1971 Volkswagen Karmann Cheetah
In the early 1970s, German coachbuilder Wilhelm Karmann GmbH was already responsible for building the slinky Karmann Ghia and drop-top Beetles for Volkswagen -- but it also helped build a small, conceptual sports car for VW and Italdesign.
As was the case with the Karmann Ghia, the coachbuilder had virtually no say in the Cheetah project. The sleek, angular lines -- fitted over a modified Beetle floorpan -- were entirely the product of Giugiaro's imagination. Karmann did, however, have a part when it came time to design the roof. A soft top, which sported a translucent sunroof panel over the cockpit, slid down the length of the car's sidebows and could be neatly tucked between the seats.
Obviously, the Cheetah never made it into production -- a pity, for Fiat found a fair amount of success with its Bertone-styled X1/9 facsimile, which came to market a year after the Cheetah premiered at the 1971 Geneva motor show.