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Bubble/teardrop, micro/mini, weird-one-offs


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Sparked by the (hideous) Chevy Spark, there was an interesting chat session yesterday where a bunch of pics of unusual, little cars were tossed up. These are NOT my preference in vehicles, so in a way, I'm looking at these in order to find something I like design-wise. Bill Mitchell once said (...something derogatory about small cars, can't find the quote). Anyway, the Gub'mnt seems determined to get each & every one of us into one of these at some point, so maybe I can adapt to the idea if the design works for me (then again, I'd rather drive a '60 Fury).

Gonna start off with one of Swordfish's favored models, the very very first saab from 1946, 92001:


From this angle, this is a neat-looking lil' road-going UFO.

You can toss the entire rest of saab's history in the shredder IMO, but save this guy.

More pics here.

Edited by balthazar
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About the only 3 wheelers that I'd consider 'cool' are Morgans. Reliant Robins have a certain wierd appeal about them (and watching Clarkson roll them on TG was hilarious).

The original SAAB was a great design--a neat teardrop shape.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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1952 Panhard Dyna (one-off, fate unknown) :



• • •

I know this is a bike, but stumbled across these acrylic rims- doubt they're remotely practical, but very cool :


Also interesting to ponder unshrouded wheels, or at least out-of-envelope, such as :


Edited by balthazar
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I know this is a bike, but stumbled across these acrylic rims- doubt they're remotely practical, but very cool :

IIUC, all the 3-wheeled "cars" here would be "bikes", actually motorcycles, in NJ registration-speak... and hence, cheaper to insure, register, less safety/emissions BS.

Speaking of the Saabs, the Sonett V4 was cool, too. Unfortunately, it is so small I could not sit in one, let alone drive it.

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As I said in Camino's "... didn't happen" thread, the best small car design that never was probably is the Chevy Groove concept.


It conveys a muscular, masculine sense of purpose that no other small car that I can think of has. It's a very butch and athletic design for a subcompact hatchback, but it isn't butch to the point where you begin to mistake it for a cheesy small crossover.

Why GM decided to produce the Beat concept as the Spark is beyond me.

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Perhaps in the same sense the Cube looks like an xB.

The Groove is a boxy design. So is the xB. But that's where the similarities really end.



The xB looks puffy and fat. The xB also has a nondescript front fascia with a nasty overbite. The only notable quality about the xB is that it's a box on wheels. You don't notice anything else.

The Groove, though was taut and muscular. In profile views, there's a forward-learning quality about it which makes it look like it's ready to lunge at any second. The front fascia was bold as well and the headlamps managed to not look like they belonged on some sort of Japanese animated creature. The wheels are pushed to as far to the corners of the car as they possibly can be. Sure, it was a bit blocky, but I think that was a by-product of the design exercise and not the basis for it.

Real world photos of the Groove tell the full story, front cover to back.

Edited by black-knight
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