Tag Archives: design studies

Leica ABCDE (1970) and Leica S1 (1996) prototypes.

Well here are 2 very strange prototype cameras.

The Leica ABCDE looks like a GREAT SLR design from 1970 (albeit with possibly the worst name ever for a camera…lol).  Why didn’t they use it? I haven’t the slightest clue.  Not much is known about this concept, however it was seen on a Leica Factory Tour in 2009 by DPReview.com (the link to their tour, unfortunately, does not work—however the pictures are found in search).

 

The Leica S1 (below) from 1996 has to be one of the least useable camera designs ever!  I cannot even imagine focusing while holding a gigantic ring—-or maybe it’s genius!?  Who knows….all we know is that it seems to have cool digital buttons on the top.  The colour is right as well.  It may make for a nice steering wheel though.

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EA 276: 1969 VW Golf (MK1) prototype.

I remember seeing a photo of this ages ago…but just saw it again after a long time.  I find it interesting how the rear side view seems to have inspired the Peugeot 205 in many ways.  I also find it interesting that the front end design presented here in 1969 seems way ahead of its time!  As a whole though, I think it’s safe to say that the proper MK1 Golf which presented itself a few years later is a much more cohesive, proportional design than this one is.  This 1969 prototype is also FWD, front-engined as the production MK1 would be…

This car is currently stored at the VW Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany

src: historyOfCars

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Pietro Frua’s 1971 Porsche 914 design proposal.

Pietro Frua is one of my favourite designers ever—-mainly because he created weird, mysterious, and often rejected-by-manufacturer designs which were generally better than the manufacturers ended up producing.  I think car companies used him for his brainstorming, and then ditched his designs in the end only to steal them.  BMW surely stole many of his ideas when they plagiarized his ideas from the Frua ‘concept’ BMWs on all their production cars of the 70s and 80s.   I’m looking at this photo of a 1971 Hispano Aleman Porsche 914 design study and seeing all sorts of stuff going on.  I see some De Tomaso Pantera, i see some Lamborghini Urraco, and I see lots of Frua cues.  What i don’t see is a 914.  Obviously Porsche did not use any of his ideas for their eventual collaboration with VW on the 914.

As far as I can tell, the car was seized by customs in 1971 after being shown at Geneva.  The car was in ‘exile’ until 1976 and is currently put away in a private collection, having not been driven since 1977.   Production of the real production Porsche 914 ended by the time the design was even recovered.  Frua was paid $200k to make the design study.  (source, Frua website cited below)

There are TONS of amazing pictures here on the Frua.de website (with copyrights so i cannot post them here)

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