Saturday, January 20, 2018

Ground Beetle: 1971 Fiberfab Aztec 7

Most of the time, out of this world show cars end up as one offs that either find their way to a collection or the crusher.  However, some provide inspiration for a man in a shed to create a kit homage that uses the concept as an inspiration.  Find this 1971 Fiberfab Aztec 7 for sale in Van Nuys, CA for $13,000 via craigslist. Tip from Sean S.

The Alfa Romeo Carabo was a show car penned by Marchello Gandini when he was working at the House of Bertone, and was introduced at the 1968 Paris Auto Show.  It was based on the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale and was powered by a detuned 2 liter V-8 from the racing Tipo 33.  A Santa Clara company, Fiberfab, used the wedge-y show car as a basis for its Aztek 7 repli-car.

Unlike the original, the Aztek 7 was based on the ubiquitous VW Beetle chassis and used the bug's air-cooled flat 4.  By the way, the Carabo name of the concept was derived from Carabedae, which is a type of ground beetle.  So maybe the doors are more bug wing than gull wing...

Here's the seller's ad:

Very rare. One of about 250 still on the road, approximately 400 ever made. This Fiber Fab Aztec 7 tribute to the one in the world Alfa Romeo Bertone Carabo has been my baby since May of 2013. TLC has been lavished upon her by way of proper badging, front, back and sides, as well as shift knob and Luisi steering wheel. If it needed it, it was repaired or replaced. Featured in Kit Car Magazine January 1983, this is a lowered 1971 VW chassis with a BAE Ray Jay turbo charged 1600cc flat four motor the previous owner said he put $5,000 into. Registered in CA as a 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo Replica with a coveted referee's sequence of number certificate, (means NO smogging) Gull Wing doors, Lamborghini Miura windshield, battery shut off switch, air height adjustable rear shocks, MSD electronic ignition, single side draft Weber fully adjustable racing carburetor with tuning manual, manual choke, Western Turbine wheels, new tires, Italian Vitaloni racing mirrors, ceiling console toggle switches, new radio. Original assembly manual included. Not perfect but very impressive. Growls and turns heads. Great wow factor. The mileage is not accurate. Currently insured and driven. Title in hand and in my name. I am going to miss this car. 

Vehicle is a classic and in need of further restoration. Is being sold as is, and all sales are final.

Here's a period photo of the real thing.

Photo:  Bertone

See a better '70s wedge? email us here:

Gianni is Daily Turismo's Pacific Northwest correspondent.


  1. Well it's nicest one I have ever seen outside of a Fiberfab brochure, that's for sure.
    "Lamborghini Miura windshield" , well that's good to know down at the pick and pull.

    The first thought though is : Needs more wheelbase" I wonder was this put on a erroneously shortened VW beetle pan?

    Second is : Why the huge bumper?

  2. I remember when these first came out: lots of interest at the auto show, but very few folks want to BUILD their own car, since it requires lots of fabrication and thousands of hours... how do I know? My brother's buddy built one! He was divorced, no kids, and had lots of free time, but still, it looked like a home built car. Like most fiberglass replicas, it was a "twenty footer", fun to be seen in, but not a real Alfa, not a real VW, as he called it, "Little Bastard".

  3. Or there is another possible pun.
    The car is carmine red, carmine red is made of ground up cochineal insects and ground up cochineal insects are ground beetles. (well actually they are scale, the joke would have been better if it was ground bug, but that's what happens when you get your entomology and etymology confused )

  4. One of few cars where the windshield replacement cost and the vehicle purchase price are roughly equal.

    1. Ya, I’m gonna have to call BS on the windshield claims. Never though in a million years I’d ever say that.

  5. This car sold in February 2017 on ebay for $5,900.00

    1. Oh with the same "I am going to miss this car. " ad copy

    2. Winning bidder last year must have backed out.

  6. or else, the dude is a flipper... only he flips weird cars that no one wants! actually, when i saw fiberfab, i thought to myself: 'It's a replica, not the real thing, so its worth, like five thousand bucks." But, as P.T. Barnum said, theres a sucker born every minute. For $13,000 you could buy a real sports car, like a Honda S-2000 or a really nice Miata, and they would have a steel body, instead of a rickety old fiberglass body.

    1. jeffzekas,

      Whole lotta track cars with 'glas bodies. I agree they can be clunky. But that's part of the fun of the ride-- take a sharp turn and there's a split second where the body is still going one way and you/the frame another!

      -Stan (the *other* Stan...)

  7. Still for sale a year later but down to $8K.
    Alfa Romeo Carabo

    1. We've got nuthin' but time :)
      We have a profound appreciation for both depreciation and the owner's eventual desperation.

    2. "Mmmmmm, I'll wait three more years till it's free!!"

      Actually, I liked it at $11k, and like it more now!!


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.