I've been researching the Genesis of a bunch of '60s concept cars, and came across a name that I hadn't heard before as part of the 1968 Turin Motor Show.
See, the Linea Moderna Executive Automobile S.R.L. company couldn't afford an official Turin Motor Show stand that year. Did it spend all of its cash on letters for desk plaques? (Ha!) Or a retainer for its designer, the almost-ready-to-retire Franco Scaglione? During his earlier career, he worked on many notable vehicles, and one of my favourites of his must be the NSU Prinz Sport Spider Wankel—the first-ever rotary-powered production car.
Later, though? This, and less-than-memorable designs for Intermeccanica, the Apollo GT…
By 1968, he had taken up work by clothing this startup Italian automaker's 2-seat sports car. It's similar, actually, to a TVR or up-sized Lotus of that vintage. With a backbone chassis and much smaller overall than V8-powered sports car, the Sirex was developed as a contemporary, nimble design.
Engine? The 2.3-litre V6 engine from a Ford Taunus. Be still, my beating heart. Horsepower should have been at about 125, and good for a top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph) in the Taunus. Quick, but not earth-shattering. Some models are said to have been tuned to 180 horsepower, and the firm even experimented with turbocharging, and saw a healthier 210 hp from examples so equipped.
I said "examples," yes. Sources say fifty were made, but I find that difficult to believe—where did they all go? And in today's collector car world, and one where we have Bring A Trailer for unearthing a number of gold nuggets every morning, where did these cars disappear to? The car was even sold under a different marque over a few examples, and named the SAMAS LMX. (Yes, I've written about SAMAS before…)
And doesn't the car look kind of old-fashioned? No? Well, at the same motor show, a number of wedge-shaped sports cars were introduced, changing sports car design for decades to come. The Sirex? An "Italian-looking" sports car with simple lines, or like a Triumph TR6 and Chevrolet Corvette swapped more than carburetors while their owners were playing squash inside a Swiss athletics club.
If you'd like to find one for yourself, it's difficult to find any good information on this car—which is why most of what you'll read online has been regurgitated through a few sources. The better ones are in Italian, and linked to below.