Thursday, April 24, 2014

ItalDesign's Porsche Tapiro

The styling trend to low cars in general, and sports cars in particular, reached its beyond-practicality limits by the early 1970s.  A concept car that came close to this trend end-state was the Porsche Tapiro, built by the ItalDesign firm, and styled by its design director, the famed Giorgetto Giugiaro.

I always liked the Tapiro.  And not at all because it was built on the Porsche 914/916 mid-engine platform and I actually owned a 914.  It was, to my way of thinking, a truly interesting design exercise.  On the other hand, a production car of that design would have been impractical due to its low height (the only vehicle a driver could see over would be something similar to the Tapiro itself) and lack of storage space (unlike the Tapiro, standard 914s had storage space suitable for travel; I crossed the USA twice in mine).

Giugiaro also had a major hand in the styling of the DeLorean DMC-12, which resembles the Tapiro.


This is a rendering of the Tapiro bearing Giugiaro's signature.

The Tapiro was completed in 1970.  Here it is on display at the 1971 Turin auto show.

An atmospheric photo of the Tapiro.

Front three-quarter view from a normal viewing angle.  For some reason probably having to do with how low the car was, many Tapiro photos were taken from a lower point of view.

Side view emphasizing the wedge shape and related angularities fashionable at the time.

Rear three-quarter view.  Alas, I wasn't able to locate any similar image without the, um, distraction.

Photo from above showing the gull-wing doors and engine access / trunk panels wide open.  The front "hood" also can open (it's hinged at the front) to reveal the spare tire and perhaps a tiny bit of extra storage space.

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