the film, and to commemorate its involvement the British carmaker released the special edition Defender Tomb Raider in 2000.
Rough, tough and sexy just like Ms Jolie (actually, that’s debatable), the 90 and 110 models were available in dark metallic grey, with a few too many spotlights, a bull-bar, snorkel, winch and pack’n’stack roof racks. Perfect for pretending you’re Lara Croft, heading off on a mission to save the world, battling bad guys as you make your way across dangerous unchartered territory.
Hit or Miss? In reality the Tomb Raider is so OTT with its spotties and roof racks that it’s almost cartoonish. Completely out of place off the big screen in the real world.
Volkswagen Golf GTI Adidas
No need for a matchmaker to facilitate a successful partnership between these two iconic German sports brands, it was simply a matter of time. The 2011 Volkswagen Golf GTI Adidas was available in a number of countries including here in Australia.
From the country that brought us Gummi Bears, the Easter Bunny and hair perms, this special edition was quite subtle in its distinguishing features.
The add-ons included 18" Serron alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, an Adidas logo on the B-pillar, and customised seats with red accents and Adidas' trademark stripes.
Hit or Miss? All special editions seem to cop a lot of flack, but to me this is a partnership that makes sense. A world-renowned German sports brand joins forces with a world renowned German sports car, sounds like a clever marketing decision to me.
Hello Kitty Smart ForTwo
The cute cartoon cat has managed to infiltrate impressionable minds the world over. Type 'Hello Kitty car' into Google and you'll be smacked in the eyeballs with a sea of bright pink cars all bearing the feline's face.
Though it's not technically a special edition the Smart ForTwo car wraps are worth a mention. A collaboration between Smart USA Distributor LLC and Sanrio Inc, the Hello Kitty wrap collection was released in 2010 as part of Smart's customisation program.
There were 22 full and partial wrap designs available in a range of colours.
Hit or Miss? Miss. Though I find it intriguing that people go to such lengths to customise cars for purely aesthetic reasons, I find Hello Kitty cars disturbing. Someone, somewhere is having a good laugh at all of the silly people, driving around in silly looking pink cat cars. Bring back the frangipani stickers, please.