Concept Cars 1956 - Gimme some bubble dome.

The June 1956 issue of Mechanix Illustrated (no relation to Spellin' Illustrated) featured a report on the new cars for '57. As ever, there were concept cars aplenty, brimming with cool ideas and promises nobody intended to keep. Thanks, Detroit! Reproduced here for your entertainment is the full article, even the trailing pages that have no pictures and make you flip randomly around the magazine to finish reading:: "Continued on the spine of the magazine." I frikkin hate that.

Giant versions of all pages are at the bottom of the post.
A "trend to SMALLER wheels?!?" I know all those words, but they don't make sense to me when placed all next to each other in that order.

Notice the hyphenated whitewalls, which save weight. Also, the tail fins keep the car moving in a straight line, eliminating "cornering" and other undesirable "European" handling traits.

New for '57, spewing soot all over the side of your car! Also notice the clever folding hardtop, which doesn't so much "fold" as it just slides into a nine-foot section of the car completely given over to roof storage. For added convenience, when not storing your car's roof, the trunk can be used to store other things, like perhaps a different car's roof.


Fil said...

The Ford Syrtis, with the roof-o-matic, does have the mother of all exhaust, it appears. The car does not look big enough to have a motor to match the exhaust.
Do you figure that was a drivable car, or a mock-up? The driver seems a bit stiff.
How about the Ford X-100? Its parked on the street, so I would guess it was drivable. I never saw one of those before. Boy, you would be the chit driving that around today.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

It's definitely a concept. Whether it ran or not is anybody's guess, but the roof looks like it actually worked, or they'd have little to show at the car expo, right? I cannot deny that the multiple side exhausts are neat looking, if a little childish. They look like they're inspired by the exhausts on a P-40 Tiger Shark from WWII, whcih is probably not an accident.

Thanks for reading, Fil!


Steve Miller said...

Looks like the Syrtis is a table-top model, though the roof mechanism presaged the '58 Fairlane Skyliner. That was a goofy thing -- the top recessed into what was essentially a tub in the trunk area. That was to keep the owner from placing anything where it might jam the mechanism. What you were left with was a few inches outside the tub which MIGHT hold a box of tissue or two.

Don't recall having seen this concept study before. Probably saw the X-100, but managed to block it from memory. It ain't no Nucleon!

The Golden Rocket was new to new as of a few days ago -- it's suddenly popped up on a bunch of tumbers. Is it just me, or does that slab side look a whole lot like the '61 T-Bird? Olds certainly guessed wrong on the popularity of small wheels, though.

All-in-all, what a butt-ugly collection of concepts. T-top included.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Nucleon, all the way , man!!!!

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