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Posted By: Graeme Ogg
Posted On: Monday September 14, 2020 at 10:17 AM
An automotive one-off. How about it, Autocult? Please?

While browsing through “concept cars” websites for pictures of the Pontiac Farago I came across this rather handsome vehicle. Well, to my eyes anyway. I think someone on the Forum posted a picture recently that was taken in a car museum and this car was visible in the background, but I had no way of identifying it until I spotted it by chance while Googling.

It turns out to be called the “Exemplar 1” and it was a one-off which I think would make a very suitable subject for Autocult to produce in 1:43.

The background story is that in the mid-1960s the Bridgeport Brass Company and the Copper Development Association commissioned the Italian stylist Mario Revelli de Beaumont to create a design for a new concept car. One important stipulation was that the usual chrome exterior and interior brightwork, plus as many mechanical elements as possible, should be replaced by copper and bronze, apparently in an attempt to persuade car manufacturers of the potential benefits of using more copper, brass and bronze in their products. So everything possible, including the brake disks, radiators, window frames, instrument panel, centre console and all exterior trim were done in various copper alloys. Even the wire wheels and rims are brass-plated.

The car was handbuilt by the coachbuilder Coggiola Carrozziere (the same outfit that built the Farago) and toured around the U.S. car shows for a couple of years, but because it hadn’t been tested by the vehicle approval authorities (and obviously couldn’t be crash-tested) it was slated for crushing but was rescued, and after lying around in hiding for 20 years was eventually restored.

Underneath that shapely exterior and brassy trim, the car is a 1967 Buick Riviera GS, and style-wise you may say they shouldn’t have messed around with the original, but I think it’s rather attractive in its own way. The rear end may seem a trifle heavy from some angles, but the visual weight is quite well balanced by a chunky front end.I think it is a pretty successful effort, and unlike some styling brainwaves of the period it hasn't dated badly.

I’d love to have a model of it. I wonder if anyone at Autocult reads the Forum? Maybe I should send them the pictures? Or maybe they’ve got it on their “to do” list already. Of course they might have to try hot foil stamping (with copper foil) for the brightwork instead of their usual bright P/E trim.

p.s. If it isn't quite oddball enough for Autocult, it'll have to be Matrix. I don't really mind.

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Message thread:

An automotive one-off. How about it, Autocult? Please? by Graeme Ogg #28761
It has to be on AutoCult’s to do list already. I hope! by David Crowe #28761.1
Thanks to both of you. It's a good article and an interesting car. (EOM) by David Holcombe #28761.1.1
Looks better than the Farago I think. Could be right up AutoCult's alley. (EOM) by Harvey Goranson #28761.2

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