The High Museum of Art in Atlanta has assembled 17 of the most beautiful, hideous, and strange automotive creations.

The history of automotive design is littered with bold attempts to create vehicles so different in how they look and how they work that they render obsolete everything that’s come before. The most daring of these are usually concept cars, which aren’t limited by practicality or government regulations and can therefore allow automakers to really push the limits.
For its latest exhibit, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta has assembled 17 of the most beautiful, hideous, and strange automotive concepts ever dreamed up by man, from a 1934 Bugatti prototype up to an early iteration of the Porsche 918 Hybrid supercar.

What happens when creators balance aesthetics, functionality, and their personal vision of the future is one reason we love cars. That’s especially true when the results leave us wondering, “How could anyone think this was a good idea?”

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By Wired

The 1936 Stout Scarab was an upscale proto-mini van. It kept passengers comfortable and their flatware in place with a cushy four-wheel independent suspension.

The work of an Indy racing engineer, there’s only one example of the 1947 Norman Timbs Special in the world.

A jet fighter on wheels, the 1953 General Motors Firebird I XP-21 could top 200 mph

Designers originally intended to fit the 1955 Chrysler (Ghia) Streamline X

If you’re wondering if the 1970 Ferrari (Pininfarina) 512 S Modulo was a concept, notice that the front wheels are covered so they can’t turn

The 1970 Lancia (Bertone) Stratos HF Zero, the predecessor to the legendary Stratos, was so small that the driver had to climb in through the windshield.

The body of Chris Bangle’s bizarre 2001 BMW GINA Light Visonary Model is coated in stretchy fabric.

In 2007, restorers built this recreation of the 1935 Bugatti Type 57S Compétition Coupé Aerolithe concept based on recorded specs, photographs, and an oil painting by a Bugatti engineer.

The low, long, 1932 Ford Speedster was the brainchild of Henry Ford’s son Edsel and designer Eugene Gregorie

The 1934 Voisin C-25 Aerodyne was a French saloon than ran on a 3.0-liter inline-6 engine that produced just over 100 horsepower

If the 1948 Tasco looks familiar, it’s because the lines on this car came from Gordon Buehrig, a design alumnus of Duesenberg.

The 1951 GM Le Sabre was the first car to sport fins and a wraparound windshield, design elements that became standard in American cars thereafter.

The curves on the 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt were inspired by streamliner trains.

The 1956 Buick Centurion had a back-up camera decades before they appeared in consumer vehicles

The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone could drive itself using a sensor that guided it along a wire embedded in the road

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