A two-door roadster that turns into a camper. Diminutive bubbles of glass atop four wheels. Every kind of weird door you can think of (and the gull-wing is just the start). This collection of odd, beautiful, impractical, and lustworthy concept cars from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and more stretches back a half-century.
Some of these cars are clear inspiration for cars that actually made it onto the road, like the Honda IMAS (which looks very similar to the early-00s Insight) and the Nissan 270X (which has a similar window structure to the 370Z). You can check out some of the best known concept car stories here. But on the other hand, there are the charmingly ridiculous, the ludicrously impractical, and the constant obsession with cars that look like big glass bubbles. Toyota's sleek EX-III, pictured above, is from 1969, yet still looks 20 years off. And what's the deal with Honda's dustbuster-like Fuya-Jo from 1999?
My favorite might be Toyota's RV-2, from 1972. It's one of those designs that provides a solution to a problem nobody really had--in this case, how to own a sports car, but still be able to camp in it. The RV-2, unveiled at the 1972 Tokyo Motor Show, was evidently an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of camper vehicles, but without resorting to, you know, an actual camper. Instead, the rear half of the car's side panels open like a clamshell and is connected with fabric, forming what looks like a pretty uncomfortable but still amazing tent.
Check out the entire collection at the source link. It's fantastic.
I saw it and my favorites are:
Toyota Proto, Toyota Concept, Toyota EX-3, Toyota RV-2, Mitsubishi HSR 2, Nissan FEV, Mazda London Taxi, Mitsubishi ESR, Nissan KYXX, Mazda Miata Mono-Posto, Toyota POD, Isuzu FL-4, Honda KIWAMI, Toyota FINE-S, Toyota MTRC, Mitsuoka Orochi, Mazda Nagare, Acura Advanced Sports Car, Mazda Taiki, Nissan Bevel, Nissan Pivo-2, Mazda Kiyora, Infiniti Essence, Nissan Land Glider, and the Lexus Minority Report Concept.
This is a ton because I like concept cars. And I got first comment!!!
OK...I know that only the designer, or the designers' mother could love some of these "driving distractions". Seriously, this is how we come upon new innovations. That said I can't resist summing my reactions to some of these "assembled-in-a-junk-yard explosion" designs: Cars of Ipecac.
@ Surge64: And I got first comment!!!
wow really. and I made a poopy this morning. dude. grow up.
Hey isn't that purple van a Scion?
Looking at the RV-2 above, the tent picture has two little round windows.....
What the @#$% is the Japanese fascination with making vehicles look like they have faces????
POPSCI Can we Perma Ban Inka_Rob for being a complete party pooper! This guy just plauges post with his toolness. Seriously he never posts anything about the topic he just posts crap commits dogging some one elses commits having fun! GET A LIFE INKA!!!! Go smoke a J and get laid dude
@Delkomatic, re: Inka_Rob
It seems that flinging poo around the interwebs is all he's got left of a life. I feel sorry for him, honestly. Ignoring his verbal diarrhea is really the only option, however annoying it may be. We all have a right to speak our mind (or lack thereof), after all.
the first car looks like a freakin computer mouse.... "right click" drive forward, "left click" drive backward, "page slider" gear shift!
Some of these cars present really nice ideas. It seems though the closer you come to the 21st Century, the uglier they become. How did we Americans, for the last two decades, get stuck with all those horrible looking 'crossed-eyed oriental puffballs with a gaping catfish mouth looking cars from the early 80's to the present and the design for the hybrid and electric in America today looks like they belong in a circus with clowns crawling out of them? What happened to you, America? Did you fire all your creative design engineers and hire dumbed-down CEO's?