If the shape of the 1967 Corvair Astro I looks futuristic today, image its debut at the New York Auto Show 40 years ago. Designed to investigate the 'visual potential of automobile aerodynamic characteristics,' the Astro I dramatically demonstrated the harmony that could be achieved between aesthetics and aerodynamics.
To achieve the aero goals, a very small frontal area, extremely low roofline and a relatively high back were required.
These design parameters led GM Design to the Corvair platform with its air-cooled, rear-mounted engine and the absence of a space-consuming radiator.
The Astro I body is fiberglass, and the sleek bubble on the roof contains an intricate mirror system to provide the driver with unobstructed rearward vision.
Riding on a sophisticated double-wishbone suspension, the Astro I utilized compact centrifugal blowers to cool the engine while keeping drag-inducing body openings to a minimum.
Mitchell's breathtaking 1967 Astro I styling enabled his designers to explore the boundaries between beauty and low-drag forms. At less than three feet high, it was the lowest concept model ever created by GM Design, so low that passengers had to use elevator seats to get in and out. A touch of a flush release caused the canopy to rise electrically. Once inside, occupants were lowered to a reclining position with another button.
By contrast, the following year's Astro II, a collaboration between GM Design and GM Research, was a much more production-practical sports car. One of an extended series of mid-engine concepts created by Mitchell and Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, with input from Larry Shinoda, it was designed with future Corvettes in mind.
The radical 1969 Astro III is a two-passenger experimental car resembling an executive jet aircraft, even down to its 'tricycle' wheel arrangement....though it actually has four wheels, with the front pair placed close together under its nose. Powered by a Model 250-C18 gas turbine engine, it was envisioned as a high-performance vehicle suited for future restricted access or system-controlled highways. A power canopy moves forward and upward for entry, and rear vision is provided by closed-circuit TV with a screen on the center console.
|Fifth World Performance Car Win For Porsche - Porsche Boxster Cayman - 2017 World Performance Car|
| ||AND NOW THERE IS ONE….
FIFTH WORLD PERFORMANCE CAR WIN FOR PORSCHE
Porsche Boxster Cayman - 2017 World Performance Car
NEW YORK – April 12, 2017 – For Immediate Release
The PORSCHE BOXSTER CAYMAN has been declared the 2017 World Performance Car during today's press conference hosted by the New York International Auto Show, Bridgestone Corporation and Autoneum.
'We are honored that the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman were selected as World Performance Car by such an esteemed, glo...[Read more...]|
|Auctions America showcases evolution of the sports car at its 14th annual Fort Lauderdale sale|
|• Sports cars from across the decades dominate Auctions America's Fort Lauderdale sale, April 1-3 in Florida
• From a classic Jaguar E-Type to a fascinating BMW M1 and a limited-production Ferrari F355 Spider, auction docket superbly illustrates the genre's progression
• Multi-day auction presents more than 450 quality automobiles and select automobilia
• Frequently updated list of entries available at www.auctionsamerica.com
AUBURN, Indiana (February 17, 2016) – Auctions America's annu...[Read more...]|
|PORSCHE'S 914 HONORED AT 20TH AMELIA CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE|
|The 20th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance will honor the first mid-engine production Porsche, the 914 in all its variants.
At first some Porsche purists lamented the Porsche 914's seemingly humble origins. They whispered the 'V-Word' . . . Volkswagen. The reality was that the 914 is a blood descendant of the seminal Gmund Porsche, the first car to wear the family name and the crest, a pure sports car designed around a Volkswagen-sourced air-cooled flat-four and a mid-engine con...[Read more...]|
|All-new Alfa Romeo 4C Debuts at the 2014 New York Auto Show, Marks the Iconic Italian Brand's Return to North America|
|•2014 New York Auto Show debut of all-new 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C coupe and limited-edition 4C Launch Edition marks the Italian sports car brand's return to the North American market
•Mid-engine proportions and inspiration from the brand's racing traditions highlight Alfa Romeo 4C's purposeful design for maximum performance
•Alfa Romeo engineers leveraged advanced materials and technological solutions from Formula 1, including a carbon fiber monocoque, aluminum chassis structures and a composite bo...[Read more...]|
|1964 Nurburgring 1000 Kilometers: Survive for One Last Victory|
|During the late 1950s, Richie Ginther would begin a relationship with John von Neumann and this partnership would result in one of the most dominant periods of American sportscar racing in which Ginther and Porsche would be virtually unbeatable. Nearly a decade later, that same combination would again join forces to provide one more moment of glory.
By the mid-1950s Porsche had developed its 550. This was a small car more than capable of dominating its class and consistently able to challenge...[Read more...]|