Concept Cars We're Glad Remained Concepts  

Justin Cupler
8.2k votes 816 voters 88.4k views 23 items

Auto shows present a great opportunity for automakers to reveal their new line of cars to the public, but they also pave the way to infamy for car companies who debut ridiculous concept cars. Concept vehicles usually showcase future designs and upcoming technology, but sometimes they just make us wonder what these car designers have been smoking on the weekends. Do they really think these far out designs will appeal to humans with two functioning eyes?  

Consumers determine whether or not a concept car makes it to the production line. If the public determines a concept vehicle is hideous, chances are the automakers will scrap it and eat the millions of dollars it spent on design and engineering. (Of course, there are always a few Pontiac Aztecs that slip through the cracks). 

Over the years, radical concept cars (read: ugly cars) have graced the floors of both small and large showrooms, like the Detroit Auto Show and the New York Auto Show. Some of these concepts are long forgotten while others still haunt our nightmares. In either case, we thank our lucky stars that they never made it to production. Let's have a look at the 23 concept cars that we're glad remained concepts.




1957 Aurora Safety Car
1957 Aurora Safety Car is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Concept Cars We're Glad Remained Concepts
Photo: via Pinterest
No, this wasn't the inspiration for Benny the Cab from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. This is the 1957 Aurora Safety car, a concept that was equal parts terrifying and innovative. Many of its features, such as its collapsible steering column, shock-absorbing bumpers, and seat belts, eventually became standard safety features in all cars after its debut. Luckily, its design was never standardized.
Would this be a disaster?
1957 Studebaker-Packard Astral
1957 Studebaker-Packard Astral is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Concept Cars We're Glad Remained Concepts
Photo: via Wikimedia
The 1957 Studebaker-Packard Astral was a car that looked less suited for the roads of America and more for the skyways of The Jetsons. Actually, this spaceship-like "car" featured a revolutionary concept with its nuclear-power source, which means it was only a flux capacitor away from traveling to 1955. Or the future. Your pick.
Would this be a disaster?
2001 Dodge Super 8 Hemi
2001 Dodge Super 8 Hemi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Concept Cars We're Glad Remained Concepts
Photo: via Twitter

You know the warning about mixing beer and liquor? That also should apply to mixing the Crossfire, Charger, and Magnum as well. The Dodge Super 8 Hemi was nothing short of a design gone awry. Its 1905 front windshield and weird fastback-like rear window put it on the fast track to hangover city for auto consumers.

Source: Autopista
Would this be a disaster?
Ford Nucleon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Concept Cars We're Glad Remained Concepts
Photo: via Pinterest

We can only imagine how this conversation got started. "You know what would be a genius idea? Inserting a small nuclear reactor into the back of a car."  

Yeah... that sounds safe.  

Ford actually had this "unique" idea back in 1958 and it built a scale model to see if it was even feasible. Despite its zero-emissions status (well, except for the potential of a mushroom cloud), buyers for some reason never became comfortable with the idea of a nuclear plant strapped to their car. Wonder why?
Would this be a disaster?
see more on Ford Nucleon