In today’s era, showcasing uniqueness in style is slowly becoming a proud statement of self-identity. Conformity to own mass produced items are no longer appealing. Consumers are pushing boundaries to inject their own style into almost everything they can. Fashion, gadgets, property and even on social media wallpapers. Nothing is spared.
Not even cars.
And this is how BUFORI, has achieved to be one of the most unique boutique car manufacturing companies to offer fully customized cars.
Their model of cars are bespoke, inspired by 1930’s American classics and are built-to-order making them highly collectible to any avid car collector.
We witnessed firsthand how and what makes a BUFORI car unique with Gerry Khouri and Felix Haller, General Manager of Marketing and International Business Development at their headquarters located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
FLORIDA REVIEW: I am sure you get asked a million times on how you got into the car manufacturing business, but your journey is amazing from what I have heard. So I am sure the readers would like to know it too.
GERRY KHOURI: [Laugh] It all started in 1986 in Sydney, Australia and I had this crazy idea to build my own car. I built this massive garage at the back of my family home and put my hands and time into it. For one year, people thought I was crazy! But when I rolled out my first car, it was love at first sight for those who were once sceptics. Suddenly those sceptics were paying me just to drive it around the neighbourhood or to use it for events. And suddenly, I had a lot of friends again [laugh]. My brothers were my first orders. Each time I would complete their orders, someone would jump right in to offer me an irresistible price to purchase it. I would then start building my brother’s cars again until another offer would come in. This happened so many times after each completion that my brothers only got their very own BUFORI cars 16 years later!
Gerry’s passion for cars stemmed from his two elder brothers who owned many luxurious cars. Youngest of 3 boys from a family that owned a successful construction and property business, Gerry was expected to follow his brothers and family footsteps.
But eventually, an inner drive fuelled his passion to build a car for himself that surpassed all the other classic roadsters in terms of performance and reliability.
One year later, Gerry’s effort was not put to waste. The first masterpiece that would become the foundation of BUFORI was born.
Gerry’s perseverance to create highly remarkable crafted cars expanded till today. Consistently maintaining the quality of trained skilled craftsmanship and advance customized technology specifically tuned in for the most optimal result of these cars.
FR: Ok, let’s say I am a client looking to showcase something unique in style in my dream car. I see a BUFORI and I love it. What level of experience would I get to customize my own car with BUFORI?
GK: The word BUFORI stands for Beautiful, Unique, Funtastic, Original, Romantic and Irresistible. Hence, you can pitch to us any ideas and wishes you would like to fully customize your car to suit your needs and wishes. BUFORI is fully customized to suit your individuality. At BUFORI, our team of highly skilled craftsmen will ensure your dream car is realised without compromising safety. In fact, Bufori cars meet the most stringent international safety regulations. It’s an experience filled with luxury every step of the way. Choose from the softest quality tufted carpets for your car floor, to more than 1000 over choices of customized colours to suit your palate, a huge range of of high quality leathers for seats and trims that can be embossed with your initials including a vast array of stitches. And if this feels overwhelming, you are constantly guided by our in-house designers who have had years of experience in what can make a luxurious car unique. It is that kind of deep level of customization that our clients experience.
FR: Any weirdest or wildest or most challenging request from a client?
GK: Well, we have done almost everything our clients have requested. An in-built coffee machine, a request for a shoe rack for the city ladies to store their favourite stilettos and an in-built refrigerator for the client’s favourite chilled drink. We can even inlay precious stones and sapphires into different areas of your car.
FR: Wow, much like creating your own masterpiece in a car. How long would this whole process take?
GK: [Laugh] Yes! Everything is meticulously made in-house by hand. Every stitch you see on your seat is hand sewn ensuring perfect fit. Even the bodies of our cars (made from our signature technology of Carbon Fibre and Kevlar composite material) are formed into the moulds using advanced techniques for durability. It is a 23 step process to produce a standard BUFORI car and can take up to 6 to 12 months to complete. That is over 9000 man hours into one car as compared to other hand-made brands that may take about 500 man hours.
FR: So I suppose the client would get a nice ribbon during delivery of his or her BUFORI completed customized car?
GK: True. We have done that [laugh] . But in the meanwhile, we create a scaled down silhouette of the chosen model car in the chosen colour with the leather as a souvenir before the actual car is delivered.
FR: I think that is a fantastic idea! I get to display and dream about it and countdown to my own customized car. Dream to reality feel! So, what series of model cars do BUFORI have till date?
GK: The first BUFORI model was named BUFORI Madison and was built from 1986 to 1988. It had no doors and BUFORI quickly evolved by developing the successor, the BUFORI MKI. The BUFORI MKI was built from 1988 to 1992 and featured doors, a 1.6Lt rear mounted engine. An optional removable hard-top was also available. From 1992 to 1994, BUFORI built the BUFORI V6i, which featured a more powerful front mounted 3.8Lt V6 engine. In view of its performance, the car was ideal for Motorsport applications. In 1993, BUFORI started conceptualizing the BUFORI MKII, a roadster with a rear-mounted flat four engine and rear wheel drive. In 2003, BUFORI MKIII paved it’s way as a coupe instead of a roadster boasting advanced technological features that was a game ahead than most cars these days. BUFORI MKIII was named “LA JOYA” meaning “THE JEWEL” in Spanish.Then came the grand BUFORI Geneva. A luxurious saloon with coach doors, powered by a front-mounted 6.4Lt V8 engine with rear wheel drive and designed as a driver and/or master’s car. Our latest project is the BUFORI CS, inspired by the iconic classic sports cars from the 1950s. The idea was to maintain the Bufori philosophy and apply it to a contemporary looking sports car. And it is a very powerful car with some of the most advanced technology and system built in for it’s make.
FR gets into the details and specifications on what makes this timeless classic inspired car rev up in luxury with cutting edge technology and options for custom built high performance.
A DREAM COME TRUE for any automobile connoisseur
The Bufori Geneva is a sublime choice for the style-conscious individual and is powered by a thoroughbred 6.4-litre V8 engine, producing an impressive 470hp and 630Nm of torque. Graceful, fast and comfortable, the Bufori Geneva is both a driver and master’s car and provides an exceptional experience for all.
The Bufori Geneva’s classical rear-hinged coach doors provide elegant and effortless ingress and egress. The interior space is filled with natural light, enhanced by the integrated mood lighting.
Compartments are all lightly illuminated for convenience. Individual fully adjustable rear lounge seating is offered as the standard configuration, with beautifully incorporated picnic tables for comfort and convenience.
The rear center console is entirely customized to the requirements of the discerning owner. Some of the unique features include a fine tea set with instant boiling water and sink, an Espresso coffee maker or even an ice box.
An integrated cool box & mini bar for champagne and glasses, a strong box (safe) for valuables or a cigar humidor are also available. A state-of-the-art and comprehensive multimedia system provides high-definition surround sound.
The engine is equipped with a number of fuel saving technologies. The Multi Displacement System (MDS) deactivates four of the V8’s cylinders when the throttle is closed or at steady speeds.
The driver is able to choose between two shifting modes, either “normal” or “track”. The “track” mode adds a hold function to the calibration in all gears, allowing the driver full control of the shifting schedule.
Acceleration from 0-100 kph is under 6 seconds with a top speed of more than 260kph.
While the Anti Lock Braking System, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Ready Alert Braking, Rain Brake Support, Traction Control, Steering Angle Control and Adaptive Cruise Control are incorporated to provide a more enjoyable and safe drive, there is the Thermal Imaging Night Vision camera positioned at the front bumper as an option that can recognise pedestrians and objects up to 300 metres away and displays them on the screen conveniently positioned in view of the driver. Activated for both night or day.
Creature comforts such as fine tea sets, Espresso Coffee machines, ice boxes, cool boxes, cigar humidors, strong boxes, mood lighting and more are all available on request.
Personalisation such as holograms, signatures, names, badges, embroidery, etc. can all be incorporated in the body paint, interior trim, veneer, stainless steel scuff plates.
To ensure ultimate security, BUFORI also offers high security vehicles that include among others, ballistic resistance to protect against the required level of threat.
Article by: Julia Jules Wan
All pictures courtesy from Bufori