It’s doubtful that any designer or design house has done more seminal mid-engined automotive designs than has the incomparable Giorgetto Giugiaro and his (and son Fabrizio’s) ItalDesign Giugiaro.

Though it goes without saying that Pininfarina has created many great mid-motored Ferrari sports cars, then, of course, there’s the Murray/Stevens McLaren F1, plus many edgy, uber exotic Lamborghini supercars by a variety of designers. The house that the Giugiaros built did more of them earlier, and in so many instances, better than anyone else.

1970 Giugiaro Porsche Tapiro

Among Giugiaro, the senior’s earlier greats are the De Tomaso Mangusta while at Ghia, a car lacking in excellent chassis engineering but remains an absolute beauty in terms of exotic proportion, car design, and detailing. Later came the Maserati Bora and Merak, the American Motors AMX/3, the Lotus Esprit, the DeLorean, the Gallardo, the still fabulous Maserati Boomerang, ad infinitum.

Back in the day, a design study or concept car dream machine would spend a year or so as a turntable toy working the international auto show circuit. It was then often sold off into private hands to help pay for building next year’s new concept, especially in smaller independent design firms.

Among Giugiaro’s projects for the 1970 auto show season was the ItalDesign Porsche Tapiro – a crisply folded mid-engined double gull wing doors (gullwing doors for both the passenger compartment and the engine bay) doored exotic coupe based on a Volkswagen Porsche 914/6.

Though it’s a unique and generally fresh design, you’ll see the Giugiaro’s famous handprints all over it, with shadings of the Mangusta and what would become the Esprit, DeLorean, and Bora in some of its shapes, proportion, and surface detail.

Drawing of vehicle
4th concept car design by Giorgetto Giugiaro

It was painted the prototypical metallic silver with a warm butterscotch leather-lined cabin.

Power came courtesy of Porsche’s S-spec 2.4-liter flat-six, purportedly good for 220 hp, backed by a 5-speed transaxle, culminating in a reported top speed of about 150mph.

B and W photo of TapiroRead More


By: Matt Stone
Title: The Strange Tale of the ItalDesign Porsche Tapiro
Sourced From:
Published Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2021 05:36:38 +0000

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