The 2012 Dartz Prombron' Nagel has a specially-made 1471kW engine and a projected top speed of 250km/h - although preferably not with a trailer.
The 2012 Dartz Prombron' Nagel has a specially-made 1471kW engine and a projected top speed of 250km/h - although preferably not with a trailer.
On December 31, 1911, Andrey Nagel (wearing goggles) and Vadim Mikhailoff set off from St Petersburg in a specially-built RussoBalt C24/55 Monaco to compete in the 1912 Monte Carlo Rally.
On December 31, 1911, Andrey Nagel (wearing goggles) and Vadim Mikhailoff set off from St Petersburg in a specially-built RussoBalt C24/55 Monaco to compete in the 1912 Monte Carlo Rally.

A scientist once said the world is not only stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we can imagine. Seems he was right; pictured here is the world's first armoured sportback designed specifically for towing yachts.

No, we're not kidding.

The 2012 Dartz Prombron' Nagel is the brainchild of Russian car company Dartz Prombron' and Eduard Gray of Gray Design, built on the Dartz Kapsula platform with enough armour plating to protect the occupants from anything short of a Nato airstrike.

All that armour, says Dartz, makes it heavy enough to ensure a smooth ride when towing yachts up to 15 metres long and five tons in weight. But it's not just a heavy-duty tractor; it has a specially-made 1471kW engine and a projected top speed of 250km/h - although preferably not with a trailer.

The car will be launched in 2012 to commemorate a very special anniversary for legendary automaker RussoBalt, which later became Prombron' and then Dartz Prombron'.

On December 31, 1911, Andrey Nagel and Vadim Mikhailoff set off from St Petersburg in a specially-built RussoBalt C24/55 Monaco to compete in the Monte Carlo Rally, travelling the furthest distance of any team - 3260km.

They not only won the 1912 Monte Carlo Rally outright, they came home with no fewer than nine awards from Prince Louis III of Monaco and, on their return, were awarded the Order of St Anna by Tsar Nicholas II.

Their success made the company famous - which was why they did it - and RussoBalt went on to build sports cars, armoured cars, royal limousines and even aircraft, designed by a talented youngster called Igor Sikorsky, who later emigrated to the United States where he built the first workable helicopter.

The Dartz Prombron' Nagel is being built to celebrate the centenary of this achievement, as well as Monaco's great yachting tradition. And, following another time-honoured Monte Carlo tradition, nothing so crass as price is ever mentioned. If you have to ask, you can't afford it.