|A Ligier for sale on Dubai's Beach Road|
In a city of 4x4s and luxury cars, it is always refreshing to see a Classic on the roads of Dubai.
Jumeirah Beach Road seems to be the place to park for maximum attention. That’s where I spotted an Oldsmobile “Ninety Eight” last year and where I spotted this oddity.
After passing the little yellow and blue car for a couple of days, just after the Al Manara traffic lights, I had to stop and have a look and take some pictures.
I didn’t know what it was, even after seeing the brand “Ligier” on the side step. But it was interesting to do the research.
Turns out, thanks to Wikipedia, Ligier is a French automobile maker created by former racing driver and rugby player Guy Ligier.
The firm entered the automobile business with the Ligier JS2, a mid-engined sports car for the road initially powered by a Ford V6 and from 1971 by the same Maserati V6 engine as the Citroën SM. The 1973 energy crisis caused such a decline in the market for the JS2 that production ceased soon after, and the firm changed its focus to microcars.
In September 2008, Ligier Automobiles completed its acquisition of Beneteau Group's Microcar division. The merger effectively brought into being Europe's second largest microcar manufacturer after Daimler's Smart unit. It also produced the largest manufacturer of drivers’ license-exempt vehicles.
The Ligier model range currently consists of the Ixo line of mini cars, the X-Pro line of small commercial vehicles, and the Be Up/Be Two line of open air, roadster-type vehicles, such as the one on Beach Road.
Ligier is best known for its Formula One team that was in action from 1976 to 1996. It entered Formula One in 1976 with a Matra V12-powered car, and won a Grand Prix with Jacques Laffite in 1977. Ligier also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1970 to 1975.
The Ligier Be Up/Be Two was featured at the Geneva Motor Show in 2002 and the Paris Motor Show in 2006. Its quadricycle’s space-frame is powered by a 505 cc two-cylinder diesel engine, putting out a ground-pounding 4KW (about 5.5 hp) through a continuously variable transmission.
I wonder how much this Ligier is going for. It’s cute and fun, but I would certainly not risk driving it on Sheikh Zayed Road!