There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the mid-engine 1970 Porsche Tapiro concept, a one-off Volkswagen/Porsche exercise designed by Giorgetto Giuigaro built on a 914-6 chassis for the Turin Motor Show in 1970.
The design is a clear departure from what other Porsches looked like at the time, and it resembled a lot of the wedge-shaped, sharp-edged sports cars that came after it (e.g., BMW M1). Behind the driver sat a heavily modified 2.4-liter H6 engine claimed to make 220 hp at 7,800 rpm. Of course, the “supercar” had rear-wheel drive, but what happened after it was shown in Turin and the Los Angeles Imported Automobile and Sports Car Show in 1971 is where things get a little murky.
Here’s what the Porsche Tapiro looked like after going through its fiery death.
An unnamed Spanish industrialist bought the car shortly after the LA show and ended up using it as his daily driver for quite a while. Following that, accounts begin to diverge. One rumor describes the car as being the victim of a terrorist attack — protesters against the owner’s labor policies blew it up with a bomb. Another source says the car was in a terrible accident and proceeded to burn to a crisp after that.
However it happened, there’s no doubt the Tapiro faced a cruel end, and it still hasn’t been restored — it sits in its burned state inside the Italdesign Museum to this day.
It looks a bit like an Alfa Romeo Iguana or even a DeLorean.