Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Porsche Tapiro...One-Off

I've been sitting on this post for a few months, because it's kinda' boilerplate...and other posts that were more timely kept popping up. But, here goes, the reason I like it, the comparison from German design and engineering with the 914 to Italian design. For all my 914 buddies out there, this one's for you. One only wonders, if the Porsche designers had come up with this, how it would have sold? What do you think?

The Porsche Tapiro was designed in 1970 by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design. It was Giugiaro's 4th prototype at Ital and one of his favorite at the time. It was based on the Porsche 914/6 platform and featured a mid mounted 2.4 litre flat 6 cylinder Porsche engine, giving 220 bhp and 7200 rpm with a theoretical top speed of 143 mph. There car had gullwing doors and the profile of the windscreen was almost the same angle as the bonnet. The name came from a long-nosed animal called the "Tapir."

Giorgetto Giugiaro penning the Tapiro.

Porsche Tapiro exhibited on the Ital Design stand in 1970 at the Turin Motor Show.

Even as a one-off prototype the car was delivered to the show as a fully operational and road-going model.

Photo shoot in Italy.

Photo shoot in Italy.

The gull-wing doors opened like those of the Mercedes 300 SL, and behind the cabin, divided by a strong central tunnel, was a narrow 'Targa' bar. Extending to the rear were two large top hinged doors, giving access to the engine and to luggage space.

To handle the road it had 8x15 in. rims in the front and 10x15 in. rims at the rear. The image below shows the car sitting on Minilite wheels, however it came originally equipped with it's own custom Italian designed rims in images above.

It was purchased by a wealthy Spanish industrialist after the show who used the car as a daily driver until the car was literally blown up by terrorists protesting its owner’s labor policies. The rusted remains now rest in an Italian Museum. Hopefully someday the car will be restored.

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  1. The Porsche Tapiro reminds me more of a Delorain than a Mercedes.

  2. Looking at it again, I think your right.

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  4. does any one make it as a kit car

  5. Yes it does look like a DeLorean because it was designed by the same person/design house. I saw the can in person at the 1971 Los Angeles Auto Expo and was completely enthralled with it - still am. In my opinion, the Tapiro along with the Maserati Boomerang concepts were the pinnacle of the "wedge" school of design.