Cadillac Cyclone …
…. sounds a bit like
it might be a figment
of an old car guy’s
imagination, doesn’t it?
And I’m car crazy…
I will readily admit it.
cars don’t just represent
a way of getting somewhere..
…….. they mean a good deal more.
Sure, some of
can be traced back
to my still-very-much-in-play
adolescent desires for
freedom, status, and power.
Let’s not forget sex.
you thought I was gonna
use a fucking profanity, didn’t ya? Didn’t you read yesterdays’ post ? )
But that’s not all of it….
because when I see
a car that has been:
and beautifully executed,
it makes me think that there
just might be hope
for the human race yet.
I rarely miss an
automotive fair —
I have worn out the
carpets of the local car museums.
And as much
as I love classic cars,
I don’t even own one…
not one you’d
call classic, anyway,
I get around on my motorcycles.
Part of the problem
is that I have
never found one that I liked,
that I could afford to buy.
That used to bother me.
Until I realized that
I could sublimate
the urge to own one,
by blogging about them.
So… guess what.
We’re gonna look at a couple
very hot ‘concept’ cars
over the next few months.
You don’t have to be a car fanatic
to enjoy looking at concept cars, either…..
Concept cars are interesting,
because they’re cars that
designers put together
when they want to ‘think outside the box’.
Usually only a few of each
are produced by the manufacturer,
and are taken around to auto shows
as a way of showing the kinds of ideas
the company will be incorporating
in their upcoming models.
Consumer reaction is
carefully observed at these shows..
… and often, there is a survey
taken of what people like/dislike most about it.
The car featured today, for instance,
1959 Cadillac Cyclone .
…. Otherwise known as the “XP-74”.
It was created by famous
General Motors designer
Harley Earl ,
(actually, the last concept car
that he designed from the ground up)
… and was first debuted
at the 1959 Daytona Beach
500 Automotive Showcase.
The Cyclone had some interesting features,
electric sliding doors
with small access panels for paying tolls,
… and an intercom to talk to someone
on the outside of the vehicle
without having to open them.
( remember– no windows ! )
radar sensors built into the
front nose cones for crash avoidance–
forward mounted exhaust
( just above the front wheels ),
an “auto-pilot” system
that steered the car when activated,
a removable, silver coated,
UV reflective, plexi-glass bubble top
which raised when the doors were opened,
…. and that automatically sensed rain,
and raised itself in bad weather,
a hood canopy that pivoted up
and away from the engine compartment for easy access,
an innovative aircraft style ergonomic dashboard
and control cluster,
Plus automatic transmission,
cruise control, with a 325 horsepower V-8 engine.
It was low to the ground–
–only 44 inches high,
…. but the electrically operated sliding doors
made entry and exit easy.
It was long — 197 inches —
but, while you might think parking would be a nightmare,
the onboard radar would be a good deal of help in that regard.
I love that curved windshield–
… it makes for excellent field of vision with no A-Pillar blind spots.
One of the things Earl was going for was a feeling of 360 degree visibility….
so the whole glass bubble and curved windshield makes perfect sense.
Plus, it was cooooool, man.
You can certainly see the influence jet-age
aerodynamic design concepts
had on automotive planners here.
If you look hard at the car,
you start to notice design features
that carried directly into later production cars ,
….. not just by G.M. ,
but by Ford and Chrysler, too.
And I can’t help but wonder
what kind of looks this car
would get on a Saturday nite cruise.
I don’t know if it’s a “chick magnet” —
……………… but it certainly attracts me !