A little known concept car novelty is headed for the hammer at RM Sotherby's Monaco auction next month, the Ferrari 328-based 'Conciso', which was created exactly a quarter of a century ago by German designer Bernd Michalak.
Built by Michalak Design Studio of Mainz, the Conciso is a one-off monument to their mantra of 'athletic with not an extra ounce'.
To create its showpiece, Michalak took a low-mileage 328 GTS and removed everything, barring the original drivetrain and running gear.
Then he clothed the chassis in an aluminium bodyshell, featuring no doors, no weatherproofing, an impossibly low-cut windshield and a minimalist interior. The composite front and rear ends of the unique car feature clamshells which pivot and swing up to reveal the chassis and mechanicals.
A 30-percent weight savings ensued, which brought about significant performance gains to accompany the striking wedge-shaped aesthetics: 0–100 km/h in five seconds and a claimed top speed of 278 km/h.
The cockpit is moulded very simply around the seats with the car featuring recessed helmet storage spaces in either door, a touch that's reminiscent of the Lancia Stratos. Details, such as the instrument guages and the gearshift gate, are reused from the 328 base model.
Despite being awarded second prize at the 1994 Eurosign Design Awards, this was the only "328 Conciso" ever to be built.
Subsequently, Michalak sold the car to a prestigious collection in North America where it lived until 1998. It subsequently passed into the hands of a Belgian collector, who displayed the car as his favourite ornament in his living room.
Scarcely ever allowed out, the car is presented in immaculate condition. In 2014, it was given a full service and new tyres and gained its open-road homologation status. It is sold with two original racing helmets, Belgian homologation documents, period photographs and Michalak design paraphernalia. Chassis number ZFFWA20B000080962, the unusual Conciso will be offered without reserve by the auctioneers at Monaco next month.
Photos: Ferrari 328 Conciso