Automotive design has been a constant source of wonder and amazement over just a little over a century of car making. While the list might seem incomplete after you see it, here are some of our picks for beautifully strange car designs.
The Concept cars are usually the category where the most bold moves and attempts are made – and we selected some that actually do have something that’s useful, even though at the time it looked to be completely science-fiction material.
1932 Ford Speedster – this was the child of Henry’s son Edsel Ford and designer Eugene Gregorie and featured a starter button decades before the standard introduction across line-ups. It also previewed the typical roadster setup – low on the road, with a very long bonnet and rear-swept cockpit.
1936 Stout Scarab – William Stout made this, a designer that had an aircraft engineer background and was a pioneer in luxury and leisure on board a car. The very aerodynamic Scarab is essentially a luxury restaurant on wheels, with a Ford V8 and an aluminum body.
1942 Oeuf electrique – which translates to the “Electric Egg”. The shape is novel for the time, the use of hand-formed aluminum and curved Plexiglass as well, and decades after the gasoline beat electricity to power cars the Oeuf used batteries for movements needs – long before Elon musk and the likes brought back electric cars in fashion.
1959 Cadillac Cyclone – the two black pointy cones where the headlights are usually located are actually the radar domes for the car’s crash avoidance system – you might know it better today as the adaptive cruise control. Also, the model had warning lights and chimes if a crash was impending, or could even brake on itself if it was unavoidable.
1970 Ferrari (Pininfarina) 512 S Modulo – while the Italian Pininfarina had a record of designing beautiful cars, clearly the Ferrari 512 S Modulo car was not searching for that, but rather technical prowess using the chassis of the Ferrari 512S race car.
2001 BMW Gina Light Visionary Model – this could be considered the culmination of BMW design director Chris Bangle, famous for the unorthodox approach to the traditional German design. Gina is a future’s car with its body covered in polyurethane-coated spandex that can move to suit aerodynamic needs.