The Porsche Tapiro was designed in 1970 by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design. It was Giugiaro’s 4th prototype at Ital and one of his favourite at the time. It was based on the Porsche 914/6 platform and featured a mid mounted 2.4 litre flat 6 cylinder Porsche engine, giving 220 bhp and 7200 rpm.
There car had gullwing doors and the profile of the windscreen was almost the same angle as the bonnet. It’s dimensions were 4060 mm long, 1760 mm wide and 1110 mm high.
The notion of an entry-level Porsche roadster — built with some help from Volkswagen — wasn’t a horrible idea, but the blocky styling used on the 914 was divisive, to say the least.
Giorgetto’s solution was simple: take one 914/6, strip it down to the floor pan, and replace the awkward bodywork with a sleek coupe body.
The “folded paper” look may have been commonplace in the 1980s, but a decade prior — when the Tapiro was unveiled at the Turin motor show — the result was rather groundbreaking.
Gullwing doors provided access to not only the interior, but also the engine compartment and luggage bay — a subtle nod to the DeTomaso Mangusta which Giugiaro himself styled during his tenure at Ghia.
Unlike many concepts, which are little more than large plaster models, the Tapiro was a fully functioning automobile.
After two years of touring the auto show circuit, Italdesign sold the car to a Spanish industrialist.
Legend has it the Tapiro served as his daily driver until it was bombed by a group of striking workers.
The remains – which were never reassembled — currently rest in Italdesign’s corporate museum.