Design

These retro concept cars depict a forgotten future

Fancy a motorbike in the shape of a car? An electric egg? Check out some of these long-lost concepts that show a hopeful view of the future from our past.

Ghia 'Gilda' Streamline X (1955)

Hear that whir? Designed by Giovanni Savonuzzi, the car uses a gas turbine engine. It has no pedals (drivers use a central stick to control forward and backward motion), sounds like a plane taking off, uses kerosene as its fuel, and looks vaguely like an electric shaver. The California-based Blackhawk Museum has a great video of the Streamline in action.

Sir Vival (1959)

Perhaps one of the strangest vehicles ever imagined, Sir Vival was a concept design dreamt up by Walter C. Jerome from Worcester, Massachusetts. Autoweek reports the $10,000 car appeared in an April 1959 issue of Mechanix Illustrated. The car was designed to prioritize safety, at a time when Detroit automakers were more concerned with attracting consumers using flashy designs.

Autohistorian/Flickr

An eyesore or a safety marvel?

L’Oeuf Electrique (1942)

The "electric egg" was developed by French designer Paul Arzens for his own use. GreenBuilderMedia notes the three-wheeled electric vehicle could reach speeds of 37 mph and had a range of around 60 miles. The egg-shaped design was ideal for snaking around the narrow streets of Paris.

Graham Triggs/Flickr

SsangYong CCR-1 (1995)

This vehicle, as highlighted by OldConceptCars and AllCarIndex, was first demonstrated at the Seoul Motor Show. It features speeds of up to 75 mph, a range of 125 miles per charge, and scissor doors.

ItalDesign Machimoto (1986)

Project Machimoto, as ItalDesign describes it, was a rather unique venture. First shown at the Turin Motor Show, it combined a car with a motorbike. It featured a steering wheel that converted to motorbike-like handlebars. It also featured seating for up to nine depending on the configuration.

ItalDesign

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