The wedge craze which started in the late 1960s got many manufacturers into creating absolute gems such as the Lancia Stratos Zero featured on the front cover, but when the craze died down, these cars were buried with it.
The Alfa Romeo Carabo was definitely something special with every bit of the bodywork screaming wedge. The shape itself - as well as the extra bits on top - were all lined with sharp edges for a bit of flamboyance. It was introduced back in 1968 and is considered as the car which started it all. With a modest 2L V8, it could produce 230hp and 148 lbs/ft. One thing that wowed people except from the cool bodywork were the scissor doors, which featured on the Lamborghini Countach. Fully functional as it was, this car was never intended to be sold.
Next up is another wild wedge, the 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero. Despite having the same name as the rallying Stratos, this Zero brought innovation in the form of a slice. To keep the body as wedgy as possible (is that even a word?), they used a strange canopy door which opened up to allow the drivers to sit low down inside the spaceship capsule. Towards the rear lies more sculptured panels - which lift up sideways - hiding a 1.6 litre V4 engine from the Fulvia. Then it featured in Michael Jackson's 'Moonwalker' before being sold at a 2011 auction for around 760,000 euros. Just look at it and you will see pure beauty with four wheels.
Who wouldn't recognise the huge Maserati logo printed on the front of their elegant Boomerang? With quirky wheels and a mostly glass cabin sitting on top, this car is strange but amazing. When first revealed in 1971, it was just for looks but by the following year a 4.7L V8 powerplant had been fitted, making 310hp and 339 lbs/ft. On the inside, the fun continues with a unique interior layout. It is difficult to explain, but Wikipedia says 'the steering wheel and gauge cluster are part of a single console that emerges from the dash, and the steering wheel rotates around the stationary gauges'. Weird, right?
The epic sports car concept known as the Dome Zero was exhibited at Geneva in 1978 after three years of creation. A straight six sat in the middle behind the driver and, with 2.8 litres, produced just 143hp and 166 lbs/ft. However, its low weight of 920kg allowed it to have a similar power to weight ratio of some Porsche models. Many paid attention to the striking wedge shape but it was never put into production. The Dome Zero P2 (Prototype 2, I assume) was modified for American markets and would cost between $30,000 and $60,000 but was never sold. Due to the struggle to holomogate the car, Dome even tried their hand at racing with no luck. If the Zero did reach the market, I would definitely have one.
Even Vauxhall incorporated some wedge design in their SRV of 1970. The 'Styling Research Vehicle' was all about using design to build a one-off car that would raise Vauxhall's status. It included closed rear wheels and a beautifully made wedge-like body with some curves. Inspired by Le Mans racers, it was low down at just 41 inches but was able to comfortably sit four adults inside the spacious interior. The profile of the car could be changed by the driver using an aerofoil in the front. The engine fitted was a 2.3 litre transverse inline 4 but was only a mock-up so never actually ran. A great effort from Vauxhall, I must say.
Staying in 1970, we have the Porsche Tapiro which had traditional 1970s wedge body. The driver would enter through awkward seagull wing doors to enter the snug cockpit and fire up the transverse 2.4L flat-six producing 220 horsepower. It was enough to give it an official top speed of 152 miles per hour. The most unusual Porsche that ever was was sold, blown up and had its burnt chassis repurchased by Italdesign. There were plans to rebuild it but its final resting place was the Guigaro Museum and everyone soon forgot about this wild ride.