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1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo Concept

1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo Concept

With 60s fashion ablaze, came the wedge wars in car design. So when the Bertone styling house hired Marcello Gandini to design them a car, they got themselves a clear winner. Its iridescent green and orange colouring are no accident, as its namesake 'Carabo' is taken from the same beautifully coloured ground beetles named Carabidae.

It was a mid mounted V8 with a six-speed, syncromeshed, transaxle gearbox designed by Valerio Colotti, fitted to the chassis of an Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. It pumped out 230 horses and could boogie up to 250km/h (155mph) - not to mention it could do 0-100km/h in 5.5 seconds.

It was then priced at a projected $17,000, so finding owners was a chore.

Designer Marcelo Gandini had the opportunity to create a car that would revolutionise the automotive industry for many years later. The mid-mounted engine allowed for a pointed front end, while the ground-hugging poise inherited meant the car was under a metre tall. Combined with the squared-off rear end, these characteristics inspired countless wedge-shaped designs of the 70s and 80s.  The Carabo was the first car designed with scissor hinged doors - Nice to see that Gandini swiped them to later add to the Countach design.

The Carabo was a one-off but inspired so many designs, so next time you look at an Aventador - thank Gandini's Carabo.

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