This Frua styling exercise is definitely not your daddy’s Camaro
Ah, Camaro. Chevy’s late-1960s answer to the Mustang. A classic pony car with classic styling. Even mid-’70s Camaros looked the part of a musclebound bully, despite performance being toned down a bit.
Can you picture one in your mind? Now imagine the sound of a record-player needle scraping across vinyl. Open your eyes … This is the 1976 Chevrolet Camaro “Europo Hurst” by Frua. It ain’t your daddy’s Camaro, that’s for sure. Unless ol’ Pops grew up on the other side of the Atlantic.
With styling that’s notably European, this Camaro was designed by Italian coachbuilder Pietro Frua at Chevrolet’s request. Among the characteristics that are markedly different from its American Camaro sibling are a blacked-out front with quad headlights and the addition of a rear hatch—a huge one, in fact—with Firebird taillights.
The styling exercise is mostly skin deep, as mechanically the Europa Hurst retains its 350-cubic-inch small-block V-8 and four-speed manual gearbox.
Alas, the Frua never came to fruition as a production car. Shipping parts and panels back and forth to Europe was likely cost prohibitive. But you can own this one, which is being offered without reserve by RM Sotheby’s. The Europa Hurst crosses the virtual block in September, along with other vehicles in the Mitosinka Collection. RM places its pre-auction estimate at $80,000–$120,000.
Although our first reaction to the car was to balk that this was a Camaro of any sort, the car’s style does have a way of growing on you. That’s especially true of its attractive profile, which, dare we say, reminds us of a Mustang Mach 1? We’re guessing that was not Frua’s intent, but somewhere out there in the ether he’s probably enjoying the somewhat ironic comparison.