Monday, May 18, 2009



The AMX-III was a design study by in-house AMC stylists Bob Nixon and Fred Hudson. The AMC-III was irst shown in 1970 at the Chicago Auto Show. The car was engineered by AMC using the AMC V-8 platform, with bodies hand-built in Turin, Italy. Seven AMX-III prototypes were produced and the car was almost put into production, however financial problems at AMC, along with stricter safely and emissions requirements put an end to the project.

Até meados dos anos 70 haviam quatro grande montadoras americanas: GM, Ford, Crysler e AMC (American Motors Company. Esta última atravessava por sérios problemas de fluxo de caixa, em função de um volume de venda muito baixo, devido principalmente à oferta de produtos que não estavam no mesmo nível das outras três, e consequentemente não atraiam cosumidores. Daí então a tentativa de reavivar a imagem da emprêsa ao desenhar produto tão revolucionário quanto os AMX II e III.

O AMX-III foi um estudo desenhado "in house " pelos estilistas da própria compania, Bob Nixon e Fred Hudson. Este carro foi primeiramente mostrado no Chicago Auto Show de 1970. A mecânica adotado foi o V-8 AMC e a carroceria, foi feita à mão em Turin, Itália. Sete protótipos foram produzidos e o carro quase entrou em produção. Só não o fez por conta dos problems financeiros da AMC, agravados por normas muito restritas dizendo respeito à segurança e emissões de poluentes. Essa convergência de fatores pôs um fim no projeto.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1969 Pininfarina Alfa Romeo 33 Coupe Prototipo Speciale & 1968 Pininfarina Ferrari 250 Prototipo P5

Pininfarina Alfa Romeo 33 Coupe Prototipo Speciale

This could be the most shapely car ever built

This is a case of split identity: two prototype cars wore the same gorgeous body designed by the great Italian design firm Pininfarina in 1968-1969. First was
Pininfarina Ferrari 250 Prototipo P5, shown in Geneva in 1968; the second -
Pininfarina Alfa Romeo 33 Coupe Prototipo Speciale made for the Paris show in 1969

Treat your eyes to the slim and sensual forms the likes of which has not graced the highways since.. well, 1969. Certainly we can not complain if Pininfarina's design virtuosos used it on more than one prototype car.
(Images credit: AllSportAuto)

Pininfarina Ferrari 250 Prototipo P5

Designed by Pininfarina in 1968, the Ferrari P5 was first shown at the 1968 Geneva Motorshow. The Ferrari 250 P5 Berlinetta Speciale was was constructed using a P4 chassis and had a 3 litre mid-mounted V-12 engine.. The car was a study in aerodynamics and design and it helped influence later day production Ferrari's, most notably the clear rear glass over the engine.

Pinifarina also produced another similar prototype called the Alfa Romeo 33 Coupe Prototipo Speciale.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

1962 Custom Corvette Conversion... too cool for words

Custom coach building is alive and well in America, with some examples transcending the usual kitsch and commercialism, some possibly reaching the rarefied atmosphere of automotive high art. Witness the blend of past, present and future styling in this recent CRC custom:

"Classic Reflection Coachworks" (or CRC) of Lakewood, WA, came up with a nice 1962 conversion for the 1999 to 2004 C5 Corvette. You supply the Corvette (through the form on their website), CRC will turn it into a "modern legend".

The appeal of such cars (beside the fact that you see them more in your dreams than on the street) is the opportunity to blend various styles and design clues together, to put excitement and fun back into the old familiar shapes, to haunt our thoughts with these... wide-eyed round headlights and muscle-cat curves once again.

source: Dark Roasted Blend

American "Airomobile" vs. Volkswagen

It all started with Airomobile's first streamlined patents, 1934:

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Automobile, Travel, Photography
Automobile, Travel, Photography

"The Airomobile" was a prototype designed by Paul M. Lewis in 1934 (it was built in 1937). It stimulated great interest and was clearly ahead of its time. The 3-wheeled configuration provided streamlining and economy: "They're easier to streamline," Paul Lewis said, "Fewer wheels mean less expense, greater simplicity."

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"Volkswagen and Airomobile were both created about the same time, both strange to look at, their engineering completely unorthodox, their purpose: cheap transportation for the masses."

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"But then something happened - social history took over. World War II cast VW up and the Airomobile down. If the two cars had switched countries, their success and failure might have been just the other way around."

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This is the emblem of "Lewis American Airways, Inc." issued in 1935 and signed by the Company's President Paul M. Lewis (designer of "Airomobile").

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Other cool concepts from the same period:

"McQuay-Norris" - only 6 were made in the Thirties.

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A teardrop-shaped car, designed in 1934 Norman Bel Geddes:
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"DYMAXION" - The Original American Van

Dymaxion Car was a teardrop-shaped, 3-wheeled, aluminum bodied auto, designed by Buckminster Fuller in 1933. It was very much like a big van: it seated the driver and 10 passengers, but weighed less than 1000 lbs., went 120 miles/hr on a 90 horsepower engine, and got between 30-50 miles to the gallon of gas. "Fuller referred to it as "Omni-Medium Transport" since it was ultimately intended to go by land, water, or sky. Only three were ever built."

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Source and further reading: Washed Ashore

FASCINATION - An amazingly practical "Space Car"

This was Paul M. Lewis second car creation: "Highway Aircraft Corporation" (Sidney, Nebraska) unveiled "Tomorrow’s Car Today": the Fascination., which nearly revolutionized car design at the time. This sleek, jet-tube-fendered three-wheeler even today looks very futuristic.

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Here is how this article describes it:
"First, let’s look under the hood (presuming it has one, somewhere). While the
Fascination’s standard engine is an aluminum, fuel-injected four-cylinder, a new type of energy source is touted as the vehicle’s soon-to-come power drive: the Nobel Gas Plasma Engine.
"This engine is a closed two-cycle reciprocating engine that has no intake, uses no air, emitting no exhaust at all! The fuel is self-contained and hermetically sealed in the cylinders which are initially charged at the time of manufacturing, carrying their own power supply that will last approximately 60 to 75 thousand miles with no fall of efficiency."

An environmentally safe engine that doesn’t need refueling for 60,000 miles - why haven’t we heard of this miracle power source? (GM or Ford obviously must have sent out their minions to squelch such a potentially damaging competitor.)"

"And although you may think that a three-wheeled craft may be more prone to rollover (the main reason why three-wheeled ATVs were banned), the brochure lays this assumption to rest:
"We can approach crossroads at 40 mph and without taking our foot off the throttle, turn the corner at full speed. The car does not roll."

Source and further reading: PopCult Mag