Winning Ugly. Hit by an ugly stick? Maybe. But there’s beauty in this trio of beasts. From the brutal energy of Maserati’s Shamal, through the monstrous Alfa SZ to Lancia’s quirky Kappa Coupe, Italian style doesn’t have to be delicate to have appeal. Story by Chris Rees. Photography by Michael Ward.
Maserati Shamal vs. Alfa-Romeo SZ and Lancia K Coupe Triple test of ugly ducklings with inner beauty…
Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. If so, then ugliness is, too. The trio of cars we’ve gathered here have variously been beheld as misshapen, awkward, monstrous and brutal to the point of hideous. In Italy, they even called one of them Il Mostro – the monster.
Yet I’m here to argue that not only is their very ugliness an essential part of their appeal, but they also have a captivating inner beauty. All three have a peculiarly individual charm that goes beyond aesthetics.
After all, it’s not as if these cars are ugly by accident. There is method in their apparent design madness. The stylists of each are stellar creators. The Maserati Shamal was designed by Marcello Gandini (who did the Lamborghini Miura and Countach), the Alfa Romeo SZ by Robert Opron (Citroen SM, Renault Fuego) and the Lancia Kappa Coupe by Enrico Fumia (Alfa 164, Alfa GTV/Spider 916).
If history has judged these cars akin to Macbeth’s three ugly witches, I’m here to present an alternative history. One where they are, with every justification, loved and appreciated. These ugly ducklings are triumphant swans. Fly, my uglies, fly.