From the great stew of collaborations, consolidations, and components comes some of the world's best vehicles. And some of the worst.
I'm not sure where today's vehicle falls, actually. It's not as if magazine editors are fighting to place it on their covers. The Anibal Podadera was born in the time after SEAT had split with Fiat, but before it was acquired by Volkswagen.
Freedom lasted less than a decade, but it showed how quickly the company could flower. First, the Ibiza sub compact hatchback was introduced, interesting because of its practical and performance-oriented design details—they even had Porsche develop in collaboration its engines and gearboxes.
The car had System Porsche, stamped onto the engines, worth a royalty payment of 7 German marks from SEAT to the automaker, which is very roughly about $5 Usd. today.
Anyway, Spanish designer Francisco Podadera saw the potential in the vehicle and proposed what would become a show car prototype: the SIAT Ibiza Raider—two doors and sports car styling over plebeian mechanicals.
Interest from SEAT was lukewarm, so Podadera started his own firm, Paccar Corp. SA Anaibal, to produce the conversions. Resembling to most the first-generation Toyota MR2—but I think it's more a direct lift of the first Nissan Pulsar EXA. The body modifications were done in fiberglass with kevlar reinforcement—the roof was cut off of the Ibiza and a new top section attached.
Power? Um…about 90 horsepower, using the System Porsche 1.5-litre 4-cylinder. So it wasn't exactly a powerhouse. Only 83 were made. You'd think that with modern monocoque construction, costs, and a lack of a distribution network would be difficult to overcome—and you'd be right. Anibal was kaput by 1992.
It's sad because as these vehicles age, specimens will be parted out and sacrificed to keep the best Podadera examples running.
As for sporty cars built on the chassis of a subcompact—they're actually quite common. But that's a story for another day.