In the late 60s and early 70s, it was usual to see concept cars shown worldwide at the various premier motor shows. At the end of the ‘season,’ these glamorous concepts were sold off, and the money raised funded the following years’ concept tour’.
One business that led the car design was ItalDesign Giugiaro, run by Giorgetto Giugiaro and his son Fabrizio. They were responsible for the DeTomaso Mangusta, the Maserati Bora, the Maserati Merak, the Maserati Boomerang, the Lotus Esprit, the DeLorean, the Lamborghini Gallardo, to name but a few.
Fat the 1970 Turin Motor Show, ItalDesign announced the Porsche Tapiro, a mid-engined, double (yes double) gull-wing doors, based upon a VW Porsche 914/6. Power came courtesy of Porsche’s S-spec 2.4-litre flat-six, purportedly good for 220 hp, backed by a 5-speed transaxle, culminating in a reported top speed of about 150mph. Porsche had no serious intention of producing the Tapiro.
Following the 1970/71 show circuit, a poorly-liked Spanish industrialist bought the Tapiro. A rumour that a group of social activists planted a bomb in the car, leaving the vehicle irreparable.
The family Giugiaros reacquired the badly burnt shell. In recognition of its short but now somewhat ominous life, mounted what was left of the Tapiro to a large plinth structure, displaying it ‘lawn sculpture style’ in the front garden of the ItalDesign HQ in Torino, Italy.