Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sensuous Cars Shapes

"Muscular, aggressive and sensual, the 33 Stradale was magnificently sculpted"

As a start of our new series, we are going to celebrate the most exciting and eye-pleasing body styles in car design, from last 70 years of the automobile era. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but surprisingly, cars have what can be considered an universal beauty - no matter where you're coming from.

Continuing the string of simply enchanting designer bodies for Alfa Romeo in the 50s and 60s (see for example the Pininfarina custom body for Alfa Romeo 33 revealed at Paris show in 1969) - Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale ("Street") is another curvaceous beauty, as desirable as it is rare.
The first production vehicle to have "butterfly" doors, the first mid-engined Alfa Romeo road car appeared at Milan Motorshow in 1967. Its voluptuous, nicely proportioned shape many consider to be one of the most beautiful designs ever:

On a racing track the car was intended to lock horns with Ferrari (then promoting its famous Dino 206S) and a line of 910s from Porsche. The 33 model performance was called "unprecendented": considering it went from 0 to 60mph in just 6 seconds, and could reach maximum speed of 162 mph (260 km/hr) - making it a true supercar at the time, perhaps even better than Ferrari Daytona.

Only 18 such cars have been built, mostly due to their astronomical price. Some versions had an entirely different front-end styling (I find it much tamer and less flamboyant):

The 33 Series Alfa-Romeo chassis proved to be attractive to numerous stylists, among them Bertone, Pininfarina, Ital Design from 1968 to 1976. In the future issues of the series we will try to cover these rarities, as well.

(images credit: Wouter Melissen / Rob Clements) (image credit:

(images credit: AnhnHehn) (image credit: supercars)

(image credit: Phillip Leemans)

German Style:
Could it be the neatest-looking German supercar from the 60s?

As we all know, Porsche designers rarely change body styles, preferring to stick to the same "good old" look for decades. However, there was one model easily overlooked, sandwiched between canonical 911 and variations on 550 Spyder - the drop-dead gorgeous Porsche 904 Carrera GTS.

Porsche 904 Carrera GTS (1963-1964) was no slacker in every department. Coming from a premier sports car manufacturer it's got what it takes to compete on the track - but the street version is even more exciting, bringing these sexy curves to the highway. On a closer look, the car even had "garters", funky-looking leather hood straps... Not to mention that it makes great scale model toys (I remember having one as a kid)

The 904 model debuted in 1963, as an answer to the new great cars from Alfa-Romeo and Abarth in GT class. Since then it has become one of the most collectible Porsche models, a fascinating page in the marque's history.

Note the uncluttered back-end styling, and the compact aerodynamic look, taking advantage of its short-base chassis.

(images courtesy Wayne R. Dempsey)

(image credit: (images credit:

(image credit: Thomas/FineCars) (image credit:

(images credit: Wouter Melissen)

Source: Dark Roasted Blend
Other sources: UltimateCarPage, Autozine

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