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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

11 groovy concept cars from the Swinging Sixties

Concept cars tend to live ephemeral lives. They appear at an event or two, create headlines if they're lucky, and then disappear into the ether once they're no longer of use. Some, however, attain legendary status.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/11-groovy-concept-cars-from-the-swinging-sixties/
85 REPLIES 85
audiobycarmine
Technician

Whoo, so many goodies to explore!

Naturally, there are comparisons to make...
The Bertone Testudo presages both the Avanti and the Jensen Interceptor; the Mercer Cobra reminds one of the Bearcat and Auburn/Cord traditions; Alfa's Romeo Carabo combines a Bricklin with FIAT's X19.

If that Lamborghini Marzal really does have roof-to-floor glass, then there'll be a few accidents in the making, with a view like that.

And lastly; MAN, would I love to hit a drive-through with a Chrysler Turboflite or Monza GT!
DaveH
Detailer

The Testudo- pull up some pix of a Miura
RokemRonnie
Instructor

The Mustang I concept was engineered by Roy Lunn, who later headed Ford's GT40 project that won Le Mans four years in a row. He later went on to be in charge of engineering at AMC, where he was responsible for the original Jeep Cherokee, the AMC Eagle (arguably the first CUV), and the Renault sports racer.
DUB6
Specialist

Amazing that he was able to jump from something as ugly as the Mustang I to something as beautiful as the GT40.

Timbo
Detailer

The GT40 started as a Lola that Ford massaged.
BPatLeMays
Intermediate Driver

To this day I would love to restomod the two door Eagle V-8 Sx4.
Maestro1
Technician

They are more lovely than anything designed today.
Oldroad1
Technician

I don't think the Mustang concept roll bar would have been a life saving feature as it is only neck high to the driver and passenger. That car was incredibly small.
DUB6
Specialist

When I see the names Bertone and Pininfarina attached to any picture or article, I always pay close attention.  Some of the most beautiful and yet functional designs ever produced came out of those two design houses.

drhino
Technician

Oh, that Alfa. Goodness gracious!
richard2
Intermediate Driver

Funny, the real nostalgia I get from looking at these photos is not for the cars, it's for the plastic model car kits that used to be found in the hundreds in stores. Every kind of car/truck you could imagine, in a variety of scales. From real replicas to some of the weirdest concept cars and beyond. Monogram, AMT, Revel, several other brands. (My personal favorite was the huge Monogram "Big T" that, to a kid, was just huge)

Truly a by-gone era.
DUB6
Specialist

Amen, brutha.  I was a car freak (based on building plastic models) WAY before I could claim to be a car freak based on real vehicles.  I, too, long for those wide-eyed days of looking over the selection and trying to pick just what I could afford on my lawn-mowing/snow-shoveling/allowance money.  The "Big T"?  Oh, man, what a wonderful kit!

BPatLeMays
Intermediate Driver

I had a Marzal Matchbox.
Billthecat707
Instructor

Me too, still do.
Tinkerah
Engineer

My heart flutters at the sight of all but one of them! And even that one is still damn pretty.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

The Chrysler Turboflight looks crazy. It had a big spoiler in the back that would make a Roadrunner proud. The Bertone Testudo is kind of an interesting car too. Lots of crazy wedge stuff here also.

JGeske
Instructor

My lord, that Mercer Cobra is one of the best looking cars I have ever seen.
BPatLeMays
Intermediate Driver

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. You'd love the Stuttgart Bearcats if you've never seen one. We have one on display ( Sammy Davis Jr.'s) at LeMay Family Collections.
BPatLeMays
Intermediate Driver

OOPS ,I meant Stutz Blackhawk. Sorry for the Typo
DRF
Intermediate Driver

Does anyone know where this car ended up?
LugNut
Pit Crew

It has to be the Canguro - it is just SO sexy! Based on the Alfa TZ2, it was going to be scrapped until it was thankfully saved by an American who was teaching school in Germany.
BPatLeMays
Intermediate Driver

If I were a dog, my ears would have perked up at the Corvair Monza GT. That would have made for a sweet kit car back in the '70's. And I am such a Marcello Gandini fan, I have a quote from him said in interview I saw in Automobile Magazine (I think).
gfviperman
Detailer

The Alfa Canguro ... none of the others matter ...
Garageman
New Driver

That’s not a picture of the Chevrolet Manta Ray with the Mako Shark II. It’s the Mako Shark.
MehariAmi6
Pit Crew

It has been said that the Pininfarina BMC 1100/1800 influenced Robert Opron and his design team at Citroën in the creation of the GS (introduced in 1970) and the CX (introduced in 1974 as the replacement for the DS). Looking at the front end of the BMC 1100/1800 there is also a strong resemblance to the Citroën SM (also introduced in 1970). Definitely a milestone design!
tigercat
Detailer

All have something but to me the Monza GT and the Testudo both by GM are unique but on a Corvair platform after being given a few by my father, they are just under powered, poor handling, unreliable seal leaking eye candy. Too bad, the Monza is really unique but if for any reason, wreck, flipped over or just cockpit hinge jammed it looks like you would be trapped in the car. It needs and escape hatch.
autowriter
Detailer

The 4-carb and turbo Corvair variants had sufficient power to move along smartly. As for handling, few on the road handled better than the late model with the Corvette-styled IRS. Why GM kept building them with rubber pushrod tube seals escapes me. A $5 set of Viton O-rings solved that issue. One doesn't design a car with the intention of flipping it in the first place. None of the cars featured was designed with that in mind, and none would fare well if they did.
padcon1
Pit Crew

Exactly!
padcon1
Pit Crew

I'm guessing they were earlies,60/64 models?The later models 65 forward, although also prone to oil leaks, and easily fixed by the way,were very good handling cars, and had enough power if four carb or turbo powered.Of course I am biased, been driving mine for 27 years now.
Turd_Ferguson
New Driver

Once in a while I search the web for "60's Concept Vehicles. The design ques that were used are far from the ordinary. The lines that you see separate and you say "no way would they work together", end up making some of the coolest looking vehicles ever dreamed up.
autowriter
Detailer

Monza GT. I kept hoping GM would make it, or something like it, But they never did.
Iso_Grifo
Instructor

Looking at this is like a childhood flashback as I recognize now that I had matchbox toys of the Alfa Romeo Carabo and I'm pretty sure the Monza GT. I'll have to look this up to see if it's just my memory playing tricks on me. Love both those cars. Lots of other greats on this list, too!
dscsnary9
New Driver

The two corvettes, mako shark, and the Alfa Romeo have the best appeal.
kcirbodmot
New Driver

Does anybody else here remember a hard-cover book published in the mid- to late-60s titled "Cars of the 21st Century" (or something much like that)? It was filled with conceptual drawings of cars similar to these. I must have checked that book out of the elementary school library a dozen times or more. I've tried many times to find it online, but no luck so far. Anybody?
elvis628
New Driver
elvis628
New Driver
elvis628
New Driver
majorbob
Intermediate Driver

Thank God we have moved on!
D64
Pit Crew

You do realize it's mainly about the nostalgia....
Inline8OD
Technician

Right on both counts, Major and D.  There's a reason none of these tortured things ever saw production.

padcon1
Pit Crew

Being a current Corvair Corsa convertable 180 hp turbo owner, the Monza GT of course.I understand they also made a convertible option of this concept, too bad it never got into production.I think it would have done better than all other stock production Corvairs.
DaveH
Detailer

Looks like the designer of the Vector W8 had a really close look at the Bertone Alfa Carabo.
And the Testudo...go look at a Miura
DrWho
Intermediate Driver

Thanks for this cool post. It's an easy choice for me, I have owned both the Canguro and the Monza GT since the late '60s. Both are 1/43 scale diecast! The Alfa was made by Solido and the Chevy by Tekno. They change hands on EBay every once in while. This has been a fun hobby too!
cobrafia
Intermediate Driver

Give me the Mustang I and the Monza GT and I could die a happy man. I was at the Glen in '62 and saw Gurney do some nice and easy laps in the Mustang I. Believe me, in 1962 that car was super futuristic for it's day. The crowd loved it.
RG440
Instructor

Chrysler’s Turboflite;
Between the fins was a “deceleration air-flap” which pivoted up into the airstream when the brakes were applied, creating additional drag and thus lessening the load on the conventional braking set-up.

Sure wish this was factory equipment on the Superbird and Daytona ! It would come in extremely useful for the person doing a Hellephant engine swap on their spare classic laying around the barn….

Timbo
Detailer

You couldn't go wrong with any of them.
dooscoop32
Detailer

It has to be the Manta Ray. That is such a beautiful car. It is so similar to the C3 Corvette which I've loved since they debuted for the 1968 model year.
Hacksaw
Intermediate Driver

Chevrolet Monza GT is the only car I would love to drive or own. The Bertone looks like a road kill frog with those flattened headlights. Not many cars can stand up to the beauty and styling of the C2 Corvette.
KYColonel
Detailer

I'm a diehard Vette fanatic.
I choose the MAKO II