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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

11 way-out-there concept cars that defined the 1970s

Concept cars are meant to cross boundaries. That, and establish them. The 1960s saw this subspecies of automobile become a regular fixture on the global stage, with even the stodgiest of marques overcoming reservations and seeing the worth of creating something that might rake in the column inches.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/11-way-out-there-concept-cars-that-defined-the-1970s/
92 REPLIES 92
gringo
Pit Crew

There once was a man from Boston
who bought himself a new Austin
There was room for his ass, and a gallon of gas
But his balls hung out.......and he lost them.
Couldnt find anything to rhime with Minissmima !
Tinkerah
Engineer

Any poem that makes me chuckle gets a like.
Tim
Technician

I see your poem and raise you a haiku. 😄

So tiny, and yet
Room for four in it, somehow
Go, Minissima!
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

Bravissima!
TG
Gearhead

I always thought rear lights should differentiate between accelerating, cruising, decelerating, and braking. Just being able to tell when the cars in front of you are letting off of the gas could probably significantly improve reaction time for an upstream event
Tinkerah
Engineer

No question. I read an article a long time ago touting an advantage of LED taillights being that they illuminate some fraction of a second quicker than incandescent giving following drivers more lead time.
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

I kind of like the new “flashing at initial application” brake lights.
Tinkerah
Engineer

Count me among those smitten with the Mazda, wedges ("wedgies" lol) and all. Interesting that it got painted different colors so many times, now that I know what's involved in repainting fiberglass.
ryanwm80
Intermediate Driver

AMC AM VAN, Ford MiniMAX, and all five of the Ford Probe concepts - why none of those?
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

Once again, for the umpteenth time, it’s from their UK website.

Sheesh.
Huntz-Hall
Detailer

Wow these are certainly wild,
I see the couple standing outside of the Mazda probably there isn't enough room inside to do the Rumba. The Vauxhall would be the one for me.
okfoz
Advanced Driver

Many of these look a lot like a Countach, obviously different styling, but the wedge shapes, insanely raked windshields etc.
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

Exactly.

The Countach is so close to a lot of this. It was incredibly daring to produce it. But that’s Mr Lamborghini…..

And it’s now a very sought-after modern classic.
Healeydays
New Driver

What would have been nice is add what happened to the car and where it is today.
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

They typically crush them. For liability reasons. But not always!

Especially back then, some would end up with top-level employees.
tygar
Pit Crew

None of them! FWIW
FormerCav
Intermediate Driver

NONE. maybe the Mazda 500.
The one that made production, a detomaso pantera was as good as it gets in the 70's.
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

And the Pantera was very inspired from several of these….
tadg47
Intermediate Driver

I'll go for the Mazda RX-500. nOt bad looking and it designed with the mechanic in mind. Full access to that engine compartment.
Prico53
Pit Crew

My favorite of the bunch: The Silver Lotus.
madinla
New Driver

What? No Bertone Scarabo? Ah, yes, it was 1967,not 1970. Still, it really would have been nice to include it. It would have dressed up this list. 🙂
AMCAMX
New Driver

BMW Turbo and Mazda RX-500 should have been produced.
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

The BMW M1 was produced….
The engine went into the insane 2002turbo. Of which only 1372 were produced.

Agree about the Mazda, but they were a tiny Company, back then. Not lots of money available, to risk producing that.
4RenT
Instructor

I liked them all!
One, a bit less than the others.

 

Also, I can't imagine the Mazda RX-500 driver taking his off the pavement and into a forest. 

SpringGT
Pit Crew

The Lancia Bertone as to be the one. A doorstop with no visibility!
DrWho
Intermediate Driver

My favorite is the predecessor to the SRV, the Vauxhall XVR. It was earlier, appearing in 1966 and there was a completely functional road registered car. I was fortunate to have ridden in it. It was equipped with the SOHC 2 liter, not yet introduced. The door hinge was at the center of the windshield! For more details see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauxhall_XVR
TigerTiz
Intermediate Driver

Looks kina like an Opel GT
positrac401
Pit Crew

To add to the previous comments regarding the AMX III , we are so lucky that one of them is in the Fred Phillips Collection here in Calgary Canada , I have had the chance to actual touch it(w/authorization) , because of its rarity, fit and finish is flawless and most things we take for granted in our vehicles of today may have begun in this very vehicle. Thankyou Mr. Phillips for having this in your collection.
silver-GT4
Pit Crew

I saw most of these in real life at the Los Angeles Auto Expo in the early 1970s. Though I love several of them, my favorite has always been the Maserati Boomerang.
majorbob
Intermediate Driver

What is Hagerty’s fascination with foreign crap? I will grudgingly admit that there are a few, a very few, foreign automobiles that I find appealing. However for the most part, I prefer American designed and built automotive products. I personally think the vehicles built by Americans for Americans before the engineers decided European and/or Asian styling was in vogue and started screwing up great automobiles. Big brother government also got in the mix and bureaucrats that don’t know the difference between a multimeter and an alarm clock started telling engineers how to design vehicles based on some political belief.
I have a degree in industrial engineering with a major in automotive technology. Americans can design and build the best of anything in the world if the liberal government bureaucrats and social justice buttholes will just let them. They can do it cost effectively and environmentally responsibility also.
In the 60’s and 70’s GM and Ford built some interesting and exciting concepts vehicles. It would be nice to see Hagerty explore these on occasion instead of all the foreign crap.
TigerTiz
Intermediate Driver

The article is from the UK site...
uweschmidt
Instructor

Stop whining thereare plenty of different Articles for Plenty of different Oeople with plenty of different Likes and learn to love and appreciate them all after you do that we'll live in a better World
Ty
Intermediate Driver

I prefer 80s & 90s concepts, but if I must, the Peugeot Peugette looks like it could be produced today as an electric vehicle with a few tweaks aesthetically. I do have to say, the 70s (and part of the 80s and 90s) produced some of my all time favorite cars. Could have something to do with growing up as 70s baby and having a grandpa who was car crazy could be the reasons...
in_garage
Intermediate Driver

Great article, very interesting. Maybe Hagerty will pay attention to the negative comments about non-U.S. vehicles and write one about U.S.-made concept vehicles. Not just cars.

I liked the Peugette for its toy-like look. It would have been interesting to see a spec-car road race series using these. When they spun you would lose track of which end was the front. Or turn them into bumper cars at an amusement park for adults. Something fun.

I wonder how hot it got inside the Mazda? Don't rotary engines have really hot exhaust pipes?
kens
New Driver

I submit the Alfa Romeo Carabo by Bertone. This car led the way for the Countach, also by Bertone. Sam Foose created a tribute/replica based on a Pantera.
https://www.carscoops.com/2010/05/foose-made-alfa-romeo-carabo-replica/
boslapet
New Driver

The Lamborghini Marzal.
True dream car of the late 1960's, early 1970's.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamborghini_Marzal
PhillipinSD
Intermediate Driver

First of all the Pininfarina/Peugeot looks like a bed that should be put in a little boy's bedroom. Am I right on that? However as far as concept cars go the Bertone Lancia Stratos Zero is it and nothing comes close. Everyone should be driving one of those and the whole world would be a much better place
CentauroRider
Intermediate Driver

My take on concept cars in general is how close to reality can that design be? Yes, the Peugeot has it hands down over the rest based upon its rather basic and realistic looks! Yes, they are conceptual which means they stretch the boundaries of reality but some use of their potential features can be adapted to the real world and be interesting like gull wing doors used on Lambo's and others. The length, long wedge noses, lack of visibility and other important safety factors tend to make them laughable to a certain degree! Remember the Pontiac Aztec?? It started as a concept vehicle that due to popularity became reality and them it morphed into a dud of a vehicle that didn't last long in the market place. It just shows how quickly some designs don't last!
Snailish
Engineer

The frustrating thing is when concept vehicles are made knowing they do not comply with regulations to enter production or there is no real intention to make it look like the concept.

 

Pointy front ends being an example of something no concept car should have anymore.

 

The Chevy Volt concept being the poster child of a bait-and-switch. "Oh the Chevy Volt is finally really here... ...What is that???"

vvic
Pit Crew

Maybe it’s just me, but these don’t “wow” me the way the concept cars of the 50’s and 60’s do. Probably because most of these look like existing cars - that wedge look isn’t all that distinctive.

Fisheral
New Driver

 Somebody else referenced Saab Sonett mashup, but to me the Mazda RX-500 looks like the rear end of a Kammback Trans Am from 1977 was grafted onto the front end of a Sonett. 

Brass
New Driver

ChevyDave
Detailer

There were a number of misses here:
Born in 1969 but worth a mention is the Pininfarina/Ferrari 512S Speciale - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/286541595014865642/ - actually built on the chassis of a fire-breathing Ferrari 512S sports racer as featured in the Steve McQueen film “Le Mans”. Side note: A 512S also underpins the PF Modulo depicted in the article.
Also born in ‘69 but continuously improved and used in advanced vehicle testing well into the ‘70’s was the production-ready Mercedes-Benz C 111 - https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IZ_pt4PbSEQ/UIQdJRIIr3I/AAAAAAAAMZU/WLI5iVGNIFE/s1600/mercedes-benz_c111_...
…and its crazy homage, the b+b CW 311 - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/446489750554397039/
Finally, the Lamborghini Bravo: The entry-level car Lambo that should have built instead of the P250/300/Urraco - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamborghini_Bravo