Under the hammer: ACamaro, built in 1976. Not just any, but the unique "Europo Hurst".
Why bid? Not only does this Camaro stand out from the crowd, it is most likely only available once. But the eye doesn't just catch the car because you've never seen it. The design looks strange, but somehow familiar – every angle arouses its own association.
The gently sloping rear is reminiscent of classic Nissan coupés, if it weren't for the large glass surfaces and the wide taillights divided into three strips, which come from a Pontiac Firebird. At the front, the car is reminiscent of a Ford Capri, spiced with a pinch of Alfa Romeo GTV, with its double headlights and the front protruding down over the radiator grille. The black border on the front, on the other hand, could come from a Lancia Beta Montecarlo. The Italo version looks more angular and less playful than the series Camaro. Only the roof, doors and the lower half of the fenders are identical on the outside.
Under this design potpourri, however, there is high-volume technology from the General Motors Group in the form of a 347 cubic inch – around 5.7 liter – eight-cylinder that develops 167 hp and a four-speed manual transmission. The power of a US muscle car meets the finest Turin body construction – which makes this Italian-American co-production a muscle car in an Italian made-to-measure suit.
The car was designed in 1976 by the Italian designer Pietro Frua as a modern, Italian interpretation of the Chevrolet Camaro. Frua showed the car for the first time at the Turin Motor Show in November 1976, after which it was featured in the Italian Automobile Club's "World Cars 1977" magazine.
Turin was considered the center of automotive haute couture in the sixties and seventies. "The Italian Carrozzieri determine car clothing like the Parisian fashion designers determine women's clothing," was the verdictin 1963 – and named names such as Bertone and Battista "Pinin" Farina, which are known to this day, as well as the Pietro Fruas design company.
In contrast to Bertone and Pininfarina, Frua is almost forgotten today, and numerous classic cars were created by the Turinese. In addition to the shell of the first Maserati Quattroporte, Frua also designed numerous models from German manufacturers, including the 2600 V8 from the Dingolfing car manufacturer Glas, which was nicknamed "Glaserati" because of Frua's previous work and its sleek shape.
In contrast to the "Glaserati", the unusually designed Camaro was not allowed to go into series production. In 1977 the vehicle was presented at the "Greater New York Automobile Show", albeit with a small modification: The roof now contained so-called "Hurst Hatches", dark glass hatches produced by the tuning manufacturer Hurst, which can be removed and the occupant something like a convertible -Enable driving experience. The car was shown by the New York company Multi-Passenger Export, who wanted to offer the identically converted Camaros via the General Motors dealer network and via the sales network of the tuning company Hurst.
In the same year, "Standard Motors of Miami" advertised that it was the sole seller of the converted Camaro, but there was no production. Why is not known – although a US car with an Italian designer shell was less absurd than it appears today. A series of the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, a classic US road cruiser, manufactured from 1957 to 1960, with the attribute "Built to Customer's Specification by Pininfarina".
Engines, transmissions and chassis were shipped to Turin, where they were combined with a much more simply drawn body and then went back to the USA. This little trip around the world made the road cruiser much more exclusive – and more expensive. The Pininfarina Cadillac was priced at $ 13,000like a "normal" road cruiser that rolled off the assembly line at General Motors in the USA.
It is more than questionable whether customers would have been willing to accept a similar jump in prices for a muscle car. There was, however, another, much more likely alternative to re-importing a redesigned car: The production of conversion kits, with which a series-produced Camaro only becomes a "Europo Hurst" in the USA. But nothing came of it either – and the designer Camaro remained a one-off.
Surcharge! The auction housewill be auctioning the Frua-Camaro online from September 16. A price of around 100,000 US dollars is expected – whether the Italian-American designer piece is worth it is in the eye of the beholder.