History repeats itself, and in the world of design, history often serves as an inspiration for the future. A lot of cars take inspiration from vintage designs, but those that are well designed, they are a sight to behold. In the current day scenario where cars are essentially sleek design, each of the curated designs showcased in this collection makes the car and their owner stands apart from the crowd – the strong dose of nostalgia is guaranteed!
Let’s admire the beauty that is the Helvezzia Tipo-6 concept, an alt-reality race car with a 1940s-inspired exterior and a powerful electric interior. Designed specifically for racing by Alexander Imnadze Baldini, the Helvezzia Tipo-6 seats just one person with a pretty advanced looking dashboard featuring a steering wheel with gauges and switches, and a secondary set of gauges behind the steering. The car comes with a nice, tubular body, an open cockpit, and wheels that pop out of the bodywork, with hubcaps covering the rims entirely. There’s even a step knee located to the left of the driver, headlamps with their own covers too, and by far my favorite detail, that ridiculously beautiful chrome grille on the front, added purely for vanity purposes because an EV wouldn’t really need a radiator.
This 1961 Volkswagen Beetle deluxe converted into a roadster with a matte black treatment is the work of Danni Koldal, who’s virtually facelifted the vintage four-wheeler into a hotrod that’s not overdone, still maintains its masculine appeal. The front windshield has been trimmed down to the bare minimum, giving the ride a mean attitude that matches its personality. The black is contrasted by the silver-white trims on the doors, hood, and alloy wheels. Those fat wheels also go with the upper body of the Volkswagen that Danni has managed to turn into hot property – we want to own it right away. Interiors carry forward the sleek appeal which shouts out loud for a midnight drive on the freeway.
Fiat is an icon for the Youngtimer era of cars and this quarantine period has led to MA-DE studio being inspired to create a concept design of the beloved Fiat to fit in our new world – the all-electric Fiat 126 Vision! Vision 126 has a balanced aesthetic of vintage and modern. While the concept has square headlights to resemble the original model, making it slightly slimmer would it a slightly more modern look and would take off some visual bulk from the front. Vision features radial vents in a way where they are integrated within the steel cap which is similar to the original wheel design.
Designed by Abraham Chacko, the EV90 is a direct rebuttal of how major car companies approach modern car designs. Rising beltlines and shrunken DLOs (DayLight Openings) often make cars look sleeker, but end up creating a claustrophobic interior by really closing you into the cabin. The EV9’s response is to make a car that feels almost meditative and comes with a larger DLO that allows more light to enter the interiors of the vehicle. Every element of the EV9 focuses on reinterpreting details and minimizing distraction without affecting the car’s performance. Just like its ancestor, the E9, the EV9 sports two spherical headlights on each side, and comes with the iconic BMW kidney grille.
Designed for Eadon Green, a new British luxury brand focused on re-establishing the classic art of automotive coach-building, the Black Cuillin is their first model and was launched at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2017. Refined, elegant, powerful, and exclusive, the Black Cuillin fuses the materials and skills from traditional coach building with the very latest, state of the art development and manufacturing techniques. It’s based on a modified, class-leading European luxury car platform and is powered by a 6.0L V12 engine.
With its vintage-hip design language, including exposed show tires and a stub-nose front end, the Avanti Gara is reminiscent of prewar speedsters only with a cushy interior that’s undeniably today. Designed by Ross Compton for Macchina Design, it’s unabashedly designed for the self-indulgent who care less about track times and more about inspiring the imagination through stunning visual appeal and closeness to the road. Its all-aluminum body is scattered with rivets and venting including signature 3 dot vents along the side at the rear that provide a focal point as well as ample venting for the engine that sits directly behind the driver. The front hood contains a small storage compartment where you can fit just a few bags or two for your getaway. Leather straps give the exterior a bespoke feel.
This is the Carmen, named after Carmen Mateu, the granddaughter of the founder of Hispano Suiza, and the current president’s mother. Touted as a birth, or a rebirth if you will, the Carmen, unlike most hypercars, doesn’t look like a part of the same family. Channeling a beautiful retrofuturistic aesthetic, the Carmen’s stylings take inspiration from the car’s 1930s history (arguably their peak), and bring those to the modern world. Showing off curves like they’re nobody’s business, the Carmen is equal parts contemporary and blast-from-the-past. Its vintage-meets-new-age stylings aside, the Carmen has the innards of a futuristic automobile. Powered by an electric drivetrain, the Carmen boasts of a two-motor rear-wheel-drive delivering a cool 1,005 horsepower.
The E-Legend concept from French automotive company Peugeot is an exercise in what we call Retrofuturism. The car looks strangely antiquated yet contemporary both at the same time… which is a good look to embody, just because it satisfies both purists and neophiles. The concept car comes with headlights that almost rip your soul apart (I detect a Mustang vibe), and an electric build that’s capable of 456 horsepower and a head-spinning 590 foot-pounds of torque. The car can pull off a 0 to62 in under 4 seconds, with a top speed of 137mph. Peugeot also boasts of a 373-mile range on the battery, with a whopping 311 miles with just a 25-minute charge.
If your love for automobiles and architecture has never met before, well they have now in Chris Labrooy’s Winter Cabin. Labrooy wedged the classic Volvo 240 into a quintessential cabin. The Volvo 240 was a vintage wonder, though long and slow, it was considered the ideal family car. Honest and dependable, the 1974’s car became a member of a number of households. Hence it’s no surprise that Labrooy merged it with an adorable little red and white cabin, perfect for those family getaways during the winter vacations. However, Labrooy’s version of the car comprises of two Volvo 240s combined together, creating an inverted mirror image. Slide the structure into a cabin, and you have a quirky architectural concept perfect for all those vintage automobile lovers, who want to take a trip down memory lane!