CC Cohort From Madrid: Exotic 1976 SEAT 1200 Sport ‘Bocanegra’ And More

There’s few things I like more than filling in the blank holes in my automotive knowledge. When I saw this posted at the CC Cohort by coopey, I drew a total and utter blank. WTF? How did I not know about this cute little sporty coupe’s existence? A cross between a Sirocco and a Fiat 127? Well, I wasn’t all too far off the mark, as this little SEAT 1200 Sport ‘Bocanegra’ has a very unusual provenance. And this is just the opening salvo; coopey has hundreds of fantastic finds from Madrid posted.

The slightly translation-garbled story of the 1200 Sport is here, so I’ll offer a condensed and less garbled one: In 1970, NSU hired Aldo Sessano to design a stylish prototype coupe to drape over its Corvair-like 1200TT sedan. The result was called the Nergal, but the project was still-born. SEAT was hankering to do its first-ever home-grown car, having only ever built Fiats until then. SEAT bought the right to the Nergal design, and modified it to fit on a fwd Fiat 127 platform, but using the larger 1200 and 1400 cc engines out of the 124. Supposedly, there was some thought given to making it rear engine too, but those were probably wisely abandoned.

Obviously, the shape had to be adjusted a fair amount, but oddly enough, a vestige of the rear-engine cooling intake still found its way into the 1200 Sport. The ‘Bocanegra’ (Update: “Blackmouth”, in reference to its black rubber front end/bumper) was built from 1975 to 1981. Never knew about the Negral either. I feel so much smarter already!

I know what this is; a Chrysler 150 GT, otherwise known as the Simca 1307 and later as the Talbot 150. For some reason, the Simca was badged as a Chrysler just for the Spanish market. The Simca 1307 arrived in 1975, a year or two after the VW Passat, which it rather resembles. Both were inspired by that pioneering family-sized hatchback, the Renault R16.

Here’s a veteran Renault R12 curbside. These were sold in the US, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen one.

And Citroen Dyane “van”, a slightly modernized version of the classic Citroen 2CV Fourgonnette that was the vehicle of choice for European hippies to take to Morocco and such.

And of course, a SEAT 600, the car that put Spain on wheels in the fifties, the Italo-Iberian VW. This one is identified as a 1972, which is pretty late in that car’s life. Stephanie has less-than fond memories of being squeezed into one of these when her family spent a year in Spain. It was just about the default rental car at the time, unless one paid big bucks.

Thanks cooley; and you have a fab collection of cars shot. Check them all out here.