Concept Cars We're Glad Remained Concepts

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 concept cars that we're glad remained concepts.

  • 1

    1957 Aurora Safety Car

    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?
  • 2

    1957 Studebaker-Packard Astral

    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?
  • 3

    2008 Assystem City Car

    Photo: El monty / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0
    What happens when you mix a baseball helmet, a McLaren, and a shoe? You get the ridiculous Assystem City Car. Franco Sbarro designed this concept car to be an intelligent city car, but it looks like Mr. Sbarro forgot his brain somewhere downtown as he came up with this abomination.
    Would this be a disaster?
  • 4

    1999 Honda Fuya-Jo

    Video: YouTube
    Did you ever feel the desire to drive a top hat? If so, Honda had your back with the insanely disproportionate Fuya-jo concept. This concept had a turntable-like steering wheel, semi-standing seats, and enough speakers to make any DJ turn his head. Whoever said that you can't drive a dance club must feel pretty stupid now.
    Would this be a disaster?