Twin brothers Iliya and Nikita Bridan may have created the coolest car at the SEMA show.
Their “Half11” is made up of the front half of a 1966 Porsche 911 while the back half is pure inspiration and welding. Together the two halves make up way more than a whole. The design is evocative of 1970s race cars, a dangerous era when traction control meant not stepping on the gas too suddenly and stability control meant steering and braking just right.
Overall, it brings those who see it back 50 years to an era so evocative and idealized that no less a motorsports fan than Steve McQueen tried to capture it in his movie, Le Mans.
In particular, the meaty Avon tires conjure the 917 better than perhaps anything else, though the flat, low bodywork does a good job of that, too.
While you’d expect a flat-12 to be powering it, and they did consider a number of options, practicality won out.
“We agonized over motors,” Nikita told the YouTube channel Heel and Toe. “Absolutely agonized.”
Ultimately, they went with something powerful, quick, and reliable, the tried-and-true LS3.
“We live in America and we decided to put in America’s greatest engine in here,” Nikita said.
The brothers were born in Ukraine, but their parents fled, seeking safety and opportunity for themselves and their boys. After a brief stop in Turkey, they landed in Canada, but the rural school the twins found themselves in was stifling.
The two wanted to become car designers, but the family didn’t have enough money for Art Center or CCS; plus, they were only 14 at the time and no school would take them. So they talked their parents into sending them to a design school in Italy. After learning Italian in “three or four months,” they started learning car design.
They were good at it.
Eventually they wound up in Art Center and between them, and often at the same time, the pair have worked at: Toyota, Honda, Genesis, GM, and Canoo. Now their simple design shop in Torrance, California, is the place where they mold and shape their automotive dreams, the latest of which is this, the Half11.
Because the front half – well, more like a third – it’s fully street-legal, with a black and gold California license plate on the back that reads, “Half11.” They’ve driven it as they developed it, both on the street and on the track. And the plan is to eventually offer a coupe version for sale. One internet site said the price will be $600,000. Who knows? Pricing and specs may change, as some disclaimers state. But the absolute coolness of this design won’t.