Eight Great Volkswagen-Italdesign Collaborations

1970 VW-Porsche Tapiro
The notion of an entry-level Porsche roadster -- built with some help from Volkswagen -- wasn't a horrible idea, but the blocky styling used on the 914 was divisive, to say the least. Giorgetto's solution was simple: take one 914/6, strip it down to the floor pan, and replace the awkward bodywork with a sleek coupe body.

The "folded paper" look may have been commonplace in the 1980s, but a decade prior -- when the Tapiro was unveiled at the Turin motor show -- the result was rather groundbreaking. Gullwing doors provided access to not only the interior, but also the engine compartment and luggage bay -- a subtle nod to the DeTomaso Mangusta which Giugiaro himself styled during his tenure at Ghia.

Unlike many concepts, which are little more than large plaster models, the Tapiro was a fully functioning automobile. After two years of touring the auto show circuit, Italdesign sold the car to a Spanish industrialist. Legend has it the Tapiro served as his daily driver until it was bombed by a group of striking workers. The remains - which were never reassembled -- currently rest in Italdesign's corporate museum.

The front of the car doesn't look very "pedestrian-friendly". If someone was hit by the car, the injuries would be serious. It would be surprising if European regulations didn't outlaw such a configuration. Furthermore, it really isn't an aerodynamically advantageous; a small change is relative wind could cause the car to lift, as been the case with many race cars, even at moderate speeds.

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