Dream Cars: the lost wonders of the automotive age


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Some of these days, and it won’t be long…

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For any BB readers (or writers) in Britain, there are some interesting cars in The Science Museum, including the worlds first gas-turbine engined car, Rover’s Jet 1. (152 mph in 1952)
Harley Earl’s GM Firebird one did indeed look like a jet-age car in 1954, but rover’s jet-1 ran as early as 1950, its successors becoming gradually more practical, culminating in the Rover BRMs running at the Le-Mans 24 hour race, with Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart coming in tenth overall place in 1965.
Other Rover jet turbine cars can be seen at the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Museum at Gaydon in Warwickshire.


Interesting stuff. A show on PBS a while back put some of these ‘concept cars’ on display. Most of them shared one characteristic: a complete lack of comfort and safety features. No radio, no heat, no AC, and please don’t get in a wreck in one. Some of them have a small motor, and hold enough gas to get them onto the turntable at the show with the pretty girl.

Another prototype got my attention recently, it was an image being used as clickbait on the ad section of several sites I follow. A cute little round green car. I clicked once on the image, and nope, no information there, it was just spamming some penny stock.

So did a little research, and after a bit of searching, turned up the story of the pea car:

Turns out it was a prop used in this commercial:

So, there ya go. No safety features. The designers at Asylum Models put a small Honda engine in it, and the stunt driver sat with his knees up under his chin. Cute, though.


I wondered if that Le Sabre would be in there! When I was a lad I had a book called Auto Album that had the Le Sabre in there (along with the Tucker).

EDIT: I had another book that had the Pininfarina in it.

It’s a dream car AND a transparent-headed fish!


I saw the show last weekend. Some really fabulous cars. A couple were home built by enthusiasts and most of the cars were fully drivable - several of the american cars were apparently driven by execs who sponsored their design.

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