(first posted 7/22/2014) Unhappy about today’s cars with high belt lines, excessive lengths and poor visibility? It was different once upon a time…
The years 1967-1968 were fertile ones in terms of creativity, imagination, or just…breaking through to the other side. We saw one extreme automotive expression of that in the Mohs Ostentatienne Opera Sedan, a decidedly American vision/hallucination of sorts. In Europe, that took rather other forms, more suitable to the conditions there, like the 1968 Quasar Unipower. What better to go with mini skirts than a glass cube of a car to be seen wearing it? Was a sugar cube its inspiration?
The late sixties did encourage free thinking, so why not a car built around three sliding patio doors? French-Vietnamese designer Quasar Khanh had that thought, and acted upon it, using BMC 1100 running gear with the engine now in back, to create the ultimate city car. It’s actually not a true cube, being the only car ever produced known to be wider (66″) then long (64″). Height? A towering 74″. Safety? Presumably the sliding doors were made with tempered glass; wouldn’t want to cut up those pretty legs.
Not surprisingly, the French bought the lion’s share (13) of the fifteen Quasars actually produced. Maybe the Brits thought it a bit too daffy. It thus seems that the Unipower was more viable on the market than the Ostentatienne; is that a reflection on the cars themselves, or the French willingness to embrace bold new ideas?
At least one Unipower is still at it, doing what it does best: showing off pretty young women. But where are the mini skirts?