1964 Bertone Alfa-Romeo Canguro 08

Alfa Romeo Canguro -

The Alfa Romeo Canguro was a concept car built by Bertone in 1964.

Giugiaro made the most of Alfa Romeo's previous race experience and designed a highly aerodynamic fibreglass body. To smooth out the airflow the car featured a glued-in front window, which was an industry first. Another interesting design element was the incorporation of the Alfa Romeo's competition cloverleaf as cockpit vents. Launched at the 1964 Paris show, the car was dubbed Canguro, Italian for kangaroo.

Giugiaro's Canguro received universal acclaim, but Alfa Romeo was not convinced and abandoned the idea of the TZ based road car. One of the reasons was the incapability of Autodelta, the marque's racing department, to build enough chassis. The project ended on a sad note when a journalist crashed the unique car in a test drive. The Canguro's remains were eventually bought in 1971 by Gary Schmidt, a German journalist. He intended to reconstruct the car, but he failed to do so, and the car was considered lost.

Fortunately this was not the end of the story; a Japanese collector tracked down the remains in the 1990s, and continued in secrecy where Schmidt had left off. It made a glorious debut at the 2005 Villa d'Este Concours d'Elegance, where it was voted best of show. For many it was quite a shock to see one of the automotive's finest designs in person, after it was believed to be lost for ever.

Although the Canguro was never produced, it has made a lasting impression on the industry. Some of the design cues were found on later Alfa Romeos, and other Bertone designed vehicles. Designed in a time when Italian design was at a peak, it is considered by many as one of the most balanced designs ever executed.