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7 Futuristic Vehicle Concepts of the Past by Today's Designers

The 1900s designs were quite inspirational.

7 Futuristic Vehicle Concepts of the Past by Today's Designers
The Super-Cycle (left) and the Chrysler Heir (right)Budget Direct

There's something that tugs on nostalgic heartstrings when it comes to old designs re-emerging in the present. Even more so when this past had a vision about what the future would look like, and it wasn't too far off. 

Budget Direct took seven vehicle designs from the 1900s and created illustrations of what they would have looked like had they come to life — the final results are futuristic yet classy vehicles

Inspirational minds

The blueprints that Budget Direct uncovered from the past, and that never brought these vehicles into the light of day for their too-ambitious ideas, have been recreated into modern day illustrations that could see these vehicles gracing our streets. 

Without further ado, here are the visionary and futuristic seven concepts: 

1. Super-Cycle (1936)

7 Futuristic Vehicle Concepts of the Past by Today's Designers
Source: Budget Direct

In Budget Direct's words: "The June 1936 cover of Modern Mechanix & Inventions Magazine promised two revolutionary technologies: television, and the 300mph Super-Cycle. Sadly, the Super-Cycle and its unnamed inventor were quickly left behind by TV."

Ths Super-Cycle certainly looks like a vehicle that would speed along our roads today, or at least belongs in the next Batman movie.

2. Chrysler 'Heir" (1941)

7 Futuristic Vehicle Concepts of the Past by Today's Designers
Source: Budget Direct

This stylish and sleek number would have been such a sight for sore eyes had it made it to our streets! Mixing a little of old and new, it looks like it would glide along roads in vintage style.

"Gil Spear started as a specialist within the trade of car design: he mostly did the fronts. The 1939 Plymouth, 1939 New Yorker, and 1940 Saratoga front ends were his. And Chrysler adopted the wraparound grille on this unbuilt 1941 cruiser for their 1942 Royal (hence we’ve christened the ’41 model the ‘Chrysler Heir’)," explained Budget Direct.

3. HobbyPop RoadShop (1958)

7 Futuristic Vehicle Concepts of the Past by Today's Designers
Source: Budget Direct

This one looks more like a school bus that belongs in Dora the Explorer or Back to the Future, but it's still a fun concept.

"Nostalgic for woodwork, cheerful Partridge Family optimism, and casual sexism? You’ll love this 1958 bus-length workshop on wheels. The elevated driver’s cabin means Mum is far less likely to take a wrong turn. Plus, the entire lower deck is left free for Dad to use it as his carpentry workshop," jokes Budget Direct when explaining the concept.

4. McLouth XV'61 Concept (1961)

7 Futuristic Vehicle Concepts of the Past by Today's Designers
Source: Budget Direct

We're not entirely sure which side if the front or the back with this car, which would be perplexing to drive next to on the highway. However, for those sitting in it, it offers loads of natural daylight.

"McLouth Steel Corporation built the XV (‘Xperimental Vehicle’) for the ’61 New York International Automobile Show, boasting that the family car was both road safe and future safe – because it would also run on the monorail.

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Minimal trim and simple geometric lines just about keep the XV’61 down-to-Earth for the responsible family man with one eye on the future," as per Budget Direct.

5. Singlets (1962)

7 Futuristic Vehicle Concepts of the Past by Today's Designers
Source: Budget Direct

It looks a bit top-heavy but as Budget Direct explained "The (extraordinary) magazine artist Walter Molino illustrated the Singoletta for the Domenica del Corriere in 1962. But the actual inventor was the mysterious Cesare Armano, a pseudonym for the famous correspondent and science-fiction author Franco Bandini. Bandini’s solution to the traffic pandemic would cost a quarter of the price of a Fiat 500, and ten ‘Singlets’ would fit in the space of one car. Plus, its electric motor would have been kind to the environment."

The Singlet reminds us of the Minions, if they were cars. But, they are also visionary given the amount of mini-sized cars we have on our streets today.

6. The New Urban Car (1970)

7 Futuristic Vehicle Concepts of the Past by Today's Designers
Source: Budget Direct

"Automotive writer Ken W. Purdy imagined the solution in a Playboy article illustrated by Syd Mead. "Tomorrow’s in-city car" would be a two-seater with a cheap, quiet, slightly greener gas turbine in place of the internal combustion engine," per Budget Direct.

It sounds like Mead was on it in terms of more eco-friendly, quiet, and affordable cars — something we currently strive for. You can totally picture this New Urban Car (although the name could do with a little sprucing up) bumbling along urban roads.

7. Anti-Gravity Car (1979)

7 Futuristic Vehicle Concepts of the Past by Today's Designers
Source: Budget Direct

Saving the most futuristic for last, this one still belongs to the future of vehicles! Until then, we'll enjoy the likes of the Anti-Gravity Car in movies that depict future worlds us humans will live in.

Budget Direct pointed out that "We don’t really know what gravity is but we’re going to figure it out, Syd Mead told Car Magazine, shortly before his death. 'I think that’s the next huge breakthrough in controlling the real world.'"

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