Sometimes a dream in the harsh light of reality just isn’t so dreamy anymore. The same holds true for dream cars. While the designer’s vision might look good on paper, when translated into metal, it just doesn’t work. Here, then, are five beasts that could have been beauties.
Hoping to recapture the glamour of 1930s’ Tinseltown, the Chrysler
300 C Hollywood is a stretched version of the company’s popular rear-drive sedan with a roof treatment that hasn’t been seen since Norma Desmond paraded down Sunset Boulevard in her Hispano-Suiza. With an enclosed passenger cabin and open area for the chauffeur, the best part of the 300 C is that it has a Hemi in it.
Even the combined pedigrees of Bentley and the Italian design house of Zagato don’t automatically confer winner status on the Zagato Bentley Continental GTZ. Perhaps it’s just a case of being a bit overly ambitious, but the large grille, and exaggerated double-bubble top that extends into the rear window are giving purists a case of the giggles.
Some ideas are just so bad they refuse to die. Back in the ‘1970s and ’80s, it seemed every American sported some sort of faux convertible or vinyl top, trying to recapture a sense of long-lost elegance that may not have been there in the first place. The Opel Tigra Twin Top Illusion is a retactable hardtop with canvas glued on it so you think it’s really a soft top. Get it? We don’t.
While some bad ideas have rolled out from the design studios of major manufacturers the world over, the aftermarket seems to have an even worse track record of turning out nightmare cars. The Mansory Stallone, a carbon-fiber-bedecked monstrosity that used to be a handsome Ferrari
599 GTB is just one of many examples inflicted on the showgoing public.
Frank Rinderknecht made a splash several years ago with the amphibious Splash concept and now he’s back with the Rinspeed sQuba, a submersible electric Lotus Elise inspired by the famous James Bond Lotus Espirt that made its underwater debut in The Spy Who Loved Me. An electric car? Underwater? Get real.
1. Chrysler 300 C Hollywood
2. Zagato Bentley Continental GTZ
3. Opel Tigra Twin Top Illusion
4. Mansory Stallone
5. Rinspeed sQuba