There are few things in life I consider more yawn-inducing than an art gallery. Time-worn buildings, housing rooms upon rooms filled with lifeless, archaic scribblings by people who have been dead for the best part of six centuries. I have no doubt galleries have some relevance in today’s world (such as for curing insomnia), however, I can think of fifty places I would rather spend my time. Prison and surgery spring to mind.

So when a good friend invited me to accompany her on a trip to the National Gallery of Victoria you won’t be surprised to hear I did not exactly jump for joy at the opportunity.

Nonetheless, after some deliberation, and against my better judgment, I went along.

And low and behold, I actually enjoyed myself. So much so, that I would quite like to go back again…


While a delightful experience, I must admit, it was also truly perplexing.

About halfway through my time at the NGV, I came across one particularly woeful portrait of a distressed-looking woman with Frankenstein-esque facial features that looked for all the world like it had been drawn by someone who was in the middle of having a seizure. That is to say, that it was utterly, utterly grotesque. So you can imagine my shock when I discovered that said painting cost in excess of $1.6 MILLION. Apparently, the price had something to do with it being a “Picasso” original…

A little while later, I stumbled upon what I can only describe as the most beautiful painting of the countryside I had ever encountered. To my surprise, when I called my friend over to show her what I had found, she simply shrugged her shoulders and yawned. I swear, I could have spat on it and she wouldn’t have batted an eye-lid.

Thus, I spent weeks following in a state of constant befuddlement, as I questioned the definition of true beauty. Day after day, I tried with all my might to discern what warrants one piece of design as beautiful and another as hideous. My efforts revealed nothing. I had to conclude that the concept of beauty was entirely subjective.

And then I came across a photo of the Jannarelly Design-1. A retro roadster from Dubai that was officially unveiled two years ago.

How it evaded my attention for two years, I have no idea. What I do know is this:

I was wrong. True beauty isn’t subjective. People are merely wrong. And the Design-1 was and remains a truly beautiful piece of automotive artwork. Fact.

I think I’m going to need a change of pants

Me too.

To call it ‘stunning’ would be an understatement.

Inspired by racers from the sixties, the Design-1 harks back to one of the golden eras of automotive design. The end result, as I’m sure you will agree, is staggering.

So, who are Jannesberry?

It’s Jannarelly, you idiot.

And to answer your question, they are a small Dubai-based firm headed up by two mates: Anthony Jannarelly and Frederic Juillot.

The Anthony fellow sounds familiar…

That’s because he is quite the superstar designer, having worked his magic on supercars such as the W-Motors Lykan and Fenyr Supersport.

Quite the CV.

How does it sound?


Chained up behind the rear seats resides a 3.5 litre, naturally aspirated V6. And my, oh my, does it produce one heck of a soundtrack. A guttural, almost animalistic noise erupts from the Design-1’s tailpipes under throttle and while it isn’t as refined as other V6 sports cars, it matters not.


Raw and unsanitized, the noise emitted from the Design-1’s tailpipes brings to mind images of a grizzly bear with a trumpet caught in its throat. It’s terrifying, intoxicating and undeniably glorious.

Listening to a Design-1 after having been exposed to the synthesised V6’s from other companies is akin to listening to your favourite band live rather than via their auto-tuned, studio album. Refreshing.

What else do I need to know?

It may ‘only’ have 227kW and 371Nm, however, thanks to a dry-weight of 805kg (yes, really) the Design-1 is more than quick enough to land you in some serious trouble should you become a little too comfortable with the accelerator…

Though Jannarelly claims that it is able to complete the 0-100km/h dash in around 4 seconds, it is important to remember that the Design-1 is emphatically not a drag-strip warrior. With a 6-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, it is a driving enthusiasts idea of heaven.

It is not even especially expensive. Granted, In spite of the fact that the Design-1 is not currently available in Australia, if you live in the US you can pick one up for around US$55,000.

Sounds pretty much perfect to me.

Woah, Woah, Woah. Hold your horses, cowboy.

I have no doubt that it is ‘good’, but whether it’s “perfect” or not is another thing entirely…

Go on…

Well, for one, the interior is about as hospitable as a trip to Chernobyl.

I realise that it is sparse to help keep the weight down, but there is scaffolding in the footwell; a design ‘feature’ that is not just an aesthetic nightmare, but an ergonomic one too and makes the Design-1 feel unfinished.

Then there are the tachometer and accompanying dials which have simply been garishly screwed on top of the otherwise stunning dashboard, looking for all the world like an afterthought.

Moreover, there is not a single airbag in sight— an exclusion which, in a road car, is truly absurd. I’m also not convinced using carbon fibre as the primary dashboard material was a wise decision either. As anyone with a primary education knows, carbon-fibre cracks and splinters when placed under enough pressure.

What this means, is that when someone crashes a Design-1, they will either a) die from a concussion, having smashed their head into the steering wheel or b) die from impalement as thousands of shards of carbon-fibre rip through their body.

And, yes, I realise that at this point some people will be furiously shaking their heads, muttering “well, don’t crash it then”. However, as you and I both know, most sports car drivers have more money than sense and thus, they tend to crash every few days or so. To ask such drivers not to crash is like asking Donald Trump not to lie. It just isn’t going to happen.

So… should I buy one?

Yes, but only if you plan to use it as a garden ornament.

If the thought of having your legs amputated or head sawed in half doesn’t scare you, that is, if you are a motorcyclist, then you will no doubt ignore my warnings and drive the Design-1 as intended. However, know that when you do inevitably crash it, that I will find you and I will punish you for destroying such a ravishing piece of design.

The Jannarelly Design-1. Undeniably beautiful.


I was recently contacted by a member of Jannarelly who informed me that the car I had originally reviewed was a pre-production vehicle. The finished car (see below) does indeed have an interior that justifies the US$55,000 price tag and amends virtually every one of my initial criticisms of the original interior design (though it still lacks an airbag).

What this proves: that the Jannarelly Design-1 is truly a force to be reckoned with.

Well done lads. You have got a winner on your hands.

What do you think? Better looking than an Alfa Romeo 4C?

Photography Credits: Manufacturer

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