Ford Product Development Center
16 June 2002
This Lot has no reserve
GHIA COCKPIT CONCEPT
Silver over metallic pewter with red cloth interior
Ghia Cockpit is the most radical of several city cars constructed by Ghia in the early Eighties to explore various configurations and concepts in anticipation of ever-increasing fuel costs and congestion on city streets and highways. In creating Cockpit, Ghia sought to combine a sporting presentation and function with exceptional fuel economy and compact size.
Filippo Sapino, Ghia's Managing Director, at the time described Ghia's Cockpit design: "With its advanced aerodynamic design, Cockpit offers the dual advantages of excellent fuel economy linked to a high maximum speed which would provide regular inter-city highway transportation in a period of severe energy crisis. ...with the three-wheel configuration and single seat driving position, it is possible to not only reduce weight to improve economy but also to build in some of the precision and sporting flair often associated with motor cycles."
The Ghia Cockpit concept's novel configuration uses a tube frame with two wheels at the front and a single rear wheel. Front suspension is independent with a transverse leaf spring and lower control arms. At the rear a 12 horsepower 200cc Piaggio Vespa engine with 4-speed sequential shift transmission is located inside the rear wheel which is sprung by a pair of coil-over tubular shock absorbers. Reverse is provided by driving the electric starter motor backwards. Ghia Cockpit's dimensions are compact: only 129.4" long, 56" wide and 47.5" high. The body is fabricated by Ghia's craftsmen in aluminum.
The Ghia Cockpit concept's name, and its most distinctive feature, comes from its aircraft-style canopy which is hinged at the front to provide access to the tandem seating for two. One of the attributes claimed for the lift-up canopy was its ease of access in cramped parking places.
The small windshield is made of glass while the tinted plexiglass canopy has two opening roof hatches for ventilation. Paying tolls would, however, be a challenge as there are no side openings in the canopy. As offered here Ghia Cockpit is in good cosmetic condition, with good exterior paint. The bright red interior is in good condition as well, however the hydraulic struts intended to help raise and lower the canopy either were never fitted or have been lost and the canopy is very heavy. It is so heavy, in fact, that it would be impractical for a single occupant in the forward driver's seat to open it from inside.
An innovative response to energy-conscious transportation, the Ghia Cockpit concept is also distinctive and imaginative.
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