Concept Cars Gone Crazy
When you head to a car show you are certain to be amazed by the various nameplates you recognize that will show themselves in production later in the model year or after a couple years, but what can take you by surprise and bring your attention to a halt is an interesting looking concept car. Some concepts are so far-fetched there is no way they are ever going to make it to production, but in other cases you can certainly see the potential, especially if the car happens to address a need we as a society are facing.
Every manufacturer from Chrysler to Toyota puts millions of dollars into developing them and they rarely make it to your local new car dealership, but they’re still interesting to see at the shows. With that in mind, here are several great concept cars from a variety of years.
Buick Y-Job – If you thought the hidden headlights were just a product of the 1980s or that a hidden convertible top under a hard cover was a new concept, think again. The Y-Job from 1938 had these features on it along with power windows making it a car that showed the best GM had to offer in a car that would never see production but was certainly a great idea.
Dodge Flitewing – This car featured some really unique offerings. The most intriguing of course was the windows that didn’t roll up or down but flipped up and out like a pair of wings. These wings were electrically operated to open when desired and when the doors were opened. The car did also feature a forward leaning design, all of this made for a very unique look in 1961.
Ford Gyron – The Gyron was another 1961 concept but this one was built to look what the automakers at the time thought would be a spaceship design. The Gyron certainly gained a great deal of attention with the ability to ride on two wheels and look like a huge wing of an airplane. The downfall for this concept car wat the fact that it would only travel at about five mph; not quite fast enough to be practical.
GM X Stiletto – The 1960s were full of rocket-inspired designs and the X Stilleto was one that showed up at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. With a long and forward nose cone and a low and sleek design the car looked like a sports car that had been given the spaceship treatment just one too many times. This car featured no door cuts or window pillars but ad retractable air brakes, interesting, but not practical.
Chrysler Atlantic – Chrysler showed off with a wide variety of concepts in the 1990s and the most ambitious of them was the Atlantic which showed as a concept in 1995. This concept was based on many exotic builds that had prowled the Pebble Beach shows for years, giving Chrysler a car that would have and could have been their entry into the supercar would beyond the Viper.
Lincoln Futura – This is the car that became the Batmobile of the original TV series, but that is the only overall highlight this car ever had. It did show up in the movie It Started with a Kiss which was a 1959 film. The Futura was featured in auto shows starting in 1954 and the bubble shape to the cockpit made it the perfect choice for the Caped Crusader and his trusty sidekick.
Mazda Furai – This car made its first debut in 2008 in Detroit and embodied the new Nagare design from Mazda. This design name means flow in Japanese and this car certainly embodies the term as you can see lights and lines that flow on the car from front to back, from top to bottom and all around, creating a full synergy of motion.
Mercedes-Benz C 111 – Whether this was a showpiece or a research vehicle is still debated but in 1969 the C 111. This car featured a gullwing look with its doors that hinge in the center top of the car. In addition to the doors the engine is placed in the middle of the car and was a rotary engine, which we know to be extremely powerful, but certainly was not efficient at all.
Cadillac Sixteen – Even though the Sixteen was never actually launched, this car and the Cien gave Cadillac the boost they needed to show they were serious about power. After making an appearance in 2003 at the Detroit auto show this car featured a V16 engine that would create a huge 1,000 horsepower, a number that had not been fully considered by anything but exotics to that point.
GM XP-21 Firebird – Back to the jet age we go with a concept from GM that looked like a rocket going horizontally. The car shoed a tube shape and pointed nose cone that looked more like it should be bombing than driving. This concept from 1953 was featured at the beginning of the jet age and was actually capable of reaching 370 horsepower.
Dodge Deora – With pickup trucks gaining huge popularity in the 1960s the Dodge Deora became a reality that many would sooner forget. If you have seen some of the interesting ideas that are built into the Hot Wheels toys that are on shelves of toy stores you would understand the strangeness that was the Deora as the same man designed and built this thing that eventually went on to be the founder of the toy company.
Holden Efijy – This car was certainly beautiful and brought back a farther back look than many of the throwback models we see in today’s lineups, but the Efijy was probably several decades too late. With a huge design that features a 1940s look the car was featured in 2005 at Sydney and in 2007 in Detroit but this look and build just didn’t quite catch on.
Jeep Mighty FC – This Jeep was built high, rode hard and gave us a look at what really could be from Jeep. There wasn’t an obstacle the Mighty FC couldn’t handle and the power of a stock engine made it a real possibility to be built. This beast rode on 39.5 inch tires and was one of the few rare times a concept vehicle that didn’t make it to production was able to outperform an entire lineup.
Dodge Tomahawk – Many car makers have attempted to enter the motorcycle arena and some have done so successfully. This was a concept that certainly had its place in a futuristic movie, but not on the roads prowling around and showing off. This bike had a Viper V10 powering it and actually had four wheels so it’s not really a motorcycle, but might be described as awesomeness on the road.