One and only Maserati Boomerang concept headed for auction
With low profiles, origami-like angles, and razor-sharp contours,the wedge-shaped supercars of the 1970s were the epitome of outrageousautomotive style. Whilst the likes of the Lamborghini Countach, the LotusEsprit, and the BMW M1 were the on-road embodiment of this ethos,the Maserati Boomerang concept car that preceded them took this style to the limit. Now, more than 40 yearsafter it made its first appearance, this one-off automotiveicon will be offered for sale by auction.
Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Boomerang looks like it drove off the set of a science fiction film. However, it was originally shown at the 1971 Turin motor show as a static display vehicle, and huge public interest meant that by the 1972 Geneva motor showthe Boomerang had been turned into a fully-operational road car and a rollingadvertising machine for Maserati. Powered by a mid-mounted 310 bhp (230 kW)4.7-liter V8 engine driving the rear wheels via a 5-speed gearbox, the Boomerangtook many components from its production model sibling, the Maserati Bora.
Unlike the Bora, however, the Boomerang sported an outrageously raked windscreen,in front of a "glasshouse" passenger cabin replete with a hugesunroof and doors that were mostly made of glass. The interior of this cabinboasted a custom interior and a clever steering wheel arrangement thatencompassed the gauges and switchgear in a circular dashboard straight in frontof the driver.
A ground-breaking icon of the era, the influence of the Boomerang’s designcan be seen in the work of many other of Giugiaro’s contemporaries, but it alsocontinued to influence the man himself in his later works. It is particularly obvious in theLotus Esprit, where the wedge-shape theme, vast, steeply-raked windscreen, andsharp edges epitomize his style, and the MK1 VW Golf, which is arguably one ofGiugiaro’s most successful designs.
"The Boomerang was the first car of its time to create such a strong,angular style statement. It's considered by many to be one of the mostremarkable designs of the 20th century and the 'grandfather' to the VolkswagenGolf Mk 1," Said Philip Kantor, Bonhams European Head of Motoring. "TheBoomerang has been shown at many world-class events including exhibitions andconcours d'élégance such as Villa d'Este and Pebble Beach, and is now offeredat Bonhams first ever sale in Chantilly."
The Boomerang is a fully-registered road car, and was shownin many dozens of venues before being sold to a private buyer after the 1974 BarcelonaMotor Show. Since then, the vehicle has appeared at the Bagatelle Concours in Parisin 1990, and – with a new owner – at the 1993 Concours Italiana, in Carmel Californiaand Pebble Beach. In 2000 it was displayed at the Monterey Historic AutomobileRaces, and in 2005 it was once more sold by auction at Christie’s, where itfetched €781,250 (US$1,007,005). With the later owner it was then shown at MonteCarlo, Monaco, in 2012, then Belgium in 2013, followed by the Paris Motor Showin 2014.
Now this incredible vehicle is once more up for auction,this time through Bonham’s auction house, where it (and a host of other rareand interesting automobiles) will be center stage at the Château de Chantilly,the venue for this year’s sale on the 5th of September.With a price estimate yet to be publicly announced, given the previous saleprice, the current market, and high interest in this vehicle, its sale priceshould be in the many millions of dollars.
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This was the kind of car we 70s kids dreamed of being on the roads as typical by the time we could drive. Instead we got mostly boring, non-sleek, non-futuristic and comparatively unattractive boxes.
When the Lumina vans of the 90's came in, I thought there was some hope as they started to have a resemblance to this cool design. But again we get thrilling new deigns of... generic, cookie-cutter blob-shaped vehicles as the norm.
Can we go back to the 50's when style mattered?
As fun as it would probably be to take this for a full-out spin, as a practical matter I wouldn't feel safe driving it over 40mph. And that's probably pushing it.