Friday, May 29, 2009

Tales From The Atomic Highway

When did the automobile of the future cease to exist? It is now the 21st century and promises of ultramodern marvels have failed to materialize. Instead we have been fed a steady diet of Asian drudgery by companies with an interpretation of design that would be better suited to churning out generic kitchen appliances. As a child my imagination was fuelled by images of vehicles hovering above futuristic cities, yet all we ended up with was drab people movers and featureless sedans.

Luckily Detroit's designers had different ideas. In 1958 the Ford Motor Company cooked up a concept which was so modern it would still turn heads today. Ford thought the world might be ready for a nuclear powered car and aptly named it the Nucleon. They were wrong. Most Americans could barely maintain a gasoline guzzling behemouth let alone one powered by a nuclear reactor. Add to that the dangers of radiation poisoning, nuclear waste and a small meltdown and it's easy to see why the idea didn't take off. It's a shame really because I would love to park one in my driveway.

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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