8 Awesome Cars They Won't Let You Buy


Why is it Awesome?

The BMW GINA Light Visionary Model is what happens when car designers throw away the rulebook and start thinking about "the future" (though not the same cheesy, "highway of tomorrow" future of 50s designers). Instead of using sheet metal like almost every other car ever made, the GINA's skin is made entirely out of shiny, textile fabric.

Yes, fabric; the stuff you're wearing right now. Why? Well, somebody finally figured out that the metal skin of current cars adds hundreds of pounds to the weight but doesn't actually serve a function (it's the stuff under it that protects the driver in an accident). And the combination of the fabric and a network of movable metal and carbon fiber wires lets you morph the shape of the car in a way that makes the thing seem alive.

Seriously, it even closes its headlights like a pair of eyes. Awesome, yes, but also kind of terrifying.

"Why Can't I buy one?!?"

Obviously the big problem is that it's hard to imagine any fabric ever being stain-proof enough to resist mud, squashed bugs, road salt and bird crap that will accumulate over the years.

But even worse, fabric isn't the sturdiest building material known to mankind. While metal dents and paint scratches, fabric just tears. And it can't be repaired by a mallet and blob of Bondo. The entire covering would need to be replaced, even with the slightest tear, because the aesthetic of the skin is dependent on it being as taut as possible.

We're guessing there would be many mishaps involving drivers flailing down the road with their torn fabric "hood" draped over their windshield, screaming as the car weaves down the road and Benny Hill music plays in the background.

#3. Ford MA

Why is it Awesome?

Are we wrong for wanting to own this life-sized Erector Set car? Because we do.

The Ford MA is a full-size, road worthy car that is made from bamboo, aluminum and carbon fiber materials held together by 364 titanium bolts, and not a single weld.

The whole thing comes in a 500+ piece kit, ready for assembly, earning it the moniker, "The IKEA-Mobile" by many automotive columnists. We're assuming it shows up on your porch in a huge cardboard box.

The MA is also about as environmentally invisible and responsible as an automobile can possibly be, without actually being made of tree-bark. It's powered by a zero-emission electric motor, doesn't need any hydraulic fluids and is 96 percent recyclable. That's enough green-speak to shut Leonardo DiCaprio up for good.

Don't have any place to park it in the winter? Just take that sucker apart and store it in the attic with the Christmas decorations. The only thing that could be better is if they finally build that life-size Lego car.

"Why Can't I Buy One?!?"

The official reason from Ford is that the MA was never meant to be produced, but rather was to serve as an inspiration to the company's designers, and to prove that alternative building materials and DIY kits can work in the marketplace. We think the real reason is that the majority of humankind can barely be trusted to put together a bookcase, let alone a 500 piece, full size car. Picture finally getting the whole thing together in the driveway, then noticing there are two lonely bolts still left in the box. "Those are extras, right, honey?"

Potential mishaps stemming from loose bolts, misplaced pieces and incorrect construction at the hands of amateurs means that not only do you need to be as wary as ever of bad drivers, but now there is the added danger of that person's car flying apart right in front of you as they cut you off. Would you trust something you built with your own hands at 70 miles per hour? We didn't think so.

#2. Volkswagen GX3

Why is it Awesome?

The Volkswagen GX3 is perfect for anyone who has ever wanted a motorcycle but was always nervous about becoming roadkill after running over a small pebble.

It's a two-seater "car" that looks like the offspring after a Honda motorcycle mounted an F-1 race car. Sure, it has fuel economy that's like owning a hybrid, only one that makes you look like a badass rather than a giant pussy. And yes it can be driven in the car pool lane same as a motorcycle, allowing you to dodge traffic without the need for your battered blow-up doll to accompany you on your morning commute.

But that's not why you'd buy one of these. You buy one of these because you can't drive it without screaming "WHEEEEE!!!" every minute on the road. You could not take this thing to work and show up in a bad mood. It's so low to the ground that it can be driven underneath a semi-trailer truck with ease, action movie style (disclaimer: please don't do that).

Not bad for a car that was only slated to cost $17,000.

Why Can't I Buy One?!?

You almost could have and, in fact, it even had a shipping date for early 2007. Just before it went to factories though, Volkswagen got cold feet about the radical design and admitted that it potentially had some safety issues. Not least of which was the fact that SUVs and trucks tower over the tiny GX3, able to squash it as easily and effortlessly as monster trucks flatten Oldsmobiles at the state fair.

Couple that with the understanding that people don't really like wearing helmets, getting hit in the face with road debris and breathing exhaust fumes when trying to get the kids to school, and you get a German car manufacturer who is very afraid of the American legal system.

#1. Ford Seattle-ite

Why is it Awesome?

Back in 1963, there was at least one team in the Ford design department who absolutely was not fucking around.

They came up with the Ford Seattle-ite concept car that wasn't only ahead of its time, it's ahead of our time.

The Seattle-ite was to run off interchangeable fuel cells, or even a compact nuclear reactor (back when people didn't quite understand the concept of radioactivity and mutants) and was to be equipped with the kind of real-time computerized mapping system we're just barely perfecting now.

Oh, and the Seattle-ite also looked awesome, sporting a kick ass bubble canopy, sharp lines and unconventional, spaceship-like exhausts. It was also the first car to use six wheels instead of the usual four, capitalizing on the theory that more wheels would increase traction and braking efficiency, and also the theory that six wheels just plain looks cooler.

"Why Can't I Buy One?!?"

Well, there's the minor point that some of the technology they wanted in the thing wouldn't even exist for another 40 years, and even today isn't affordable in a car (which is why fuel cells are still decades from hitting the mainstream).

This is a car that Nostradamus would have been proud of for its power of prediction, so much so that it was impossible for it to even exist as planned until decades later.

As Seattle-ite fans have pointed out, it's almost depressing to look at what these guys were thinking up in 1963, and then to realize our cars are still running off gasoline, pistons and four boring tires. Damn, if Ford had gone balls to the wall to make this thing a reality, what would cars today look like? We'd be zipping back and forth to work on freaking orbs of pure energy. With beverage cabinets.

For more glimpses into the future, check out 5 Famous Sci-Fi Weapons That They're Actually Building and 5 Superpowers Science Will Give Us in Our Lifetime.

And visit Cracked.com's Top Picks to see more of the world of tomorrow (in boobs).

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