As part of the week when Milan celebrates design, Alfa Romeo – the epitome of noble Italian sportiness since 1910 – is featuring with one of its most precious gems: the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo, a style prototype by Bertone and one of the brand’s greatest expressions of style.
The exclusive event that brought Alfa Romeo into Milan Design Week was the opening of the new LARUSMIANI boutique, a historic brand and big name for over a century in Milanese elegance and the “Made in Italy” quality of the MonteNapoleone District.
The new LARUSMIANI Boutique was designed in collaboration with the renowned architect Benedetto Camerana, who headed the 2015 renovations of the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, where the Carabo is usually on display. As well as embellishing the opening of the distinctive new boutique, the Alfa Romeo concept car is the first vehicle to be included in “The Automotive Gallery” project:a permanent exhibition area within the store, focused on the automotive world. The only car that could head up this Milanese project is an Alfa Romeo.
Alfa Romeo and LARUSMIANI are also two ambassadors for Made in Italy around the world, united – among other factors – by their strong bond with Milan, the hometown of both of them. The two brands have managed to bring about products that have become part of the collective unconscious, as icons of style, quality, elegance and craftsmanship.
Designed by Marcello Gandini and built by the Bertone bodyshop, the Carabo was a concept car based on the mechanics of the iconic Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, an emblematic car for the Milan brand. The collective unconscious still identifies it as one of the most beautiful cars in the world, the epitome of functional design and beauty devoted to performance. The futuristic Carabo style prototype’s height remained the same, at less than one meter, but the rounded lines had disappeared completely. Everything in the Carabo is clear-cut, from the wedge design to its “scissor” doors. Only one model of the prototype was ever built and became a source of inspiration for many other successful cars.
The name Carabo was inspired by Carabus auratus, a brightly metallic-colored beetle. The same hues are used in the style prototype: luminescent green with orange details. In the late 1960s, Alfa Romeo began to pay extra attention to extravagant colors and special paintwork techniques, to highlight the brand’s uniqueness even further.
Raffaele Russo, Managing Director of Alfa Romeo in Italy, stated:“I’m sure that the inclusion of our futuristic Carabo here will arouse great amazement among the participants in Milan Design Week. And I’m just as sure that an item of such great stylistic value will in itself serve as an invitation to all enthusiasts for Made in Italy to visit the fascinating Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, the home of extraordinary cars that have written indelible chapters in automotive history.”