Alfa Canguro: The Most Beautiful Car Ever Made?
Beauty is a difficult thing to define. It’s a cliché to say that it resides in the perception of the observer. Anyone with an aesthetic atom in their being knows that the non-relative, objective, obviously apparent kind of beauty truly exists.
There of course can be beauty in the magic play of numbers on a balance sheet, in the engineering brilliance required to squeeze a hundred miles out of a litre of fuel, or the ability to carry safely a screaming family of six to the coast for a weekend without causing marital breakdown.
Problem is, this deeply embedded, functional aesthetic has apparently dominated vehicle design of the last few years.
But as obvious as the fact that beauty is everywhere, and that it can take on a variety of manifestations – is the fact that Giugiaro’s distinctly feminine design for Bertone of the Alfa Canguro, that debuted at the Paris salon of 1964, must be one of the most objectively beautiful cars ever designed.
Its lines flow each into each with an almost otherworldly harmony; the wheel arches describe the sort of arc that Michaelangelo must have dreamed about in the halls of renaissance Rome; the curved glass work and fibreglass that encased the cabin folds the driver in like the pilot of a fighter plane; the D-type inspired nose and cut-off, perky tail hints of nimbleness and endless fleet of foot.
Though the lightweight, supremely slipstreamed design never manifest in a road-going production Alfa, a version of the car survives, last reported shown at a concours event in Italy in 2005, apparently by a Japanese owner. Elements of the design informed many classic Alfa and Bertone designs, particularly the gorgeous Montreal of 1970.
Is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder?
Let us know what, if anything, pleases your pupils as much as this slice of automotive heaven.
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