5 Cars That Were Ahead of the Times

1934 ChryslerAirflowThe auto industry has seen great changes. The first cars contained little more than four wheels and a body. As the years advanced, things got better, but some cars were far ahead of their time. Some features had a great influence on the vehicles of today. Here are the top five cars that contained items that foreshadowed the future.



1. Chrysler Airflow

'34_chrysler_airflow_frontOverall, the Chrysler Airflow was considered a failure. It was the first production car to be designed inside of a wind tunnel. At the time, the curved headlights and windshield seemed extremely odd. However, it is commonplace today. The body’s streamlined shape did not enhance performance, but the engine that was placed above the front axle was a feature that took the industry by storm.


2. Citroen DS

1974_Citroen_D-Special_02During the time of this Citroen, cars were long, low, and had big fins. However, this vehicle was very aerodynamic and had front-wheel drive, unibody design, and detachable sheet metal. These features are found in most modern automobiles. Special characteristics of this car included a unique hydraulic system that could raise the vehicle without the need for a jack.


3. 1972 Volvo Experimental Safety Car Concept

Volvo_vescThis Volvo model was a concept that was packed with safety features. Back in the day, there were no standards for safety. However, this car included antilock brakes, airbags, a backup camera, and many other items. It served as a prototype for the Volvo 240. In 1991, the Volvo 240 was voted America’s safest car.


4. Stout Scarab

Stout_ScarabThe Scarab was created by William Stout, designer of the famous Ford Tri-Motor airplane. This vehicle was innovative in many ways. To begin, the body was made of titanium and aluminum. Also, the interior was designed like the modern minivan. It debuted years ahead of the Volkswagen Microbus as well.


5. AMC Eagle

1981_AMC_Eagle_convertible_beige_NJToday’s crossover vehicles took many design features from the AMC Eagle. This car was the first to offer four-wheel drive with regular car characteristics. It could perform well both on and off road with ease.





The above vehicles contained many features that were well ahead of their time. They were an example for the cars of today. The innovative thinking of past generations has been a priceless gift to the auto industry