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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

What If? 1957 Tesla | Hagerty Media

Welcome to What If, a new feature from imaginative illustrator Abimelec Arellano and Hagerty. We'll be taking you back in time-and possibly forward into the future-to meet alternative-universe automobiles. Even better, our time machine is working well enough to bring "short take" reviews along with the photographs and advertisements.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/what-if/what-if-1957-tesla/
86 REPLIES 86
SLD
Pit Crew

I think this car was way ahead of its time. I mean, nine years later didn’t the Batmobile have atomic batteries? (“Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed.” “Roger, ready to move out.”)
chrlsful
Instructor

I like the treatment front, back and in the side view (for one of my least fav 'eras'. I call them bulge mobiles - the '50s rounded 4 wheel figures). Europe did it so much better (feminine rather then 'just a big hulk'). The opposite of what the standard net and auction market seeks. Yes, that was my era (according to birth year/teen yrs etc) but attraction outside my gen. The nxt style (early 60's to pre 'muscle' /and/ the one after 'muscle - 1980s) are what looks good to me. Those nice straight lines, square corners OR a 20, 30 yr 'jump back' to the mid '30s usa (thru very early 50s) and europe late 50s - late 60s. The writing is good again, a story to imagine.
DMcC
Intermediate Driver

I had to check the date, no, not April 1.
ThumperUSMC
Intermediate Driver

The author of this story should write an alternate world book, or series of books, like this, with a different view of "How it is". It would probably receive a Hugo Award in the realm of Science Fiction.
After all, what was pure science fiction 50 years ago has become a reality of today
The "car" in the "photographs" looks like a cross with a '57 Plymouth, a .'57 Ford, a '57 Oldsmobile and a '57 Chevrolet. I like the Blue and the Bronze version of this car best, but that's a personal preference. Loved the article. Thanks for the first brightening of my day, Abimelec.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

I could be the Harry Turtledove of cars!
topside
Detailer

Great fun, thanks ! Jack captures the references & syntax of the time...which becomes more precious with every week I spend in our current Idiocracy and Age Of Hypermediocrity.
The mashup of '57 Ford & Plymouth is amusingly hideous, as well.
spozdol
New Driver

You found both 57's! I've owned both. Great FUN!

Maestro1
Instructor

Jack, you're trippy!
And so is the person with the imagination with the '57 Ford. I was around in '57 and remember all the design trash. But I have to say the cars were exciting to look at, as many were absurd as they were,
but traffic was a hell of a lot more interesting then than now. Thanks for this. Well done.
Slyhook
New Driver

It's a '58 Packard-Baker.
tahend
Detailer

Was this imagined by Chip Foose?
DaveVan
Intermediate Driver

A great spin on what if. As far as outside influences directing car production to gas powered......same can be said for many things. Beta vs VHS to trolley vs bus.
MARK400
Intermediate Driver

Musk would make a great super villain in a James Bond movie. Bond could chase Musk around in his electric vehicle with his DB-3.
DUB6
Technician

Or maybe in a "Little Nellie" that is powered by solar panels?

jtchew
Pit Crew

Was it subsidized by the Atoms for P90s program?

The rendering is as smart as the article. Raymond Loewy, who has doubtless been turning in his grave at the front-end solutions of a lot of actual EVs), is probably going, "Hmm..."
TG
Instructor

Sticking with the theme, i would anticipate that the 1950s Tesla would have no evidence of grille openings and would probably have muted lines, limited use of chrome, and a groundbreaking fiberglass body
ThePorscheMan
Intermediate Driver

Somewhere a tongue is searching for a cheek upon which to rest. Friggin' funny as Hades on a cool February day in Inuvik. Happy daze.
OldCarMan
Instructor

A waste of pixels... 😞
DUB6
Technician

Did we even know what pixels were in 1957?  I sure didn't...

64jeepsrt
Intermediate Driver

Hell... I was swimming up stream in a fallopian tube during this time period...LOL
jtchew
Pit Crew

>Did we even know what pixels were in 1957? I sure didn't...

Well, there's an interesting question that resonates with my interest in the history of technology! (a/k/a fair warning to flee! 🙂

To briefly summarize: the word probably wasn't around in '57, though the concept was (and if you knew much about computer science at the time, you were pretty far out on the frontier to say the least).

The origins of the word are somewhat ambiguous. The first cite is often considered to be Billingsley at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory ca. 1965, but he is supposed to have said that the word wasn't his invention and he didn't remember where it came from.

The concept (without the word that doth fall trippingly from the tongue) goes back much further. After all, a sort of adjacent idea is how they reproduced photos in print, right? -- with greater or lesser density of ink dots. But I think of that as only an adjacency, as is the difference between black and white and color CRTs that are working with an analog signal via analog circuitry.

A milestone digital manifestation was in 1957 at what was then called the National Bureau of Standards. Kirsch would much later be eulogized in popular media as the father of the pixel, though it isn't at all clear to me that he actually used that word.

https://petapixel.com/2020/08/13/russell-kirsch-inventor-of-the-pixel-passed-away-this-week/
https://hackaday.com/2020/08/20/russell-kirsch-pixel-pioneer-and-the-father-of-digital-imaging/


Here's the deepest part of the rabbit hole that I can readily find:
http://dicklyon.com/tech/Photography/Pixel-SPIE06-Lyon.pdf
The author thinks that "pixel" didn't escape the technical literature of computing until the 1970s. Certainly the general public didn't have much reason to think of such things before the democratization of computers.
DUB6
Technician

Well, I certainly know what topic to bring up at supper tonight, now don't I?  😆

jtchew
Pit Crew

Hey, people may invite me to parties just to make the other guests go home at the end, but it beats not getting invited at all. 🙂
DUB6
Technician

But then how do they get YOU to go home after everyone else has left?  That's the part I wanna know... 🤔

64jeepsrt
Intermediate Driver

DILLY-DILLY I'll have another pixel...
83ragtop50
Intermediate Driver

I figure it would have look just like a Yugo.
GreatAukSi
Pit Crew

This looks like little more than a hacked '57 Ford.
GreatAukSi
Pit Crew

Posted my comment and then it disappeared: "This looks like little more than a hacked '57 Ford."
mwmyers91
Detailer

Yikes !!!!
Papa-tony
Intermediate Driver

Thanks for the chuckles!
Olds34dude
Pit Crew

...but does it have a flux capacitor ? Interesting to see someone actually can design something almost as ugly as the new GM pickups!
Caprice81
Intermediate Driver

Well to me the car looks like a wildly customized 57 Ford Fairlane.
miata93
Intermediate Driver

The special compartment next to the glove-box for the storage of iodine tablets and Civil Defense grade saltine crackers is a particularly nice detail.
Eric2
Intermediate Driver

What you smokin over there? What an imagination! Seriously, it might have been nice that electrical power would have started in a serious way back in 1957. It might have progressed to no charging systems by now.
HayisMe73
New Driver

How about this for an electric conversion?

A beautiful classic and yet still a contemporary if not futuristic design. A unibody with 4 wheel independent coil spring suspension to allow individual wheel motors.

A flat floor with no transmission "hump", a huge trunk and engine compartment = lots of space for batteries offering weight distribution.  A great "driver", a real head-turner, and NOT a re-born Fiat or Mustang but a car that did get a bad reputation (thank you Mr. Nader) that has already been de-bunked.

My nomination is my 1966 Chevy...but not just any 66 Chevy... my 66 Corvair Corsa convertible!

Dream on Mr. Musk. I'm with you and I'd do it myself but, due to the pandemic financial situation I now have to sadly sell my "baby". Maybe someone else will carry the torch.

I'm moving on to Tiny Houses for Big Cities...where I plan to incorporate other "Musk-y" ideas..solar shingles and wall cladding and state-of-the art insulation into pre-fab, off the shelf, code-compliant, standard dimension sectional wall panels.  Our next big switch in housing conceptual designing.

Vern
Intermediate Driver

LOL!! Corny, but I like it! Thanks for the laughs. 🙂
jsfury
Intermediate Driver

No Nope GIF - No Nope NopeNope GIFs
● SD GIF● HD GIF● MP4
CAPTION
https://tenor.com/view/no-nope-nope-nope-no-way-shake-head-gif-16992352
Ragster
Intermediate Driver

Fun imaginations .......great work & interesting comcept.