MILWAUKEE - The Besasie family hopes the three Baci roadsters under production at Besasie Automobile Co. Inc. will be the harbinger of steady output.
Co-owner Joseph Besasie, 62, said the cars have been ordered by the 21/2-year-old company's first dealer, who is in Hong Kong.
Joseph Besasie said the company plans to sign an East Coast and West Coast dealer, and finish at least two cars a month in 1995.
Thirteen Bacis will have been built when the current three are finished. General Manager Raymond Besasie Jr., 38, said it plans to add a four-seat neoclassic using Ford Motor Co. running gear, when total production reaches 50.
Co-owner Raymond Besasie, 61, designed the welded steel-tube frame for the roadster in January, after Ford changed major parts of the Thunderbird on which the Baci is based.
The company stopped producing cars from August 1993, when the last 1994 model was delivered, until the new frame was ready in March 1994, Joseph Besasie said. Besasie also redesigned the Baci by moving the engine back two feet and lengthening the wheel base by 10 inches to 125 inches.
The Bacis going to Hong Kong are 1995 models based on 1994 Ford running gear. Base price is $59,900. The car is styled after the roadsters of the late 1930s, with interior leather and elm burl inlays, a power soft top and the Thunderbird's current amenities and mechanics, including the 4.6-liter V-8 engine.
Options are a removable hard top, two-tone paint, fender skirt, and compact disc player.
The company was formed in June 1992 to serve the market of neoclassic owners loyal to then-bankrupt Excalibur Automobile Co., also in the Milwaukee area. Raymond Besasie had designed Excaliburs until 1986.
'It's a difficult market, but there is a market,' Joseph Besasie said.
Three people build the Baci with Joseph, Raymond, and Ray Jr. The Baci's body is built under a contract with the Racine, Wis., company Fiber Tech.
It takes 65 days to build one Baci, from the time the frame tubing is put on a fixture for welding, to the final hand-buffing.