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Snapshot, 1979: An Italian UFO lands in Sydney

Since its debut at the Turin Motor Show in the spring of 1978, the Lancia Sibilo, designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone, has been on a world tour. The brown-gold UFO has now landed in Australia, to the delight of the locals.

When it comes to booking a tour for new automotive designs, Australia is a bit off the beaten track, which makes the excitement all the greater when one of the world’s most extravagant automotive creations floats into the Sydney Motor Show in August 1979. Designed by Bertone’s talented designer Marcello Gandini, the Lancia Sibilo is said to be the futuristic successor to the Stratos. In fact, the show car seems to have come straight out of a science fiction movie: the panes seem to naturally transition into the brown wedge body, instead of windows there’s a round porthole, the doors are made of plexiglass, and the steering wheel with its three buttons would look just as appropriate in an intergalactic space cruiser. For Fiona and Chris, two 21-year-old Australian beauties, they seem to have already befriended the alien vehicle. For many, the automotive future can’t start soon enough. Unfortunately, the Lancia Sibilo’s inevitable fate of remaining a quirky one-off has yet to be revealed.

Photo by Pearce/Fairfax Media via Getty Images