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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
Ajakeski
Detailer

A time before everything was shaped like chukka boot and is labeled a "Crossover"
FrankFF47
Intermediate Driver

For me it is a tie between the Mustang I and the Canguro! It was disappointing to see the production Mustang come out as a Falcon with fake air scoops the only trace of the Mustang I.
Ragtop69
Detailer

Had it not been for the Falcon, the Mustang would probably have never gone into production. Iacocca sold Henry Ford II on the Mustang as a production model based on its extensive use of the Falcon platform that was already in existence. Mustang would have never existed otherwise. I had a '64 Falcon Sprint coupe and later worked for a subsidiary of FoMoCo and had a string of Mustang executive lease cars. I had the last of the Mustang IIs (a '78 based on the Pinto platform) and a couple of Fox Bodies. BTW, I still have a pair of '69s (one Sportsroof and one convertible) in my garage.
CarsandRob60
New Driver

That Mustang I reminds me of the Hot Wheels car called the Jack Rabbit Special.
Billthecat707
Instructor

It does, I have one.
jetfire88
Pit Crew

Doesn't appear to be much love here for the Carabo!

At least Gerald Wiegert abd I like it.
DavidHolzman
Advanced Driver

the Pininfarina BMC 1100/1800 Berlina Aerodinamica resembles certain Citroens that I'm pretty sure (but not positive) post-dated it. My favorites among this batch are the Testudo and the Mustang I.
02-orignal-ownr
Advanced Driver

Lotsa design cues in the BMW M1 that looks like they came from the Carabo...
RickB
Intermediate Driver

For those of you old enough to remember the 50"s the Chrysler Turbo Flight looks as if it's something designed by custom car builders/designers George Barris or Ed Roth. Wonder if the engineers may have incorporated some of George's and Ed's designs into theirs??
ROBBO99
Detailer

Give me that hot looking lil Alfa Romeo Carabo please !!
TheOtherPaul
New Driver

OMG, I had the Hot Wheels edition of the Carabo in that exact shade of green back in the early 70s, thanks for the fond memories! Was a stunning shape, even in 1/43 scale...
Pilott
Intermediate Driver

They are all terrific. I did a research paper in High School back in the 1960's and was able to get promo literature from some of the car companies (which I still have). Among those was the Mustang I. A few years later I became a lifetime vintage SAAB owner. Some SAABs used the same V4 Ford Motor in the 60's & 70's. I have made the pilgrimage twice to the Henry Ford Museum and have seen and photographed that Mustang I both times ... still a bit jealous of the guys here who saw it run on the track though. Hmmm ... I have a nice V4 motor and have thought about making a copy of the Mustang I. Those 3D printers keep getting more & more capable, haha!
TA76
Detailer

Chevrolet Monza GT, Mercer Cobra, Chevrolet Mako Shark II/Manta Ray, Bertone Alfa Romeo Canguro, Chrysler Turboflite in that order. The rest pretty predictable designs for the times.
eighthtry
Advanced Driver

None of them.
mfp4073
Advanced Driver

The Chevrolet CERV-1 is the most beautiful car ever. I have always had a thing for the F-1 cars of that era. They are so pure! Pure to form and function like no other vehicle. Designed to penetrate the air effortlessly. Your body becomes a piece of the car and the motion that it creates. I had better not tell my wife about this post, she might take it wrong. Just kidding! She already knows how I feel about this particular car design.
Frarob
Pit Crew

I believe the majority of the Italian stuff foreshadowed a street or competition reality. I see elements of Miura and Mistral in the Testudo, and a bunch of 33 Stradale in the Canguro. As the article states, it's no struggle to see original Countach in the nose and stance of the Carabo. The mystery to me is how hard BMW whiffed on the 1800. It could have had the same impact as the Mini did, and was at least a decade ahead of the Rover SD1/3500, and I can see influence for the CItroen CX and GX. Efficient, functional, and stylish at a time when few combined those elements.
ConfuciusRacing
Detailer

Great Article, As an automotive fan...pushing 5 decades...nice to see concepts I hadn't.

Thanks Hagerty.

One could have been included, the Ferrari 4 door...
https://www.autoweek.com/news/a1989611/ferraris-unique-four-door-car-heads-auction-block/
dsmythe
Pit Crew

Mako Shark gets my vote, beautiful design!
RW68RSConv
Detailer

I've seen the Monza GT in person and its more beautiful in person. Change the flip top lid to gull wings and it would have been a production winner. Stunning. I had never seen the Bertone Alfa Romeo Canguro before this article and I would love to have that in my garage. Beautiful lines.
PhillipinSD
Intermediate Driver

Obviously the dream cars of my youth. If I had one right now I would never dare to drive it. Most of those were works of art. Todays cars are basically very ugly little shoe boxes that look all alike next to most of these.
Boxer69
New Driver

Love the Jetsons esque, but that Mercer Cobra 😵💫😊🤤
Ljt283
New Driver

The Mustang, I do remember seeing it in magazines. Would have bought one. At the time the production Mustang was too large for small sports cars owners to consider.
milo2021
Intermediate Driver

I'm probably in the minority but the Chevrolet Monza GT would be my choice among all of these cars. A flat six mid-engine car with a sleek Corvette looking body was cool. Perhaps I should mention I drag raced a 1979 fastback tube chassis Monza with a BBC for many years. So I am partial for the Monza.
janedon
Advanced Driver

Ahhhh the days when Exterior Style meant something--
Ragtop69
Detailer

I was stirred by the Mako Shark. It lent its name to the entire production run of C3 Corvettes. A story was that apparently Bill Mitchell had gone deep sea fishing and caught a mako shark. He had it mounted in his office and it inspired the concept car's design. He loved the way his mounted shark faded from blue to gray and wanted the concept car to do the same. After several attempts that Mitchell rejected because they were the wrong colors, the design guys came in on a weekend and repainted the mounted shark to match the paint job on the car. Allegedly Mitchell loved it.:-) The Manta Ray was a pretty close relative of my '69 Stingray. My car was Le Mans Blue but it was a big block with an L36 427c.i. 390 hp engine. I had it for seven years and put only seven thousand miles on it. It was a numbers matching car with the M21 manual transmission and 3.36 gears. Totally stock. I regret that I sold it at auction in Monterey in 2011 because I needed the dough.
plank
Detailer

Some pretty ingenious designs considering how long ago they were concepted.
mbr2000
Advanced Driver

The Mercer Cobra should have called the Pimpmobile!
JBBearcat
Advanced Driver

Love the Carabo.
It makes all later supercars look like gauche pretenders.

Back to reality...
Could someone make Mustang I body panels to fit in a Fiero skeleton?
Sajeev
Community Manager

I like where you are going with that body kit. 

JSievers
Instructor

Love the Bill Mitchell era Corvettes. GM hasn't had a better Design Chief since.
brb
Instructor

The Monza GT gets my vote.
tbm3fan
Pit Crew

The word "groovy" caught my eye mainly because I was a teenager back in the 60s and understand the term quite well as I was present. Was the author a teenager back then, I wonder, to have lived during the period of it's use? That means he is at least older than 69. Groovy was not used in the context of these cars much less were that many American teenagers aware of these cars back then. I wasn't as like all my teenager friends we were focused on what we could afford and drooled over the American muscle cars we couldn't afford.
DUB6
Specialist

Well, the author can actually be a LOT younger than you (and me) @tbm3fan - because "groovy" came back into the trendy lexicon with the release of the Austin Powers movies (starting in 1997).  And I think the "Swinging Sixties" term was also tossed around in that franchise (as the time period was supposed to represent the '60s).  So, when I see "groovy", I harken back to Flower Power, Haight-Asbury, Peace Signs, and Pop Music - stuff from 1968 lingo.  But someone who was in High School in 1998 - 30 years later - might actually recognize and use the same phrases simply because they were a fan of the movies!  As they sometimes say, "everything old is new again"... 😃

DUB6
Specialist

 Far Out Dude  😎

Sajeev
Community Manager

As a fan of Jazz music from the 50s and up, I find the word groovy to be appropriate for the era. Yes, I am just a Gen X-er, but there were plenty of hip cats in the jazz scene that seemed to use it???

DUB6
Specialist

True Dat, @Sajeev.  But in the jazz arena I suspect it had a context more related to music than in either the Hippie days or the Shagalicious world of Goldmember.  As in, "that cat really gets in the groove with that slap bass!"  Which sort of morphed into, "that Saxman is groovy!"