Showing posts with label 1960s Italian Concept Cars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1960s Italian Concept Cars. Show all posts

Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 Superflow

Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 Superflow 1960s Italian concept car

The Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 Superflow was a dream car. Actually, four dream cars! 'Dream cars' are offbeat design prototypes. Typically, they are displayed at motor shows. In the same way couturiers go out on a limb to impress fashionistas, so coachbuilders create a 'buzz' for potential car buyers. So, a catwalk dress is not designed to be worn, just as a concept car is not designed to be driven. In other words, the whole point of a dream car is to make an exhibition of itself!

When it came to creativity, Battista 'Pinin' Farina was a past master. His career started in Turin, Italy, in 1930. Pininfarina - his automotive design studio - would become world-famous. In '46, Alfa presented Pinin and his team with a template. A 3,000cc 246bhp template. Alfa - based in Milan - had built half a dozen cars for experimental purposes. Pininfarina was briefed to put fancier flesh on the Alfa bones. 'Superflow' would be the way to go. As in advanced aerodynamics.

The inspiration for the Superflow was the US. Alfa had its sales sights set on America. Stateside motorists had gone gaga over Sixties sci-fi - as they had in the Fifties, too. Basically, they were suckers for anything that smacked of Space. The Ford Mystere had a lot to do with it. Its roof consisted of a transparent plastic bubble. Back in the day, it conjured up images of lunar landing craft and the like. Alfa were minded to cash in on the fad. In all, Pininfarina would have four conceptual shots at the Superflow - namely, the I, II, III and IV. For starters, fins were added to the rear wings. Technically, they were there to assist with high-speed stability. However, it did no harm at all that they also looked Saturn 5 cool. The Superflow's roof emulated that of the Mystere - since it, too, was made from see-through plexiglass. Likewise, the headlights were covered by the same streamlined material. As things turned out, the Superflow's space-age charms did not cut it with gizmo-addicted Americans. As a result, Alfa U-turned - and readdressed the European market. Styling briefs would be altered accordingly. Nonetheless, the Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 Superflow had given futuristic wings to Pininfarina's distinguished design skills.

Alfa Romeo Carabo

Alfa Romeo Carabo 1960s Italian classic concept car

The Alfa Romeo Carabo is one of the most influential concept cars ever created. Think Lamborghini Countach, for example. The Carabo was the ultimate in wedge-shaped styling. As diagonal lines go, the one from the tip of its nose - to the top of its roof - was about as dynamic as it gets. That was in sharp contrast to its cute stub of a tail. Not only did that combination look cool - aerodynamically, it was bang on the money. Show car though it was, the Carabo had a top speed of 160mph. It was, after all, kitted out with a 230bhp V8 engine.

To be fair, the Carabo did not stint on real-world parts. Many of them were honed at the racetrack. Its chassis was spawned by Alfa Romeo's Tipo 33 competition car. There was double-wishbone suspension all round - as well as disc brakes. For a car that was not built to be driven - at least, not in anger - the Carabo came pretty high-spec.

Marcello Gandini - of design house Bertone - was chief stylist. Certainly, the scissor-doors set-up he drew would become a supercar trademark. When fully flung up, they were not just visually stunning - they were an engineering tour de force, too. The car's finish was fittingly flamboyant. Metallic green paint was set off by orange highlights. The lightweight glass used - by Belgian firm VHR-Glaverbel - was copper-tinted. It was a gimme that the Carabo wowed the Paris Motor Show, in '68. Nuccio Bertone - and his Turin-based studio - had delivered. Lamborghini lovers, especially, will be forever indebted to the Alfa Romeo Carabo!