Kanter, a medical technology engineer, got into the car business in 1971 with his brother. They started out reselling discarded dealer stocks of Packard automobile parts. That turned into a specialty parts business that now includes parts fabrication. Kanter later began making performance parts for American muscle cars.
But that wasn't enough. Kanter wanted to build actual cars. When he found out that MSX International was selling off its concept fabrication studio and equipment, Kanter snapped it up in 2003. Likewise, he pillaged the laid-off employee rolls of CTEK and ItalDesign California to bolster his staff.
Fresh out of high school in 1979, Langmesser started working as a draftsman for Fisher Body while attending the University of Michigan. In 1988, he joined Porsche and spent 14 years as a studio engineer. He joined Kanter in 2002.
The two men created N2A and quickly made plans to create their first series-built vehicle. The car, called the 789, represents three iconic late-'50s model years of the Chevrolet sedan.
Because they think GM designers never quite got it right in any of those years, Kanter and Langmesser took the best styling elements of 1957, '58 and '59 Chevys and combined them into one $75,000 car. So far, Kanter said, they have sold 18 copies.
"The front of a '57 was great, but the middle was nothing, and the back was cold," Kanter said. "The 1959 front was like Godzilla with braces, but the back is fantastic. The 1958 has the interior and the best side elements."
As a build-to-order car, any two-tone color combination is available no matter how bizarre it may seem. After all, the customer is king.
"It takes 12 to 14 weeks to deliver a car, even though it really only takes four weeks to actually build it," Langmesser said. What with the military contracts, storage space for cars is minimal. The "assembly line" is limited to four cars at a time.