X

EU Visitor Notice: This Website Uses Cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, to provide analytical data to better serve our visitors, and to serve advertising to fund our operations. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie Policy.

Your preference will be saved for 90 days, or until you clear your browser cookies.


I AGREE
I DISAGREE
Learn More

Concepts from Future Past: American Motors Astra-Gnome

by Paul Strauss
Concepts from Future Past: American Motors Astra-Gnomezoom in

I have a strange affinity for unusual concept cars. One of the wackiest designs I’ve stumbled across in my travels has to be the American Motors Astra-Gnome, a “space age” concept that dates back to 1956.

amc_astra_gnome_2zoom in

The car was designed by Richard Arbib as a look forward towards the future, incorporating design elements that made it look like hovercar of sorts – though it still rode on wheels. The bubble-shaped passenger compartment might not have been the safest design, but it certainly captured the feel of a spaceship, and the placement of its antenna made it look like it was communicating with the mothership.

amc_astra_gnome_3zoom in

That bubble served more than just an aesthetic purpose too – it was designed to provide improved acoustics for the car’s hi-fi system – which included a record player. Perhaps my favorite element in the Astra-Gnome’s forward-looking interior was the “celestial time-zone clock, permitting actual flight-type navigation.” I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds awesome.

While the car was designed to be a glimpse at the shape of things to come, it was actually built on the chassis of a contemporary car, the quirky little 1955 Nash Metropolitan. Impressively, the concept car weighed under 2,000 lb., thanks to the generous use of aluminum in its construction.

amc_astra_gnome_4zoom in

While concept cars of its era were often destroyed or lost, the Astra-Gnome has been preserved and fully restored. It’s part of the cool and quirky museum collection at the Metropolitan Pit Stop, located in Valley Village, California.

Home | About | Suggest | Contact | Team | Links | Privacy | Disclosure © 2013-2017 Awesomer Media

Awesome Stuff: The Awesomer | Gadgets, Games + Gizmos: Technabob