Peter Anderson | Oct 30, 2012

If you've ever wondered whether British card-quiz game Top Trumps featured a "Concepts We'll Probably Never See Again" special edition, the answer is yes.

It's a game that requires a British passport and a moustache to understand, but thanks to Retronaut, we can take you on a journey back through time - and taste - to 1978.

Interestingly, the series of cards looks a lot like motor shows today: nutty sports car concepts and small-engined city cars.

In 1978, the "wedge" shape was in. Pininfarina had two cars in the collectable card game, as did Bertone, while ItalDesign and Iso Rivolta had one apiece.

The wedge that made production was the Bertone Lamborghini Countach - a model that the game's makers bravely predicted would replace the Miura S.

The concept wore lunar rover-like wheels, and while those were later dropped, the car made it into garages and onto the streets of Monte Carlo relatively unscathed.

top trumps prototype car concepts card game 11

The Top Trumps people were an optimistic bunch, picking the Iso Rivolta and ItalDesign Maserati Boomerang to make it into series production, although it wisely remained silent on the lunatic Ferrari 512S-based Pininfarina Modulo.

Perhaps even more entertaining are the city car concepts.

The Fiat Town car, described as a "pleasing design for a town car on Fiat 126 chassis" (where do you even start with the jokes for that?) looks as though it was built to actually roll over on its windscreen under hard braking.

The Dornier Delta II seemed familiar, although it was a few moments before we put our finger on it: the 1975 Elcar.

Perhaps our favourite part of the Delta was the massive camber on the tiny wheels, which made it look a bit knock-kneed.

Looking back on these seventies obscurities, it is perhaps lucky the oil crisis ended as abruptly as it began. Those town car concepts looked terrifyingly small while, gratifyingly, the Countach made it through.

And we could have ended up with a car called Rowan with a bootful of lead acid batteries…

Hat-tip to Friedel for this one!

[via Retronaut]

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