Aztec: Giugiaro’s Ugly Betty

Cars

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Now it’s no secret that we here at influx are big fans of the Maestro, Georgetto Giugiaro (below). His designs have graced some of the most incredible concepts and production cars in automotive history – from the audacious and carnally appealing Lamborghini Muira to the brilliantly workaday Fiat Panda. But it’s the sheer inventiveness and the willingness to turn dreams into reality that characterises brilliant but pugish concepts like the Aztec that really makes Giugiaro the car designer of the century.

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Built under the label of his own design company in toward the end of the eighties, the Aztec featured separate compartments for driver and passenger. It was developed into a limited run of around two dozen production cars powered with Lancia transmission and a powerful Audi engine (the same 250 BHP lump that was found in the first generation Quattro).

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The body featured a twin flip up cockpit style roof canopies as well as typically retro-futuristic interior redolent of the controls of a shuttle from Space 1999. But, the demi wedge shape with a the hunkered down rear three-quarter wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea. The latest news is that despite their rarity, they have been known to fetch less than 200K Euros at auction ( when considering they were priced at the rough equivalent of 300K Euros in 1992, seems a sort of bargain (albeit for those with very deep pockets).

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While the Miura has to be Giugiaro’s supreme piece of pure penmanship. But cars like the Aztec, with their ugly-beautiful, devil-may-care audacity, have a place in our hearts.

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