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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Canguro: One of the great Italian car designs of the sixties

ONE-OFF - If you recall the Alfa Romeo TZ or Tubolare Zagato, then the Alfa Romeo Canguro might ring a bell as well. This car, with coachwork by Bertone, emerged in 1964 as a racing iteration of the Giulia TZ. Built around chassis 101 in the autumn of 1964, this prototype featured a tubular steel spaceframe dramatically lower than the original TZ and sported magnesium Campagnolo forged wheels.
The 1964 Alfa Romeo Canguro, one of the great Italian car designs of the sixties. (Picture from: Pinterest)

The engine under the hood was a bit of a mystery initially. While some speculated about an experimental TZ2 engine, Alfa’s 130bhp unit from the original TZ would likely have sufficed for a road car. Regardless of the powertrain, what stood out was Giorgetto Giugiaro's design prowess. The car boasted covered headlights, doors seamlessly curving into the roofline, and a wraparound rear windscreen, albeit with limited impact protection.
The 1964 Alfa Romeo Canguro bodied by Stilo Bertone and made entirely of aluminum although the production version is almost certain to have been produced with glass fiber shells. (Picture from: AllCarIndex)
Crafted entirely from aluminum, the production version would probably switch to glass fiber shells. Noteworthy details included an external fuel filler and Quadrifoglio-shaped cabin vents flanking the roll hoop. Later iterations borrowed cues, like the horizontal engine cooling vents from the 1967 Montreal V8 drivetrain.
The 1964 Alfa Romeo Canguro has two fiberglass bucket seats chanelled below the floorpan to accommodate its driver who has a height of six feet plus. (Picture from: AllCarIndex)
Inside, fiberglass bucket seats accommodated drivers comfortably, with vinyl bolsters and woven cloth centers. Black vinyl adorned dashboards and doors, contrasting with simple rubber mats that masked extensive soundproofing.
The interior of the Alfa Romeo Canguro features fiberglass bucket seats, vinyl bolsters with woven cloth centers, black vinyl on dashboards and doors, and simple rubber mats covering extensive soundproofing. (Picture from: CurbsideClassic)
Debuting at the Paris Salon in October 1964, the Canguro wowed onlookers at the Bertone stand before heading for evaluation by the factory in December. Sadly, shortly after its debut, the one-off concept met with an accident. Despite this setback, Alfa Romeo opted not to push it into limited production, yet its impact rippled through the brand's design ethos for years.
The 1964 Alfa Romeo Canguro made a triumphant return to show circuits at the 2005 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como, Italy. (Picture from: CarStyling.ru)
After languishing in pieces for nearly three decades, Shiro Kosaka, a Japanese collector, undertook a restoration project that culminated in a triumphant return at the 2005 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy. The Canguro's resurrection not only honored its legacy but also reignited interest in Alfa Romeo's storied design history.
In conclusion, the Alfa Romeo Canguro remains a testament to timeless design and automotive ingenuity, showcasing how a one-of-a-kind concept can leave an indelible mark on an iconic brand's identity. *** [EKA [21042020] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SUPERCAR | ALL CAR INDEX | CARSTYLING.RU | CURBSIDECLASSIC ]
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