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Cars you didn't know existed until very recently.


philibusmo

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14 hours ago, stendec said:

A new one to me, the NSU Autonova concept from 1965, built in conjunction with the auto tuning company Autonova, using a Prinz 1000 basis.

Autonova was an industrial design consultancy, not a tuning company. Principal designer was Pio Manzu, (later) the designer of the Fiat 127 who died tragically aged 30 in 1969. The Autonova cars were part of that fascinating wave of industrial designers who turned their hands to car styling and produced some of the most interesting vehicles out there, as the design language did not come from a wholly automotive perspective. Think L L Lepoix, Gio Ponti, Bonetto, David Ogle etc. To a lesser extent, Kenneth Howe started out in the Loewy Studio's London office before he was hired to design the 1959 Sunbeam Alpine, and after that never styled another car.

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On 11/17/2022 at 10:48 AM, barrett said:

Autonova was an industrial design consultancy, not a tuning company. Principal designer was Pio Manzu, (later) the designer of the Fiat 127 who died tragically aged 30 in 1969. The Autonova cars were part of that fascinating wave of industrial designers who turned their hands to car styling and produced some of the most interesting vehicles out there, as the design language did not come from a wholly automotive perspective. Think L L Lepoix, Gio Ponti, Bonetto, David Ogle etc. To a lesser extent, Kenneth Howe started out in the Loewy Studio's London office before he was hired to design the 1959 Sunbeam Alpine, and after that never styled another car.

Thanks barrett, I guess the site I saw which gave extracts from the press release for the Autonova GT saying that Autonova was a tuning company had translation skills on the same par as mine! 

Another site, which correctly refers to Autonova as a design consultancy gives the other founders as Fritz B. Busch (1910 -2010, a German motor journalist, former assistant detective, used car salesman and advertising manager) and Michael Conrad (whom I haven't found out anything more).

Per Wikipeadia: Pio Manzù around 1964 working on the Autonova GT

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Also Wikipedia: Fritz B Busch - date unknown

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1997 Mitsubishi RVR Hyper Sports Gear-R

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The first generation RVR was introduced in February 1991, is a compact MPV, manufactured from 1991-2002 and supplied across many markets globally. The top-of-the-line Hyper Sports Gear-R model was effectively an Evo 3 on stilts, using the 4G63T 2.0-litre 16V DOHC turbocharged straight-four engine, mated to either a four-speed auto or a five-speed manual which was not offered in North America. The open front and rear differentials were used on vehicles equipped with 4WD. Power output was rated at 228–247hp, with a quoted 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds. 1 of only 1,670 thought to have been manufactured, they were built in just four colours; Blue, Red, White, and Black

 

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On 21/11/2022 at 15:24, MiniMinorMk3 said:

1997 Mitsubishi RVR Hyper Sports Gear-R

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Oh, those!  Interesting idea from Mitsubishi.  The RVR was the shortened version of the Chariot; the ordinary versions of both were sold here under the names 'Space Runner' for the RVR and 'Space Wagon' for the Chariot.  The Chariot was longer.  If one desired that additional length, but still also required Lancer Evolution running gear, then a solution existed in the form of the Chariot Resort Runner GT:

Mitsubishi Chariot Wagon Resort Runner-GT Turbo, 1996, used for sale

However, if one really wanted the pseudo off-road people carrier looks of the Resort Runner GT without the need to carry people, one had to turn to Subaru.  They came up with the brilliant wheeze of applying the plastic, fake 4x4 bits to a car; not just any car, a genuinely four wheel drive car.  Why not, then, give it the performance of their own rally car?  No reason, so here's the Gravel Express:

The Subaru Impreza Gravel Express Laughs In The Face Of Crossovers

A car got up to look like an urban 4x4 crossover thingy, which is actually four wheel drive.  I'd like to have one.

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5 hours ago, mintwth said:

Doesn't look all that far removed from the Impreza estate

The Gravel Expresses were Impreza estates, in spec roughly equivalent to the WRX.  The modifications consisted of raising the ride height an inch or so and fitting the various plastic goodies pictured (they may also have bigger wheels).  

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5 hours ago, Missy Charm said:

The Gravel Expresses were Impreza estates, in spec roughly equivalent to the WRX.  The modifications consisted of raising the ride height an inch or so and fitting the various plastic goodies pictured (they may also have bigger wheels).  

You could get an Impreza Outback ( before they used it on the Legacy), in some countries (USA, Australia) which would have been very similar too, a slightly jacked up wagon. Not sure if it had a turbo though.

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16 minutes ago, Lanciaman said:

I was expecting the name Chapron, but it is not.

Citroën CX Orphée by Deslandes (citroenet.org.uk)

The only Chapron CX I could find was a Landaulet from 1981

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which then led to being reminded of what is a real drop from the glory days, the Chapron Volvo 343 DL

Volvo 343 DL Chapron (1980) - l'Automobile Ancienne (lautomobileancienne.com)

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