Generally when we think about concept cars we imagine super-gorgeous models with off-the charts designs, performance, swagga and, of course, price-tags. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be: a conceptual car is something out of the box, far ahead of the market, a futuristic prototype to look up to, admire and dream about at night. We got Lambo concept cars, Ferrari beauties, Mazda, Porsche, Bugatti, Bentley…the list goes on and on, and one thing that all those amazing brands have in common are exceptionally awesome and jaw-dropping concept cars. As strange as it might sound, we’re not going to talk about that today. This time around I wanna tell you guys about the most ridiculous concept vehicles that – thank God – never went on sale. If they did the industry might’ve not survive it :).
The Beast In The Beauty
Yep, don’t think that “Concept Cars” badge automatically turns a piece of trash into something beautiful. The industry witnessed a lot of ugly and strange prototypes that made us all question the rules of engagement, believe that. Don’t get me wrong – they do have a certain kind of appeal, and to some folks they might even be the greatest steel horses ever. So, don’t throw your stones at me, I’m just a messenger :). Fortunately, I’ve got all kinds of awesome concept cars for you to enjoy – go check out my reviews and never come back. However, if you’re one of the braves ones and wanna stick around, I promise you’ll be amazed by the ludicrous models I’m about to unveil. If not, there’ll be a good story to tell.
The 1967 Dodge Deora Concept Car
The idea of concept cars has been around for about a century. It’s a great marketing and engineering trick: you get folks excited about a certain model or brand but never promise them anything. Pretty harsh, but it still works. The Dodge Deora was not necessarily a drop-dead gorgeous car, but it did have a unique kind of charm. It was a futuristic pick-up truck colored in golden paint and it looked like the Toy Commander’s dream car. Still, it had pretty standard dimensions and could easily take in adult passengers. The Deora was constructed based on the Dodge A100 van and featured a 170 cubic inch Slant6 engine under that yellow hood that was capable of 101 Horsepower. Despite the comical and childish looks, this fella was designed and built by none other than the legendary Alexander brothers, so, maybe they did see some potential in it. Unfortunately (or, rather, fortunately), after almost 50 years we’re still waiting on the official release.
The 1969 Chevy Astro III
Just as you thought that you had enough weird concept cars for the 60s, Chevrolet stepped up and introduced the space travel-ready Astro III. Hey, show some respect for it, because if you lived in that era, the whole Cold War meets Space Hunters nonsense will definitely make sense to you. NASA was doing great back then, with the shuttle finally reaching the moon after the Soviets sent a man into open space in 1961. It was the time when jets were steadily replacing the outdated aircraft, transistors were the next big thing and everything with the tag “high-tech” was the hottest thing around. And so, this sexy 2-seater was the crowd favorite. Besides, despite the fact that the turbine weighted only 139pounds, it put out healthy 317HP. Not bad for a ship on wheels, huh? Furthermore, the Astro had TV rearview mirrors, a forward-opening canopy and so much more. Add in the futuristic design and you’ll get the perfect concept car of the decade. I’m still not sure why Chevy never gave it the green light. It could’ve been the ultimate Star Wars fan’s dream – at the very least.
The 1942 Oeuf Electrique
You say that only we have the guts to make the most ridiculous concept cars on the planet? Think again! The French have a special neck for weird as well, and their Oeuf Electrique is one hell of a ride. And if you think that it looks like an egg you’re not wrong – the car’s name literally means an electric egg in French. Yeah, I guess you get what you see. The funny thing is, this bubbly model was designed and created by a famous French designer who was making trains before he decided to go a bit crazy. He wanted this car to be the best light transport out there, and so, the body was constructed from aluminum with a Plexiglas roof to keep the weight to a minimum. The Oeuf Electrique was a 3-wheeler and it ran with batteries. In 1942 that was something truly amazing.
The vehicle weighted 350kg and had a range of 100km (63 miles) at 70 km/h (44 mph) or at 60 kmh/37mph with two people on board. Now, I have to say that the Oeuf did make it to production, and even had good sales for a while. So, technically, it’s not a fit for our list. However, it was let go of soon, and besides – I just couldn’t go ahead without introducing it to y’all! I have to mention that around the same time there was the Messerschmitt KR175 Bubble Car – a German production with some elements and features that you usually see in a plane, not a car. It had a bubble canopy (it opened pretty much like in a plane) and tandem seating, but I still think that the Oeuf is the best there is when it comes to bubbly/eggy designs. Speak up in the comments if you think otherwise.
The 1910 Brooke Swan Concept Car
Alright, just when you thought it couldn’t get any more ridiculous, I’m “happy” to introduce to you the 1910 Brooke Swan! Yep, it’s been almost 100 years since this baby came to life and I gotta say that folks really knew how to brag, puff and ride on that ego trip back then. In all fairness, the Brooke Swan was one of those models that just make you turn your head and stare. It was a concept car to the core and was made to impress with expensive, luxury and sophisticated features. The body was made of wood with some golden elements throughout and Indian silk upholstery. And on the front of the car you had a gorgeous swan – I’m not even kidding! It could even spit boiled water! Come on, gotta love whoever made this car a reality. However, the off-the-charts price (it was 3 times higher than that of the most expensive Rolls-Royce of that era) made it impossible for the regular folks to enjoy it. It was never officially out, so, I guess only a couple of nutty billionaires were stupid enough to go ahead and pay up for a car that had a swan on the hood. Still, the Swan made history.
The 1977 Cadillac Eldorado Baritz
Back to the United States, year 1977. If you’re a sucker for everything Cadillac, this weird and fabulous 1977 Eldorado Baritz will make your day. This particular beauty was transported by a wild Cadillac fan from Texas, US to Australia where he could finally put some magic into his work. The standard chassis was redesigned a lot, which gave the already quite large vehicle a new set of shiny wheels to go hand-in-hand with the old ones. The greatest thing about this pimped out Caddy is that the extra wheels are not just for decoration: unique axes were used to modify the steering so that all 4 front wheels could be moved. Plus, the body was lengthened a lot as well, so, as far as custom-made ridiculous concept cars go, this one is number one on the list. The sad part is, there’s only ONE Eldorado Baritz in the world and the company never saw the potential in it to give mass production the green light. Believe it or not, I would’ve paid a significant sum to own a beast like that, even though it’s completely eccentric and the cops would never let me enjoy it.
Ok, I think that’s enough weird concept vehicles for one day. I bet you never knew that cars like that ever excited on this planet. It’s good to look back and see what crazy meant 10, 20, 50 and 100 years ago – gives you a nice perspective. If you like to see more articles like this from me, let me know. As always, check back regularly to catch all the latest posts and, if you’ve got a list of ridiculous cars of your own, please, do share in the comments.
Check out this video: 13 Concept Cars You Wish Existed.