cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
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
Snailish
Engineer

Fun article.

There is a 1970s "future truck" concept that didn't go anywhere in the day, but is the Cybertruck concept in too many ways to ignore.

I have seen bad scans of the pages, reportedly from Mechanix Illustrated (1975 or 76 I believe). Giorgetto Giugiaro face and name is on the page, but another source attributed the design to Curtis Brubaker in 1978.

Googling it today it looks like the internet incorrectly sources this image repeatedly (surprise, surprise) and it is actually from a 1978 Penthouse future cars article and multiple designers pitched ideas. The Cybertruck predecessor does appear to be Brubaker --but again it is a bad partial scan rather than the complete article I am seeing.

Anyways, a Hagerty detective solving this "true design heritage of the Cybertruck" could be a fun article and show that those 1970s concept drawings weren't a waste of time.

Longroofjunkie
Instructor

That’s very cool.

“Everything comes from something”
TonyT
Technician

The Skoda 110 looks like a Saab Sonnet rear-ended a Bricklin SV-1.
sclin10
Instructor

Peugeot Peugette, another ugly French car.
Snailish
Engineer

Puegeot are pretty much non-existent in my area. An early 80s example with really strange (to me) headlights came up for sale a while back. It was a true survivor being sold by the original owner.

 

A younger me probably would have called it ugly.

 

I was enthralled, and actually closer to following up on the ad than things I have actually been looking for. I don't really regret passing on it and hopefully it got a second owner that loves it as much as that first one clearly did.

TG
Gearhead

I think smaller headlights would probably made a significant appearance improvement
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

How exactly is it ugly ?

Be specific.

I didn’t understand that comment at all. Unless you just poop on anything French?

Less ugly than almost every other concept in the article.

Not all wedgy, to where you can’t even see out, not loaded with unnecessary frippery.

Actually something that could be produced.
PhillipinSD
Intermediate Driver

Give it a break it's a little boys bed.
vvic
Pit Crew

That’s exactly what it looks like! Or a brick on wheels (I don’t know why Volvo DL’s got stuck with that nickname).

vvic
Pit Crew

I kind of liked Columbo’s Peugeot 

Maestro1
Technician

This is lots of fun and I appreciate it.
I'm a tall guy and as I look at the wonderful and also bizarre designs I'm wondering how I would fit in one of them if any reached production. I love the designs anyway; I've owned
a couple of older Italian cars and the driving position was very interesting.
Punk
Instructor

Right? At just over 6 feet tall, the first thought I had when I saw the Bertone Lancia Str was yeah, no way I could get into that thing unless I was laying on my back!
Padgett
Advanced Driver

F1 aerodynamic design in the 60s had the drivers lying on their backs and arms straight out to keep elbows in. Is actually quite comfortable on a long trip. GM cars are pretty good, German cars not so.
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

German cars are pretty good.

GM not so.

Fixed it for you.

Longroofjunkie
Instructor

6’ 2” here.

Yep.

I once owned a 308 Berlinetta. No way in hell could I wear a helmet in it, though I could drive it OK. Drove it to work occasionally.

Most concepts are silly, and completely impractical. But not all of them!

They have to start somewhere.

Look at the BMW vs the later M1 (which Paul Bracq also penned). An icon.

And that engine was dropped into the 2002turbo. 170hp. In a 2300-pound car. A little rocket ship.
silver-GT4
Pit Crew

Giorgetto Giugiaro (Italdesign) actually designed the M1. I wish that BMW had built the Braq version, which by the way was noticeably smaller than the M1.
FloridaMarty
Instructor

Too bad most of these designs didn't see production. They are far more interesting than the 70's cars that actually got built. I am a fan of the wedge design, so futuristic looking They would have also made great Hot Wheels!

Punk
Instructor

Well the Lotus basically did go into production, albeit with some changes as the Esprit. I always liked that car. Its a better of taste whether the earlier car like the show car, is better looking than the later one.
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

The Esprit looked so good, overall, that they were able to sell it for about 23 years, I think. Especially once it received a V-8.

Generally pretty timeless, which is a sign of very good design.
Iso_Grifo
Instructor

I'm pretty sure I had a Hot Wheels or Matchbox Mazda.

I've always liked the Maserati Boomerang. That would have been an awesome production supercar.

I have to say that the Bertone Lancia Stratos Zero takes the cake for Peak 70's supercar wedge lunacy. Haha! You can't even look out the sides!
ChevyDave
Detailer

The two dark panels on its sides are actually windows; exterior mirrors are built-in to the trailing edge of the wheel arches. A roof-mounted mirror was experimented with; you can see it some pictures of the car. Actually a workable, driveable prototype, just a little short on practical. 😉
MWL
Intermediate Driver

I had a toy car that I believe may have been based on the SRV.
Rick2
Instructor

Mazda should have built it!
Punk
Instructor

They still should!!! Bring back the rotary!
Snailish
Engineer

Dormant in the hearts of the true Mazda engineers has to be the desire to bring back the rotary... but what tech leap is needed to make that appealing in this era of anti-ICE (from governments) and threatened-era-to-be?

 

I don't know, it's a genuine question.

 

If there was some wacky fuel/tech combo that could make a rotary carbon negative with math, then you stand a chance of seeing it.

Longroofjunkie
Instructor

It’s nothing whatsoever to do with “anti-ICE.”


Crappy fuel economy, burns way too much oil, needs a rebuild every 60,000 miles or so. Maybe a little more durable now, but see the other two strikes.

Definitely way cool, though.

The Wankel was originally contracted to go into the AMC Pacer!
SJ
Technician

Weird but pretty cool, never seen or heard of any of them.
70amc
New Driver

Shame on Hagerty. Not to mention the AMX III. A care that not only was mid engine but actually had 6 (actual numbers argued) running prototypes and in the hands of collectors. Just par for the course.
buellerdan
Instructor

This piece was apparently limited to furrin' concept cars of the '70s.
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

See above.
drhino
Technician

If some of the wording and the subjects presented didn’t give it away; “Via Hagerty UK” appears at the end of the piece.
FloridaMarty
Instructor

Wow, I just looked up the AMX III, and that was a awesome looking vehicle. Before today, I never knew about it. Yes, that one deserved mention.
ChevyDave
Detailer

There was also an AMX II. I believe only a styling buck was made, but I actually prefer its more muscular presentation to the AMX III.
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

This is from their UK website….
HotRodGTO
Intermediate Driver

Nice article Hagerty. Thank you. Not sure why some of these folks can't just enjoy the articles without the negative critiques.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

That Mazda RX-500 has a bit of Miura on the front end of it. The back end, what happened there?

So many wedges! (wedgies?)

Some interesting things out there but very little made it towards production.
Longroofjunkie
Instructor

Wedges were very big in the ‘70s

See also: Lamborghini Countach.

Not that much different than some of these concepts!
Fisheral
New Driver

I was thinking Saab Sonett, but I'll give you Miura. I wrote it in a separate reply, but the back end looks to be from the Kammback Trans Am from 1977.

SAABV4
Pit Crew

Youtuber Casey Putsch is building a tribute to the Stratos Zero, he's calling the King Zero, complete with BMW V12 amidships. It will be interesting to see done and on the street.
Huntwt1
New Driver

Interesting article. I’d be curious about concept cars of the same period that either did make it into production, or where the concept car contributed significantly to a production car. What were the pie in the sky ideas there someone in Production said “we can do that, in fact, it’d be a bad idea if we didn’t.”
Snailish
Engineer

You have minivans concepts from at least GM and Ford in the 70s to my understanding.

 

Dick Teague working at AMC drew a lot of stuff (some of it made production) that was pretty innovative. Some of it was panned by critics at the time, but looking back there is a lot of things in the last 30 years that maybe owe some debt there.

Longroofjunkie
Instructor

Agreed.

(Disclaimer: I worked at AMC in the ‘80s)
ChevyDave
Detailer

Off the top of my head (none of the prototypes were mentioned here):
Bertone Runabout = FIAT X1/9
Pininfarina Dino 206 Speciale = Dino (Ferrari) 206/246
Pininfarina P6 = Ferrari 365 GTB 4 BB
mwroten63
New Driver

Hagerty articles are as bad as reading Car and driver or Motor trend up at discount tire. 90% foreign tin. Those two car magazines have always tended to snub their noses at American cars and especially GM (and Mopar) still using those "antiquated" pushrod mills. Who knows, maybe there's more foreign cars insured through Hagerty than American . Either way, I figured there would be at least a couple crappy American cars in there since they did hold quite a large market share of world car production.I'm not knocking foreign scrap iron, it just seems like they often get a lot of ink.
uweschmidt
Instructor

Stop whining thereare many Articles from many peoplefor many people and everyone cannot be for your or my personal liking cheer up and enjoy everything you can its all fun
Snailish
Engineer

This particular article should of had the word "Euro" in the headline. The author is from the UK and that is the point of view they are supposed to give here. I welcome it.

 

Should some other authors (or this one) give us the North American, Japanese, etc. parallel articles to this  --yes please.

Longroofjunkie
Instructor

Settle down, grampa.

This is from their UK website!
carguyjim
Detailer

I vote the Monkeymobile or Munster Roach
(at least CLOSE to 70's)
Fisheral
New Driver

The Monkeymobile would be an excellent cruiser for someone living in SoCal.