The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – Ghia Cockpit

Sun 21st Apr 2019

Sometimes your wallet won’t stretch to purchasing your dream motor. But don’t worry too much, there are some cars that even the biggest bank balances can’t buy, the dream cars that will forever remain a dream. These are the concept cars that never go into production.

Ghia Cockpit
Motoring designers and engineers have long searched for the answer to living and driving in congested inner-city areas, and while we now know that fuel economy doesn’t necessarily have to mean small due to zero emission electric battery engines - when we think urban vehicles we nearly always think super-minis.

In the early 1980s, Ford, under the guise of their Ghia top-tier brand, came up with the ultimate super-mini when they designed and devised a concept that was no larger than a fighter plane cockpit. It was a design idea that had proven popular in the 1950s when a slew of cars borrowed heavily from the Messerschmitt formula and Ford took it one step further when they actually named the concept the Ghia Cockpit.

Complete with the flip-lid entrance you might expect to see on a small jet fighter, the Cockpit was the ultimate super mini with only two passenger seats in a tandem style, a 200cc single-cylinder motorcycle engine produced just 12bhp, but could deliver an ultra-economical 75mpg.

Speaking at the time, Filippo Sapino, Ghia’s Managing Director suggested that speed and fuel economy were two of the Cockpit’s biggest assets.
"With its advanced aerodynamic design, Cockpit offers the dual advantages of excellent fuel economy linked to a high maximum speed which would provide regular inter-city highway transportation in a period of severe energy crisis. ...with the three-wheel configuration and single seat driving position, it is possible to not only reduce weight to improve economy but also to build in some of the precision and sporting flair often associated with motor cycles."