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Sterling's Garage
Oooh, pretty shiny thingies...

Concept Cars
(or, "What were you on when you designed that?")

Pontiac AztekThis is Pontiac's newest vehicle, the Aztek. You've probably seen it elsewhere recently... maybe at the local dealership (like me; I got a good close-up and personal look at one in Sadler Motors of St. Ignace, Michigan), or you saw it an ad in a magazine, or possibly on a banner ad at another website. Now, this vehicle has garnered a lot of varying opinions already, but almost all of them have shown basically the same feeling, which is:


I mean look at that thing, it looks like one of those toy cars you'd find in a dollar store. You know what I mean; the big ones that are a cheap molded plastic shell with hollow plastic wheels on wire-thin aluminum axles, and a sticker on the side that says "ULTRA SPACE RANGER MOON CAR". And it'd have a repainted Star Trek action figure inside that's too big to fit though the glassless windows without dismembering it.

Anyway, the reason I mention it is because the production Aztek's design has changed very little from the concept model that made the auto show circuits in 1998. Cadillac IMAJMost often though, concept designs stay just that... concepts. They aren't planned production designs, they're just ideas that are used to refine design elements. Still for whatever reason, some of the more outrageous concepts like the Aztek and the Cadillac IMAJ (right; note the disturbing trend of deliberately mispelling the names) occasionally make it into production. The IMAJ hasn't been produced yet, but there is talk that Cadillac is seriously considering it. They even have a section devoted to it on their website.

Sometimes these radical new designs have success, like the original Corvette or the El Camino. But those are generally the exception to the rule; usually the really "different" cars just sputter and die (in the commercial sense) if they even see the light of day at all. People usually don't go for radical restyling, unless it's the current trend like the retrostyling phase of current years.

But believe me... you ain't seen nothing yet.

What follows are some of the ugliest, wackiest, and most mind-boggling goofiest looking concept cars that have been seen in the world's auto shows over the last few years. Keep in mind that these actually do exist, and that people were paid good money to think up and make working models of these cars.

If this is the future of automobiles, maybe we should all go back to horse-drawn buggies.

Part One: My Car is Sci-Fi

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