Type: Concept / Prototype Car
In the late thirties Rust Heinz was certain he had the vision of America’s first supercar: a coachbuilt masterpiece of the streamlined era called the Phantom Corsair. Despite not having any experience in automotive design or business, he convinced his rich family to fund development. The result was a modern car built far too ahead of its time, made with too many liberal features to suit its target audience.
Having moved to California in 1936, Heinz was a keen entrepreneur with a high spirited attitude. This was enough to persuade his aunt to fund the car in the face of protest from the rest of the "57 Varieties" Heinz family.¹ Unlike their food for the masses, this car was envisioned for limited production at a staggering price near $15,000 USD.
Immediately, a scale model was made in clay featuring a sleek aerodynamic shape unlike anything on the road at the time. Heinz brought this to Chistian Bohman and Marice Schwartz in Pasadena California to be realized as a full size car.
Bohman & Schwartz started with a custom chassis from the AJ. Bayer Company that used a donor Cord 812 drive train complete with its complex front-wheel drive sub-frame and V8 engine. On top of this they fashioned Heinz’s extravagant body in aluminum and supported it with a steel tube lattice framework. To accommodate the fully enveloped wheels, the body had to be significantly wide at the wheel wells.
Inside, the Phantom Corsair offered room for six people, four upfront and two in the rear. The dashboard had an unusual array of aeronautical instrumentation and a switch panel mounted on the roof. Other unique features included push-button automatic doors, ‘thermostatic’ temperature control, green-tinted safety glass, hydraulic bumpers, and a thick layer of cork/rubber insulation for the cockpit.
Looking like an oversize sucker fish, the front-end featured characteristic vents and sculpted lights that organically blended into the main shape. Chrome was reserved for the front and rear triple-blade bumpers. The split windscreen was dramatically low while the side windows extended higher into the roof. Unfortunately, the small front louvers limited front cooling causing the Lycoming 4.7-liter engine to frequently overheat.
Weighing over 4600 lbs, the Cord V8 was upgraded from its normal 125 bhp to 190 bhp. Driven by the front wheels, this power combined with the car’s aerodynamic shape was reported to take it up to 115 mph (185 kph).
With the prototype costing upwards of $24,000 USD to build, it was time to publicize the car and recoup costs. Promotion included a full page ad issued in Esquire magazine, a display named it ‘The Car of Tomorrow’ at the World’s Fair and it played the role of ‘The Flying Wombat’ in David O. Selznick’s film The Young in Heart (1938). Furthermore it was featured in a Popular Science film series in 1938. Despite all the attention, no orders came in for the eccentric design, reducing the Phantom Corsair to a very expensive one-of.
Heinz used the car until his death at the age of 25 and the car was stored by the family until 1942. Later, it was driven by a relative before being sold and painted gold at some point. By the 1950s, Herb Shriner commissioned Albrecht Goertz, designer of the BMW 507, to rework the car’s front end and increase engine cooling. Additionally, the front window was raised to increase visibility. Probably due to cabin darkness, the roof was modified to include two targa top-style panels.¹
In this modified configuration, the car was sold at auction and purchased by Bill Harrah for inclusion into his spectacular collection. He reversed Goertz’s work and returned the car to its 1938 specification.
Since then, the Phantom Corsair has remained in the National Automobile Museum, formerly known as The Harrah Collection, in Reno, Nevada.. In recent times it was displayed including the 2006 Goodwood Festival, 2007
A collection of some of the worlds weirdest and ugliest supercars on the planet
Supercars Limited Hulme.F1 Champion 1967
Price: $460,000 (projected)
Engine: 5 liter BMW M5 V8
Weight: 2643 lbs
HP: 450 hp
HP/Weight: 5.9 lbs per hp
It is Denny Hulme’s success which has motivated Supercars Limited to make a New Zealand supercar in his honor.For the last two years the Hulme.F1 has been developed in secrecy, but now the company is ready to tell the world what it has been creating.Since the onset of the project, the concept of the Hulme.F1 supercar has been a mid engine design with a high-tech powertrain and chassis that gives the driver the feeling of driving a Formula One Car on the road.
2006 Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina
The car has been designed, engineered and built entirely by Pininfarina, bringing to life something that, just a few months earlier, was just a dream and creating a sort of symbiosis between the customer and Pininfarina along the path leading to definition of this astonishing model. Starting from a Ferrari Enzo, the aim was to produce a sole vehicle inspired by sport racing cars with extreme vocations: not just a show-car but a vehicle to be enjoyed on the road.
Weber Faster One
The Swiss-built Weber Sportscar Faster One might be one of the most hideous styling executions we’ve ever laid eyes on, but it’s also one of the fastest or, if we are to believe its manufacturer, THE fastest street-legal sports car in the world. The two-seater weighs in at just 1,100 kg or 2,452 pounds and is powered by a heavily modified 7.0-liter twin-supercharged V8 LS7 engine from General Motors that produces a hefty 900HP and a peak torque of 1,050 Nm / 774.5-lbs at 3,900 rpm. Power is driven to all-wheels through an in-house developed semi-automatic sequential six-speed gearbox which is operated via F1-style shift paddles on the steering wheel
2008 Mazda Furai Concept
Engine: 3 rotor rotary
HP: 450 hp
NAGARE: (pronounced “na-ga-reh”), Japanese for flow and the embodiment of motion
Furai is the sort of car that could only come from a company that incorporates the “Soul of a Sports Car” into everything it builds, but with an eye toward the future and the environment through the use of renewable fuels. Driving toward sustainability, Furai was initially tuned to operate on 100 percent ethanol fuel, the first time a racing three-rotor rotary engine has been fueled by ethanol. Research continues in earnest with partner BP into other renewable and future fuels, including ethanol gasoline blends like E10.
2008 Spada Vetture Sport Codatronca TS
Torque: 493 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
HP: 630 hp @ 6500 rpm
0-62 mph: 3.4 seconds
With this new sport car Spadaconcept aims at reviving the philosophy that inspired Ercole Spada’s past models, in an attempt to combine aesthetics with functionality and racing performances. This new model is the latest evolutionary step of the truncated tail – “coda tronca” in Italian.
Weight: 2535 lbs
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Torque: 332 lb-ft
HP: 349 hp
HP/Weight: 7.3 lbs per hp
HP/Liter: 83 hp per liter
Top Speed: 185 mph
The original idea was conceived by Ferruccio Covini in ’74 and made provision for 10 inches front wheels because there where no low profile tyres at the time. The project was ditched in favour of the Soleado prototype, deemed more important, and lay dormant until the 80s when hydro-pneumatic suspension for the four front wheels where devised to optimise weight
Engine: 6 liter V12
Weight: 2822 lbs
Aspiration: twin turbochargers
Torque: 811 & 974 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm
HP: 1000 hp – 1200 hp
HP/Weight: 2.8 & 2.4 lbs per hp
HP/Liter: 166.7 to 200 hp per liter
0-124 mph: 7.8 seconds
0-62 mph: 3.8 seconds
Top Speed: up to 248 mph
Manufactured from the lightest and most modern materials applied in the aerospace and automobile industries, carbon fiber composites combined with tubular steel.The bodywork is produced from the optimum combination of carbon, Kevlar and glass fiber materials
Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris
Engine: 6 Litre Aluminum W12
Weight: 4177.76 lbs
Torque: 449.9 lbs – ft
HP: 500 bhp
0-62 mph: 5 secs
Top Speed: 185 mph
The alternative is now available: a relatively light weight 1850 kgs SSUV which performs like a super sports car but offers four comfortable seats, easy access through four doors and a spacious luggage compartment. Longing for super sports car excitement, for cars that tantalize all of their senses, for cars that combine exceptional performance with exotic looks.
Engine: 4.7 liter Maserati V8
Aspiration: 4 double-body Webers
0-62 mph: 5 seconds
Top Speed: Over 168 mph
Note: Our apologies that 6 of the images are smaller than normal. The 2 available high-resolution images were inadequate to get a sense of this vehicle’s unusual design.
(from Faralli & Mazzanti Press Release) ANTAS V8 GT is the first “Berlinetta” (touring car) created in the F & M workshop. It is completely inspired by the philosophy and material used in the “special series” of the past: the body, for example, is made of aluminium and completely built by hand.
ANTAS is driven by a powerful V8 MASERATI engine fed by carburettors and endowed with a pleasing elasticity of power, which gives the “driver” the sensation of “true” steering typical of the great touring cars of the past. Because of this, when the time came to name this “jewel,” a word was chosen that comes from the ancient Tuscan language of the ETRUSCANS: ANTAS, which means EAGLE, the noblest and most audacious dominator of open spaces.
On delivery, ANTAS comes equipped with a case covered in blue velvet bearing the silver plate with the identification numbers; inside are a photography book and a DVD documenting the construction of the vehicle.
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