We are used to seeing sedans, SUVs, hatchbacks and other “normal” cars on the road. But if any of these beauties showed up, you sure bet everyone would be rubbernecking to see what is going on there.
I love driving, the wind in your face, singing loudly to the music blaring out of the speakers, and cursing the drivers you think are less than you. But there are also bad parts to driving – filling up the gas tank (silly gas prices), having people curse YOU out because they believe they are better than you, and of course, repairs and maintenance bills that can empty your bank account before you even know it. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, I love driving and I love cars. Yes, I am a chick, but I can totally appreciate a good car that looks good and drives well. You know who else appreciates cars, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California. And from June 2012 until May 2013, you can head on over and check out their newest exhibit, “Aerodynamics: From Art to Science.”
The exhibit showcases designs that are said to be “before their time,” when the technology was not so readily available to make cars better, faster, and longer lasting.
While there are many cars to see, here are the top five highlights.
The 1955 Streamline X “Gilda”
Inspired by Rita Hayworth’s character of the same name in the 1955 movie “Gilda,” this car never made it off the production room floor, much to the chagrin of Ghia, the Italian coachbuilder, and Giovanni Savonuzzi, an aerodynamicist and mathematician. (I wonder how long you have to be in school to get a title like that one!)
The 1937 Airomobile
With only three wheels, this car was able to get over 40 mpgs! However, the designer, Paul Lewish, was never able to secure any kind of financial backing, leaving only the prototype available. (Is it just me, or does this car kind of look like some kind of under-the-sea creature??)
The 1992 Oldsmobile Aerotech
Looking like a futuristic Batmobile, in my opinion, the 1992 Aerotech was part of an experiment in high-speed vehicles by General Motors (GM) from 1987 until 1992. A.J. Foyt, an Indy 500 winner, was the first to drive this car, and he set a closed-course speed record of 257 mph!
The 1948 Davis Divan Sedan
Unfortunately, due to WW2, only 17 of these cars ever left the production floor. It was built to resemble an aircraft, which makes a bit of sense, since it was built in an airport hangar in Van Nuys.
The 2001 M-Pulse Solar Powered Racer
I am not going to lie, at first glance I thought this was a ping-pong table on wheels. But it was built by some students from the University of Michigan for the 2001 American Solar Challenge. This baby won the challenge – a 2,300 mile race from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California.
For more interesting car reads, check out a Hydrogen-Electric Hybrid Volkswagen Aqua Hovercraft or Researcher Build Folding Electric Car.