This design mantra took over the minds of the world’s top stylists collectively around 1970 – as the Ferrari 512 S Module and the Lancia Stratos HF Zero concepts swept everyone to accept the shape.
The design was the ultimate expression of mid-engine hypercar engineering of the time. In wind tunnels of the day, the goal was to have as little front surface area as possible. Something like a rocket for the road.
Ferrari 512 S Modulo at Atlanta Dream Cars exhibit
Lancia Stratos HF Zero at Atlanta Dream Cars exhibit
Wind tunnels in this era were largely the last step of a design – mostly to flag any huge turbulence issues. The sophisticated computer modelling of today was just a twinkle in the DoD and NASA’s eye at the time, so the intuition of a designer often led the day.
But unlike the 512 S Modulo and others, the Boomerang concept was designed to go into production — tomorrow. It debuted in 1972 just a few months after the Bertone-styled Lamborghini Countach, and aimed to make Lambo’s vision seem quaint. In fact, the Countach has a very blunt nose and shape by comparison.
Production-ready elements are seen in the relatively practical doors, enclosed popup headlights and even the cabin. The steering wheel with its rim-mounted setup is quite breathtaking even today. The gauges are all so accessible, you just want to reach out and tap them to see if they are the real deal.
The Boomerang did not see the light of day at the end of a Maserati factory, but mostly due to economic issues around the world in the early 1970s. Maserati was between owners and cash was tight, making the Boomerang just another icon in Giugiaro’s greatest hits catalog.
Even today, however, the Boomerang is emblematic of the era. Hopeful and lustfully futuristic, the Boomerang even starred in a recent Louis Vuitton advertising campaign. Shot by Annie Leibowitz, no less! The presence of the Boomerang clearly upstages the model and handbags!