It would seem that the world of automotive design is obsessed with the bodywork of the car – the exterior. Perhaps rightly so, as this is what often seems to be the main focus for many car enthusiasts. But why is that, when the majority of what we actually see of our own car is in fact the interior? This is where we spend most of our time with our car. As such, I often feel we should have much more focus on the design of the cabin.
And today, we’re going to look at the most exciting and funky interiors – at least in my opinion. Forget about classy, stylish and elegant – let the snobs have their burl wood and Connolly leather. Instead we’re going on a psychedelic LSD trip through the seventies. It’s about visual drama and it’s bound to put a smile on your face.
For all of that, it simply has to be the seventies. There can be no other. It may not be the very definition of sophisticated taste, but I personally love all those deep velours and peculiar combinations or orange, green and brown. Many will no doubt point out the fabulous plaid cloth which was used to great effect in many interiors up through the seventies, and yes, I too have a weakness for those. But nothing – just nothing – can beat Pascha!
Of course, you say Pascha and you simply must say Porsche. Up through the seventies, under leadership of their new CEO, Ernst Fuhrmann, Porsche found themselves busy developing what was to be their new future and flagship – the V8, front-engined, water-cooled, trans-axled Porsche 928. It was a complete departure from everything that Porsche had been thus far and it was controversial to say the least. Even within Porsche, many were confused as to why they were building this car and objected heavily to it. Still, when it was introduced in 1978, as the only Porsche ever – in fact, as the only sports car ever – the 928 went on to win European Car of the Year. Something which the 911 never achieved. It’s a design which has also aged rather well, and has since become a bit of a design icon thanks to the Director of the Style Porsche studio, Wolfgang Möbius’s stubbornness and uncompromised work with shaping the car to achieve highlights across the bodywork. He created a very organic shape. But was it a real Porsche? That is probably something which enthusiasts will disagree upon forever.
It was certainly the first Porsche to not have a distinct focus on motorsport. Getting back to the interior, it is then perhaps somewhat ironic that – of all Porsches – the Pascha fabric came to be as part of creating the 928. Tony Lapine, had requested that a cloth was designed which resembled a waving chequered flag. It was Porsche designer, Vlaska Rujbr, who subsequently came up with the now so iconic and seventies-Porsche-defining Pascha interior. It was only later that the Pascha interior was also offered on the other Porsche models: 911, 924 and eventually the early 944’s as well. As such, the Pascha interior will always be intrinsically linked with the 928. This is perhaps also why many enthusiasts fail to see the waving chequered flag, but instead link the funky interior with wild psychedelic fantasies leading to heavy migraines if you allow yourself to stare into that deep 3D pattern for too long.
The Pascha interior was offered in various colours too. The black and white is perhaps the most classic and obviously also displays the link with the chequered flag best. But there were also tones of dark blue, dark red and even brown – it was after all the seventies! I love them all, but push comes to shove, it’s the brown or perhaps the dark red Pascha which would be my personal choice – of course somewhat depending on the exterior colour of the Porsche.
But frankly, I would be thrilled to own a Porsche with either of those utterly funky Pascha interiors in it – regardless of colour. In fact, I don’t even care particularly whether it’s a 928, 911, 924 or 944. Any Porsche with any Pascha interior will do thank you very much. I simply need Pascha in my life…!!
But what say you dear reader? Are you among those who find these seventies interiors disturbing and distasteful? Or are you too a fan of Pascha? Perhaps you even own a Porsche with a Pascha interior? In which case, you are hereby required to immediately upload a picture of your Pascha in the remarks area below.
Hmmmm… and the controversial bonus question, now that various companies are reproducing Pascha seat materials, would it be wrong and unethical to retrofit a Pascha interior to a car of another make than Porsche? Now there’s food for thought…