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Wednesday
Jun042008

Bubble-Top Car (1948)


Leo Rackow's 1948 illustration of a bubble-top car of the future appears above. Its sleek, uber-streamlined design can be found in the book Out of Time by Norman Brosterman.

You may observe that there doesn't appear to be cord coming from the driver's phone. Is Mr. Future just listening to the ocean inside that handset? Or do you suppose that he's so rude he can't be bothered to speak with his mistress, who's so clearly making breakfast for him in the backseat?

See also:
Gyroscopic Rocket Car (1945)
Commuter Helicopter (1947)
Dymaxion "Car of the Future" (1934)

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Reader Comments (6)

Boy that back seat table's going to be a real guillotine in a crash!

The schematic offers a few more funnies -- apparently the engine is a set of stacked stereo components, while some kind of tank discharges sand in front of the rear wheels (presumably for traction).

June 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWutzke

The engine is in the back. That's luggage in an an up-front trunk.

The guy is apparently using a cell phone!

June 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterandyross

I really like the table (not to mention added leg room because of the table) in the back seat. It's a bummer that crash standards probably wouldn't allow one there, because I could see a great use for one. Kids snacking in the back, card or travel board games on long trips, a laptop computer to watch movies or work. Maybe a table that collapses in a wreck as the airbags are being deployed, to take away the dangerous "guillotine" action that wutzke spoke of? Again, I really like this idea for long trips.

June 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdeven-science

My first thought was, "O.K., only a man can handle a task like driving a car...but that's fine, because the little lady needs to pay attention to making breakfast." The natural progression of my thought was that it wouldn't be any better if they had put the woman in the driver's seat and let the man sit in back dining while his 'helpmate' took care of his every need.

I'll buy the one where there's a robot driving and I get to hang in the back with my woman.

June 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNathan

I remember seeing a Ford two-door hardtop (a 1956 Victoria, I believe) with a domelike Plexiglas front roof section that ended in a big chrome strip across the roof. The Plexiglas was heavily tinted (no A/C on most cars back then). And you sure wouldn't want to roll the car. I think the closest we get to a bubbletop these days is a sunroof, unless you count Donald Fagen's imaginary "cool rolling bubble" with the hydroponic garden and decaf coffee machine in his "Kamakiriad" concept-CD (1993) -- come to think of it, his single "IGY" (from "The Nightfly," 1982) was totally paleofuturistic.

June 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermin0taur

Maybe a table that collapses in a wreck as the airbags are being deployed, to take away the dangerous "guillotine" action that wutzke spoke of? Again, I really like this idea for long trips.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCar Transport

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