Ferrari Testa D’Oro Colani (1993)
We have name-checked a few legendary car designers in this article. People who are rightly famous for their keen eye for line, superb penmanship and pursuit of beauty. Luigi Colani’s designs, by contrast, were a bit, well, out there. No offence intended, we think many of his designs are very beautiful indeed but applicable to the real world? Not so much. Colani called his design philosophy ‘biodynamic’, basing it on rounded forms that took inspiration from nature; he was convinced that in this direction lay better performance and efficiency.
Colani decided to prove his theory by gunning for a speed record at Bonneville Speed Week and took the Ferrari Testarossa as his starting point for his Testa D’Oro or ‘golden head’. With rounded and lengthened nose and tail and a flat-12 twin-turbocharged by Lotec the car did in fact win its class at Bonneville, clocking 211mph. This was sadly still two miles-an-hour slower than the actual production car record of the day, held by the Ruf CTR Yellowbird. The car then disappeared for a couple of years until it emerged in 1993 in even more extreme form, this time as a styling exercise. A hugely extended and very low nose led up to an extreme wrap-around canopy while a split rear window gave a view of the gold-painted intakes which gave the car its name. It’s totally bonkers and we love it.
Main image courtesy of Artcurial