Crazy concept cars



May 22, 2022

Crazy concept cars

Elsa Sc S describes some eccentrically designed cars

Crazy concept cars designers have imagined and produced some extraordinary cars that have become part of the legend. Most of these designs were ahead of their times opening vistas of new possibilities. They are shining examples of new propulsion systems, electronic driver and safety aids, plus advances in exterior design that have transformed production cars over more than a century.
Chrysler Thunderbolt (1940)
The Chrysler Thunderbolt was not a small car, but it could seat just two people as its retractable hard top was stowed behind the cabin – then behind that was the luggage bay. Nick-named “the Push-Button Car”, the Thunderbolt’s roof, windows and retractable headlights were all electrically controlled. Six Thunderbolts were made, all trimmed differently, for displays.
Dodge Dart (1956)
Created in the wind tunnel, the Dodge Dart was the world’s most aerodynamic car when it was unveiled in 1956. Dodge claimed that the Dart had less than one third of the drag of the most aerodynamic production cars of the time. Capable of seating four, the Dart’s steel roof could be kept in place or retracted into a concealed compartment behind the rear seat.
Cadillac Cyclone (1959)
Few cars can make the iconic 1959 Cadillac appear low-key but the Cyclone of the same year gave it a pretty good go. Those black cones in the nose were equipped with radar to help the Cyclone’s driver avoid anything in the way, while the cockpit was protected by a single-piece plastic canopy coated with vapourised silver to deflect the sun’s rays.
Ford Cougar 406 (1962)
Someone at Ford had clearly spent a lot of time lusting after the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, resulting in this concept featuring exactly the same door treatment. Unveiled at the 1962 Chicago Auto Show, the Cougar 406’s doors popped open and shut electrically, while power came from a 406 cubic-inch (6650cc) V8.
GM X Stiletto (1964)
Someone was clearly putting the boot in when they issued the brief for this one; a super-slippery sports car called the Stiletto. With its climate-controlled cabin, variable-ratio steering via electric motors, a rear-view camera and ultrasonic sensors around the car it was certainly prophetic.
Plymouth Duster I (1969)
If one is creating a high-speed racer and aerodynamics are crucial, a slippery shape would be a good starting point but when Plymouth created the Duster it lopped the roof off a Road Runner, fitted an aero-screen, then plastered the bodywork with adjustable flaps to control lift and drag. There were two in the front wings, two in the rear and another pair in the hoop spoiler above the cockpit.
Buick Century Cruiser (1969)
Designed originally as the Firebird IV in 1964, this high-performance car was designed as an autonomous vehicle with all of the comforts of a living room. As such the seats could recline and swivel, there was a TV and pull-out table and even a built-in fridge. Looking at the picture it’s hard to see how they fitted that lot in; it must have been very cosy inside.
Toyota CX-80 (1979)
Car makers often set out with good intentions to create a car that genuinely moves things on – then they scrap it all up by coming up with a design so unspeakably awful that nobody could ever take it seriously. The CX-80 was just such a car; it was intended to offer ample space for a family of four, while taking up less road space than Toyota’s smallest production model, the Starlet. So it is a shame it looked as though the CX-80 had been designed by youngsters. TW

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Elsa Sc S is doing her graduation from LUMS & a keen researcher


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