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Most influential concept cars


Andy Rubin, known as the Father of Android, and unfortunately many other unflattering things, is trying to adjust, and reshape, the way that people consume their content. While Essential’s new device is still in early testing, it’s obviously unclear as to whether or not the bold design and approach that they’ve unveiled will ultimately satisfy their lofty and ambitious aspirations but it got us thinking about some of our favorite concept cars of the past and how their out-of-the-box interpretations ended up influencing automotive design and engineering for the better.

Ford Mustang I 

The Mustang I didn’t make it to production, but its design helped to set the stage for one of the most successful American production cars of all-time. While it didn’t share many of the obvious traits that many attribute to the Mustang, it did prove to create the foundation for what eventually came into production, even if the name is the most recognizable of those traits.

Mako Shark Corvette 

The XP-755 concept car, also known as the Mako Shark, was designed by Larry Shinoda under the direction of General Motors Styling and Design head Bill Mitchell in 1961, as a concept for future Chevrolet Corvette production cars. Though the shape was partially inspired by Bill Mitchell’s XP87 race car, a large number of its visual design cues were actually inspired by its carnivorous namesake. The impact of the Mako Shark Corvette on the design and evolution of the Corvette over the years is clearly evident from the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray on.

Lincoln Futura

The Futura concept car was ultimately modified to become Adam West’s Batmobile in the hit television series, Batman, that first aired on January 12, 1966.  Every childhood fantasy of accomplishment must have been realized by the Futura design team after auto customizer George Barris suggested that the Futura would be a perfect fit for its costarring role as the Batmobile in the television series due to its unusual wing shape. Comic book and television prestige aside, the design cues of the Futura made their way into the 1960s Ford Thunderbird.

Fisker Karma

While Elon Musk and the Tesla Model S receive plenty of credit for being the first automotive visionary and car to inspire excitement among early adopters about owning a green car, it was the Fisker Karma that helped to shift the narrative that all environmentally friendly cars needed to be uninspiring and boring. Both the Tesla Model S and the Fisker Karma are a thrill ride of excitement when you slide yourself into the cockpit.

See Fiskers for sale here.

Mike Langthorne
Mike Langthorne
Mike Langthorne is a long-time member of the ClassicCars.com business management team. Truth be told, he’s been ruthlessly relentless in his efforts to contribute in a guest contributor capacity with The Journal, so we finally acquiesced. Honestly, after ten years of constant begging, we just started running out of excuses.


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