Every vehicle – whether a sedan, truck, sports car, or even the most advanced eco-friendly cars – they all begin as concept cars. It’s the first step an automotive designer must take toward turning their sketch into something real. But sometimes, these concepts take a turn for the worse, and somewhere along the way they lose sight of the horizon. And that’s when things get a little interesting. So, we’ve compiled our lineup of the best and most bizarre concept cars to never hit the streets.
Like something straight out of a Hot Wheels package, the Dodge Deora was the first attempt at a half-truck, half-car vehicle. With a pickup body, the automotive designers created a front-loading hatch instead of side doors, and gave it plenty of room in the truck bed for all your moving needs. Needless to say, in the 60s and 70s, it was quite outta sight. And unfortunately, it stayed that way.
NISSAN LAND GLIDER
One of the benefits to working on concept cars is that you aren’t required to play by the rules. And when Nissan was tasked with creating a zero-emissions vehicle for urban use, they threw the whole rulebook out. The Nissan Glider is a two-seater (cockpit style) that functions like a motorcycle. Meaning, the wheels are not attached to the steering column and, like a motorcycle, is steered by tilting your body and the car itself. It probably would’ve worked out too, if it wasn’t such a work out.
RINSPEED X DREAM
You’re probably thinking, “Rinspeed? Never heard of it!” That’s because it’s a Swiss car company. But they’re known for creating – and driving – outside the dotted lines. The X Dream was, essentially, a sports car/convertible pickup truck built for the beach, and complete with a detachable hovercraft. It was every weekender’s dream car, and unfortunately, it was nothing but a dream. Despite being massively slick, it never saw mass production.
Some cars are just too cool for school, and the Fuya-Jo could not be beat. During the swell of 90s party scenes, Toyota attempted to create the first party vehicle business to take partiers from A to B to “See you in the morning.” The spill-proof non-slip floor was designed to whisk away booze, and the speaker-lined doors were designed to really blow the roof off. Great idea, but ended up being nothing more than a mobile noise complaint.
There are a lot of concept cars that never got made that we wish would have – this is not one of them. The Nucleon was Ford’s first attempt at alternative fuel sources, breaking away from the cycle of internal combustion engines. One problem: they wanted to power it with an unstable form of energy – nuclear. That’s right… nuclear. The car was designed to travel 5,000 miles on one piece of uranium, which seems great, until you get in an accident. All in all, Ford decided it was better to scrap all the plans. And for that, we thank them.
When it comes to concept cars, sometimes the cooler they are, the harder they fail. But that won’t keep us from falling in love with them every time a new one revs up. We look forward to seeing future concept cars because it means the future of cars is changing. Which for us, means new and exciting opportunities to restore the rhythm to people’s lives down the road.