Elements of Design - Guigiaro's Gullwings
by Doug Breithaupt

Every so often two toy cars from different manufacturers just seem to form a perfect pair. The two shown here are Zee Toy's De Lorean DMC-12 and the Tapiro show car, based on Porsche 914 mechanicals. Both were designed by Giorgetto Guigiaro of ItalDesign.

The Tapiro is made by a Hong Kong company of unknown name and represents a car not done in small-scale by any other manufacturer. The base reads VW-Porsche. It is a reasonable model of the Tapiro with functioning gullwing doors and correct interior. The Zee Toy De Lorean is also unique as the only small-scale stock version of this ill-fated model. Again the gullwing doors work and the Zee wheels are actually a close copy of the De Lorean wheels.

Wings extended - the De Lorean and Tapiro are ready for flight.

The De Lorean is a difficult Zee Toy to find today.

From the back, the Tapiro styling clearly influenced the De Lorean.

It's a shame the Tapiro manufacturer is unknown, can anyone help?

When the two cars are put side-by-side, the origins of the De Lorean design are easily seen. The Guigiaro family actually used the one-off Tapiro as a driver and Fabrizio Guigiaro, son of Giorgetto and current head of ItalDesign styling, says "The Tapiro was the starting point of my informal schooling in automotive design."