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Imperator 108i
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  Isdera Imperator 108i

  Article Image gallery (21) 14 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Germany
Produced from:1983 - 1991
Numbers built:17
Designed by:Eberhard Schulz
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:July 21, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionWhile still in university, Eberhard Schulz created his first car based on a Volkswagen Type 3 and dubbed the Erator. The mid-engined machine so impressed the people at Porsche that he, almost simultaneously, was offered a job in the engineering and styling department. He eventually went to the styling department but also spent time in the test driving department. In his off hours, Schulz continued working and created a second mid-engined sports car.

After Schulz had left Porsche and joined b+b Auto Exclusive Service in 1978, the second of his creations broke cover. Powered by a Mercedes-Benz V8, the striking machine was dubbed the CW311 in reference to the drag figure of the car. Intended to be a spiritual successor to the 300 SL of the 1950s, the CW311 was built around a spaceframe chassis and featured gull-wing doors. After Mercedes-Benz proved reluctant to pick up the project, Schulz established Isdera (Ingenieur Studio für Design und Racing) to produce the car himself.

Now dubbed the Imperator 108i, the production-ready Isdera was launched in 1982. The styling was clearly a refinement of the original show car and the most characteristic features were retained. These included the unique periscope rearview mirror and the gull-wing doors. What was changed was removal of the pop-up headlights and the side-exhausts. The rear featured instantly recognisable, Mercedes-Benz sourced taillights. The entire body was crafted in high quality fibreglass, which was bonded to chassis.

Like the CW311, the Imperator was built around a spaceframe chassis constructed from square tubing. Suspension at the front was by double wishbones, while the rear-end featured a Porsche 928 inspired multi-link design, of which Schulz of course had intimate knowledge. The suspension geometry was adapted to suit the very wide front and rear tyres specified to help the Imperator stick to the road. On the inside, the luxuriously finished Isdera also featured a variety of Porsche-sourced components like the centrally mounted tachometer and a plethora of switches and vents.

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  Article Image gallery (21) 14 Specifications