Has there ever been a sports-car with such confounding proportions and graphics and form?
The Lancia Monte Carlo, designed by Paolo Martin at Pininfarina, has the proportions of a classic front-engine sports car — long hood ahead of a short two-seat cabin and truncated rear — yet it also has a lengthy front overhang and short rear overhang attesting to its mid-ship engine configuration.
It is a dainty Italian sports car (lower, narrower, and shorter than an MX5) yet has chunky black bumpers, side rub-strip, nose cone and rear roof hoop; echoed also in the distinctively pure yet thick-set 13inch alloy wheel design.
And it has strong, constant section flanks working with a planted stance, yet above its shoulder is a petite cabin with delicate pillars and slender buttresses.
But these ‘wrongs’ make a right. The ensemble somehow works despite and because of its apparently discordant elements; the Monte Carlo is a vibrant and confident design with a potent charm. It is perhaps more of a definitively seventies Italian car design than Fioravanti’s 365GT4 / 400, Guigiaro’s Sud Sprint, Gandini’s Countach, or even Sartorelli’s Ritmo/Strada.