Dreams and Nightmares–volume three

Here’s the latest editon of Dreams and Nightmares, where MCG presents the best—and worst—in advanced automotive design. 

 

You know the drill. In Dreams and Nightmares you’ll find some of the most beautiful idea cars ever produced, and others that will make you ask what the designers were thinking. Some of these designs proved to be highly influential while thankfully, others were not. But all, in their own way, offered their contributions to the realm of automotive design.

You’ll see some cars that all gearheads know well, if we’re doing our job properly, a few surprises. Where we can, we’ll try to show familiar cars in new settings and contexts. Because we’re all about the Motor City, the spotlight is on American cars, but we’ve included some international vehicles as well. Gallery below.

 

1950 Willys-Overland Alcoa protoype aluminum body coupe
1954 Cadillac La Espada
1961 Chrysler Turbo Flite by Ghia RF
1955 Pontiac Strato Star Waldorf Astoria
1961 MGA Stephenson Panelcraft concept
1963 Ford Allegro Fastback Coupe Concept RF
1957 Corvette SS
1957 Oldsmobile F-88 Mk2
1978 Pontiac Firebird Type K
1958 Simca Fulgur
1955 Oldsmobile Delta Concept front
1954 Cadillac Park Avenue four-door sedan
1957 Cornell-Liberty Safety Car
1960 AMC Rambler pickup prototype
1968 Dodge Daroo
1955 Chevrolet Biscayne
Oldsmobile Starfire RF blue with model
1961 Ford Mustang I
1958 Chrysler Imperial d'elegance
1956 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket left
1961 Gyron Show Car
1961 Ghia IXG Concept
1961 Pininfarina Fiat 600Y Aerodinamica
1951 Buick Lesabre concept car in pits
1950 Nash NXI Chicago Auto Show
1955 Ford Mystere in studio
1968 Dodge Charger III
1963 Ford Thunderbird Italien
1965 Dodge Charger II
1960 Rambler American pickup prototype  LF

1950 Willys-Overland Alcoa protoype aluminum body coupe

1954 Cadillac La Espada

1961 Chrysler Turbo Flite by Ghia RF

1955 Pontiac Strato Star Waldorf Astoria

1961 MGA Stephenson Panelcraft concept

1963 Ford Allegro Fastback Coupe Concept RF

1957 Corvette SS

1957 Oldsmobile F-88 Mk2

1978 Pontiac Firebird Type K

1958 Simca Fulgur

1955 Oldsmobile Delta Concept front

1954 Cadillac Park Avenue four-door sedan

1957 Cornell-Liberty Safety Car

1960 AMC Rambler pickup prototype

1968 Dodge Daroo

1955 Chevrolet Biscayne

Oldsmobile Starfire RF blue with model

1961 Ford Mustang I

1958 Chrysler Imperial d'elegance

1956 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket left

1961 Gyron Show Car

1961 Ghia IXG Concept

1961 Pininfarina Fiat 600Y Aerodinamica

1951 Buick Lesabre concept car in pits

1950 Nash NXI Chicago Auto Show

1955 Ford Mystere in studio

1968 Dodge Charger III

1963 Ford Thunderbird Italien

1965 Dodge Charger II

1960 Rambler American pickup prototype LF

10 thoughts on “Dreams and Nightmares–volume three

  1. The Rambler Pick-up and the Thunderbird Italien coulda been contenders.

  2. Great images, but there was a typo. The “Fulgur” was misspelled, and should read, “Vulgar”. The T’Bird Italien looks like a Starliner roof on a Bullet-Bird body, an improvement over the heavy C pillar on those. Beautiful stuff, thanks Bill.

  3. Glad you included some European examples…it’s good to be reminded that even the touted Italians came up with a few nightmares.

  4. The 1968 Dodge Charger III looks like the cars-of-the-future that I was doodling at the time (in World History class…)

    • The Charger III was a pushmobile, mainly plywood and fiberglass. There was no drivetrain and it had to be plugged into the wall to operate its interior features.

      • That in no way diminishes how cool it looks! I remember seeing a display at the old Sears store on Crosstown Parkway in Kalamazoo (my folks went there to shop AND for entertainment) and seeing a blue Chrysler or Dodge two door with the top lopped off, a low, wraparound windscreen, tonneau cover, and red line tires that is still burned into my brain. My T’Bird is an almost direct copy of that childhood image. It was probably a push-mobile too, but it made as big an impression on me as any “real” care could have done.

    • The Charger III had the distinction of a second life as the “Flying Dutchman” Funny Car. Not many concept cars ended up with nitro-burning supercharged engines!

  5. Gentlemen, this is all word of mouth and I’ve never run it to ground, so caution… but as the story goes, the Charger III was designed and built by Vince Gardner at Dearborn Steel Tubing. (Among his other works were the Thunderbird Italien, also in the slideshow above. He was also the clay modeler of the Cord 810 for Gordon Buehrig.)

    The Charger III never had a powertrain and the various show features worked via wall plug. When its show life was done it was scrapped. But it was made into an MPC model kit and it was also a Mattell Hot Wheel.

    Anyway, somehow the Charger III molds ended up with Norman Kraus at Grand Spalding Dodge, and he had +/- three bodies pulled from it by Ron Pellegrini at Fiberglass Ltd. One of these bodies ended up on Al Van DerWoude’s Flying Dutchman funny car.

  6. Some of those Ghia styled cars are just a little off the wall. The late 50s stuff seem just a little space age. Practicality? whats that!

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