Asymmetry is a trait overlooked in automotive design. A principle often discarded by engineers due to its awkward shape and lack of symmetrical beauty, the unorthodox form can often lead to success, as the Nardi 750 Bisiluro shows.
A car sharing more in common in looks with motorcycles sidecars, Nardi’s 1955 racer was built on a Fiat 500 chassis, mounting its 0.7-litre power plant in the left boom, the pilot in the right. The rather ambitious design lead to improved weight distribution, combined with its sleek, aerodynamic body, an output of around 55 horsepower and a top speed of 215km/h, not bad from .7-litres. The 750 Bisiluro made its motorsport debut at the 55’ Le Mans, sharing track with D-Type Jag’s, one in particular creating enough turbulence when passing to literally blow the little Bisiluro off the track, forcing its retirement.
Despite its lack of competition, Nardi’s strange little twin torpedo shaped engineering tour de force has endured as perhaps the most successful example of asymmetrical car design, so much so it inspired the orange Cloud City space ships in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Nardi 750 Bisiluro: http://www.museoscienza.org/dipartimenti/catalogo_collezioni/images/06795.jpg