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.
‘Oh, grow up already’ !! —
…….. to which I reply
(on a regular basis)
“Go Filet A Fish” !
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–
with automatic braking,
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,
power steering and brakes,
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.
Sure, I like the rocket vibe,
… but there are really cutting edge
aspects to shape and fit at work 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 !