Over the years, concept cars have ranged from sensible to sensational, and some of the best design elements that we use in cars today have come from the crazier ideas posed by car manufacturers. The High Museum of Art in Atlanta is displaying 17 of the world’s most outrageous, unreasonable, and gorgeous concept cars to ever grace a designer’s workspace.
The exhibit features scale models of the cars along with concept drawings and, in some cases, the actual cars that were built from those drawings. Included are cars that look like spaceships, precursors to modern-day minivans, and even an early electric car.
These cars are some of the most visionary ideas, though many of them never actually saw the light of day. The fantastical designs pushed the limits of what car manufacturers considered practical and possible, and in many cases they really were too weird to work in a real-world setting.
However, the ingenuity displayed in these designs has inspired subsequent generations of car designers. Their streamlined bodies, side-lifting (or sometimes completely absent) doors, crazy materials (such as an exterior made of fabric) and highly unusual shapes have sparked the imaginations of countless designers, reminding them that anything is possible when you’re creating something entirely new.
The fanciful designs may seem a bit ridiculous when seen through the lens of our current automobile expectations, but the High Museum of Art reminds us that the very idea of a “horseless carriage” was once a bizarre dream deemed too crazy to ever catch on. The exhibit consists of 17 visionary designs created between 1932 and the present day. “Dream Cars” runs from May 21st to September 7, 2014. The entire collection, along with descriptions of each car, can be found on the museum’s website.