The 1960s was a time of transition for the way humans lived life, which naturally ended up affecting vehicle production and design. Much like the music and movies of the time, many car designs became very experimental and what some might call “out there”. With this mindset open to innovation, engineers and designers began to create cars that pushed the mold and began to redefine what automation stood for.
Due to this shift, prototypes started popping up here and there with established manufacturers trying out new futuristic designs. Interestingly enough, most of these prototype cars from the 60s came with pictures of the cars alongside models wearing equally “experimental” costumes, which must have been what the manufacturers expected the future to look like. . Although all these classic car prototypes ended up on the cutting room floor, they inspired countless aspects of modern cars. If possible, it would even be amazing to drive one of these prototypes from the 60s today.
ten Lamborghini 350 GTV
This beast was the first concept car that Ferruccio Lamborghini built, mainly to prove to the legendary Enzo Ferarri and the rest of automation that he could build a mighty Grand Turismo machine. Because of this ambition, the GTV prototype featured a V12 engine that developed an exhilarating 350 bhp at 8,000 rpm.
The reason this prototype stands out so much is that the engine had to be heavily detuned when Lamborghini started creating the road-legal production car, the Lamborghini 350 GT. So this prototype lives on as a reminder of an exceptionally powerful car the world has never seen.
9 Alfa Romeo Carabo
As will become apparent by most of the items on this list, the “Wedge” design was popular among 60’s prototypes and came to dominate the market for the next 30 years. It seemed like everyone wanted a piece of the wedge for its futuristic looks and aerodynamic shape.
This avant-garde machine was the one that pioneered scissor doors. Also, it started the craze with cars with a continuous design, almost a gestalt approach to car design, compared to the rounder, sectioned look of older models.
8 1963 Ghia G230s prototype
Literally named the G230 prototype, this car was one of the first that Ghia designed independently of its mostly American employers. Although worthy of a more detailed look, the wraparound rear window and beautiful lime green color of this prototype is already enough to appeal to any car enthusiast.
The G230S is one of the few prototypes on the list that people could still drive, the only downside is that it currently resides in a private collection.
7 Lamborghini Marzal
Looking like a wonderful mix between a UFO, a fridge and a David Bowie music video, this silver car is quite the sight for sore eyes. Its all-glass doors were reportedly rejected by Lamborghini itself in the name of driver privacy.
Little did he know that people’s values would change very rapidly in the very decade he had built this prototype. This Lamborghini’s V12 engine and 5-speed transmission make it the perfect choice for a drive through a posh Italian town.
6 Fiat Abarth 2000 Scorpio
Looks like heavy-back designs were all the rage in the 60s, with each prototype having a slimmer shape and more complicated back than the last. The prototype had no doors, but a fighter jet-like front glass panel that lowered and raised for easier access to the car. The car was fast and low to the ground as its name “scorpion” would suggest.
5 Jaguar XJ13
Originally built to take part in the world-famous Le Mans race, the XJ13 has never walked the pavement of the racecourse. With its mid-engine V12 boasting an insane 475bhp, this car ensured that driving would be an electrifying experience both literally and metaphorically.
In one of its very rare test drives, Jaguar drivers pushed the car to an impressive 200mph, with some nice acceleration, of course.
4 1966 Neri & Bonacini Studio GT
With only two examples ever built, this elegant car is the result of collaboration between former Ferrari engineers Giorgio Neri and Luciano Bonacini.
Originally designed as the quintessential Italian sports car, the Studio GT featured pop-up headlights, an aluminum chassis and a lighter-than-usual ATS V8 engine, making it a force with which should be counted. Although the partnership ended before the cars could ever go into production, the original pair still exist as part of private collections.
3 Ferrari 512 S Berlinetta Special
Looking at this car, it becomes apparent that there was a certain fascination in the 60s with making cars harder to get into than necessary, with entire sections of the car coming apart just to gain access to the trunk. However, all of these shortcomings could be excused if one could experience the promise of the Speciale’s mighty 6-liter V-12 engine.
Unfortunately no one was ever able to drive this car as the engine bay was full of bricks and even the photo shoot was done by towing the car up a mountain behind a tractor. Kind of funny considering that Ferrari itself teased Ferruccio Lamborghini for making tractors.
2 Alfa Romeo Iguana
Looking at this car, it is impossible to miss the details that would define cars like the Delorian in the 80s and 90s. With its brushed stainless steel body almost resembling the works of pointillist painter Georges Seurat, this beautiful Alfa Romeo has perhaps to be had the greatest influence on his literal and spiritual descendants.
Although it had an impressive V8 engine, the main attraction of this car was its body design. Unfortunately, the model was overshadowed both in general automation and in Alfa Romeo’s long history.
1 1969 BMW 2800 Spicup
This prototype is probably the one that has seen the road the most. Even though there was only ever one, the manufacturer sold the car to a private buyer once it finished testing and had all the data it needed.
Although it is fully drivable thanks to its build on the engine of a BMW 2800, the car unfortunately did not innovate much in terms of performance. With its matching green exterior and interior plus its retractable steel roof, this prototype is one anyone would be honored to drive.
10 prototype cars that never made it to production
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