The Alfa Romeo Carabo is one of the most influential concept cars ever created. Think Lamborghini Countach, for example. The Carabo was the ultimate in wedge-shaped styling. As diagonal lines go, the one from the tip of its nose – to the top of its roof – was about as dynamic as it gets. That was in sharp contrast to its cute stub of a tail. Not only did that combination look cool – aerodynamically, it was bang on the money. Show car though it was, the Carabo had a top speed of 160mph. It was, after all, kitted out with a 230bhp V8 engine.
To be fair, the Carabo did not stint on real-world parts. Many of them were honed at the racetrack. Its chassis was spawned by Alfa Romeo’s Tipo 33 competition car. There was double-wishbone suspension all round – as well as disc brakes. For a car that was not built to be driven – at least, not in anger – the Carabo came pretty high-spec.
Marcello Gandini – of design house Bertone – was chief stylist. Certainly, the scissor-doors set-up he drew would become a supercar trademark. When fully flung up, they were not just visually stunning – they were an engineering tour de force, too. The car’s finish was fittingly flamboyant. Metallic green paint was set off by orange highlights. The lightweight glass used – by Belgian firm VHR-Glaverbel – was copper-tinted. It was a gimme that the Carabo wowed the Paris Motor Show, in ’68. Nuccio Bertone – and his Turin-based studio – had delivered. Lamborghini lovers, especially, will be forever indebted to the Alfa Romeo Carabo!