Automotive

In photos: Oddballs and oddities at the Chicago Auto Show 2020

In photos: Oddballs and odditi...
Sometimes oddballs hit you in the face so hard, you kind of fall for them. This Golden Sahara concept has $30,000, color-changing, illuminated tires and a cocktail lounge in the back seat
Sometimes oddballs hit you in the face so hard, you kind of fall for them. This Golden Sahara concept has $30,000, color-changing, illuminated tires and a cocktail lounge in the back seat
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Full STEAM ahead with this children's learning center built around a Ford Transit van
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Full STEAM ahead with this children's learning center built around a Ford Transit van
The outside of this Ford Transit STEAM Machine attracts kids with movement and color. Inside there are science, technology, engineering, arts, and math projects to play with hands-on
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The outside of this Ford Transit STEAM Machine attracts kids with movement and color. Inside there are science, technology, engineering, arts, and math projects to play with hands-on
Subaru brought some winners from its back catalog of gems, including this Brat model truck outfitted with a custom popup camper in its bed
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Subaru brought some winners from its back catalog of gems, including this Brat model truck outfitted with a custom popup camper in its bed
It's hard to imagine anything more compelling than this Subaru rig, but the "Endangered Species, Do Not Touch" on its windows takes the cake
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It's hard to imagine anything more compelling than this Subaru rig, but the "Endangered Species, Do Not Touch" on its windows takes the cake
Entirely unexpected at the Chicago Auto Show this year was the showing of this prototype RAV4 plug-in hybrid model
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Entirely unexpected at the Chicago Auto Show this year was the showing of this prototype RAV4 plug-in hybrid model
This gem-encrusted 1983 Rolls Royce speaks to everyone's inner Liberace, sparkling from every angle
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This gem-encrusted 1983 Rolls Royce speaks to everyone's inner Liberace, sparkling from every angle
Back in the 1950s, Chevrolet built a few wagon concepts around a Corvette chassis and powertrain. Those concepts were all destroyed, but this recreation shows what might have been
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Back in the 1950s, Chevrolet built a few wagon concepts around a Corvette chassis and powertrain. Those concepts were all destroyed, but this recreation shows what might have been
Sometimes oddballs hit you in the face so hard, you kind of fall for them. This Golden Sahara concept has $30,000, color-changing, illuminated tires and a cocktail lounge in the back seat
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Sometimes oddballs hit you in the face so hard, you kind of fall for them. This Golden Sahara concept has $30,000, color-changing, illuminated tires and a cocktail lounge in the back seat
Note the television set, the flight yoke-style steering, and the coctail bar in the back seat
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Note the television set, the flight yoke-style steering, and the coctail bar in the back seat
As if the black-and-white television wasn't high-tech enough, the Golden Sahara also has a reel-to-reel tape deck
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As if the black-and-white television wasn't high-tech enough, the Golden Sahara also has a reel-to-reel tape deck
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One of the greatest things about auto shows is the oddball vehicles that often come out of private collections, museums, and warehouses of the local area. In Chicago, there are a lot of goofy things to see while perusing the latest and greatest automakers have to offer.

Many of these are "could have been" or "what if" ideas. Some are blasts from the past. Some are, well, just bizarre.

Shown above is the Golden Sahara, a concept kept at the Kairmont Kollections museum in Chicago. This concept features LED-lit tires that change color in various patterns, a reel-to-reel tape deck in the front seat (right behind the TV), and a cocktail bar in the back.

This gem-encrusted 1983 Rolls Royce speaks to everyone's inner Liberace, sparkling from every angle
This gem-encrusted 1983 Rolls Royce speaks to everyone's inner Liberace, sparkling from every angle

Next to the Golden Sahara is a 1983 Rolls-Royce encrusted with gems. This literal bling machine would make Liberace proud with its overbearing shimmer.

Back in the 1950s, Chevrolet built a few wagon concepts around a Corvette chassis and powertrain. Those concepts were all destroyed, but this recreation shows what might have been
Back in the 1950s, Chevrolet built a few wagon concepts around a Corvette chassis and powertrain. Those concepts were all destroyed, but this recreation shows what might have been

Keeping the two showpieces apart to avoid a fight is a recreation of the Chevrolet Corvette Wagon concept made in the 1950s. These concepts were Corvette-based and had elements of that sports car and the popular Nomad wagon.

The outside of this Ford Transit STEAM Machine attracts kids with movement and color. Inside there are science, technology, engineering, arts, and math projects to play with hands-on
The outside of this Ford Transit STEAM Machine attracts kids with movement and color. Inside there are science, technology, engineering, arts, and math projects to play with hands-on

In the Ford commercial trucks booth is a big STEAM Machine, a mobile science and technology lab for kids. Based on a Ford Transit van, it aims to interact with kids to teach science, technology, engineering, arts, and math in a fun way. Interactive labs include a bicycle to generate power, a foot-powered steam cannon, and more.

It's hard to imagine anything more compelling than this Subaru rig, but the "Endangered Species, Do Not Touch" on its windows takes the cake
It's hard to imagine anything more compelling than this Subaru rig, but the "Endangered Species, Do Not Touch" on its windows takes the cake

Over at the Subaru booth, and behind the shelter dogs and puppies in the big "petting yard" to encourage adoption, is a showcase from Subaru's collection of past oddities including a Brat outfitted with a popup tent camper in its bed.

There is a lot to see at the Chicago Auto Show in 2020. This gallery is just a taste.

View gallery - 10 images
1 comment
Worzel
Other peoples fantasies are always weird and wonderful!