Do designers dream of electric cars? Sure they do, and nuclear sedans and space-age minivans, too. And they've been doing it for a long, long time. The forthcoming exhibition "Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas" will bring 17 historical concept cars to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, along with conceptual artwork like this illustration by renown futurist designer Syd Mead ("Blade Runner," "Aliens" and "Tron").
The 1936 Stout Scarab, designed by William B. Stout, is considered by historians to be the genesis of the minivan. “The concept cars presented in Dream Cars demonstrate how design can transcend the present and offer new paths and opportunities for the future,” said Sarah Schleuning, exhibition curator.
The 1942 L'Oeuf électrique was an electric bubble car designed by Paul Arzens for his personal use in Paris during German occupation. The vehicle has never before traveled to the United States for exhibition.
The 1954 Firebird was part of General Motors' series of Motorama auto shows, cutting-edge design events that combined art, science and runway glamor. The Motorama expos ran from 1949 to 1961.
The 1970 Ferrari 512 S Modulo, designed by Paolo Martin, visits Atlanta by way of Turin, Italy. The Modulo features a canopy-style roof that slides back to allow entry into the cabin.
Designer Marcello Gandini's Lancia (Bertone) Stratos HF Zero is only 33 inches high. Most concept cars are never mass-produced, but are designed to push the boundaries of what's technically and stylistically possible.
The 2001 BMW GINA Light Visionary Model features an exterior made entirely of fabric. The body of the car can change shape on demand or according to speed, thanks to a moveable aluminum wire structure.
The original Porsche 918 Spyder Concept Car (2010) comes out of the word-famous Porche Design Studio. This design resulted in a limited edition hybrid "supercar" -- Porsche manufactured 918 units last year. Starting price? $850,000.