The horn plays "La Cucaracha".
July 13, 2015 3:55 PM   Subscribe

The 1955 Ford "Beatnik Bubbletop" Custom goes up for auction. Frustrated by roof pillars blocking your line of sight when you shoulder check? Well your problems are solved. Powered by a 350-cubic-inch Chevy V8, the Beatnik lacks a blind spot completely. It previously went up for auction in 2011 - "“Chopit” started by completely removing the roof from a ’55 Ford. There’s not much left of the original Ford now. “Beatnik” rides on a modified ’88 Lincoln Town Car chassis." Separate bubble for noisy kids and/or mother-in-law not included.
posted by GuyZero (34 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Neat looking, but all I can think of is "holy cats, it'd be hotter than 45 hells in there."
posted by jquinby at 3:57 PM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Uncanny!
posted by Sys Rq at 4:13 PM on July 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


It reminds me of the Batmobile, if the Batmobile had a top.
posted by SisterHavana at 4:17 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Please somebody buy it and replace the wheels with big hovercraft fans and a skirt.
posted by notyou at 4:18 PM on July 13, 2015


posted by SisterHavana It reminds me of the Batmobile, if the Batmobile had a top.

It's the Barrymobile.
posted by mattdidthat at 4:21 PM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Neat looking, but all I can think of is "holy cats, it'd be hotter than 45 hells in there."

It has AC.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:26 PM on July 13, 2015


Then there's the Ed Roth's Beatnik Bandit immortalized as one of the original 16 Hot Wheels.
posted by fairmettle at 4:28 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


No roll bars, no deal.
posted by user92371 at 4:30 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


No roll bars, no deal.

Assuming you have the asking price - would you seriously get it up to a speed where you would be in danger of rolling it? My guess is that it would be permanently trapped this side of the nearest speed hump.
posted by mattoxic at 4:34 PM on July 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Killer speedometer.
posted by buzzman at 4:37 PM on July 13, 2015


No roll bars, no deal.

ugh and can you imagine hauling around 3 kids to soccer practice with the dog?
posted by indubitable at 4:46 PM on July 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Uhm, Chevy 350 in a Ford?
Sacrilege!
posted by Floydd at 4:53 PM on July 13, 2015


Uhm, Chevy 350 in a Ford?
Sacrilege!


On a mostly Lincoln chassis.

I guess you'd never be sure if you were pushing a Chevy or driving a Ford.
posted by GuyZero at 4:56 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


You probably wouldn't let a dog anywhere near the upholstery. Or kids, for that matter.
posted by acb at 4:57 PM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


So it flies?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:01 PM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I actually wish cars had good 360 degree visibility like this, driving in the Melbourne CBD we're very often sharing spaces with pedestrians, bicycles, cars, and trams - all traveling at different speeds.

It's very possible for a running pedestrian or fast moving bicycle to be obscured by a B pillar or C pillar just as you want to make a turn.

There's probably some technology which would make it possible to pass roof crush tests while also maintaining a glass bubble canopy. I'm imagining the rooftop being partially metal, and if the car detects a rollover situation metal reinforcing bars extend upwards from your seats and doors to connect to the roof in a fraction of a second to reinforce it.
posted by xdvesper at 5:29 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


You guys sound as though this thing was intended to have any practical use whatsoever.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:08 PM on July 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


if the car detects a rollover situation metal reinforcing bars extend upwards from your seats and doors to connect to the roof in a fraction of a second to reinforce it.

Yeah in an accident the first thing I want my car to do is to eject some spring-loaded steel bars at high speed towards my head.
posted by GuyZero at 6:10 PM on July 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Mercedes has used pop-up roll bars since the early 1990s, so it's pretty well-tested technology. It seemed to work pretty well for this guy. (That video was featured in this program and according to the transcript he was driving at 150 mph.)
posted by TedW at 6:49 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


if the car detects a rollover situation metal reinforcing bars extend upwards from your seats and doors to connect to the roof in a fraction of a second to reinforce it.

The steering wheel on this car has metal spikes aimed at the driver. I don't think safety was a primary design concern.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:57 PM on July 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


All you need for 360 visibility is some cameras, not a piece of plastic over your head.
posted by dilaudid at 7:12 PM on July 13, 2015


seriously, i want to see a system like the F-35 helmet, where the car uses cameras and other sensors to synthesize a 360 degree view of the world around you and projects it on the inside of the visor. even better would be adding unobtrusive callouts of other vehicles, traffic lights, obstacles, etc. then you can just turn your head and look right *through* your car in any direction.
posted by indubitable at 7:48 PM on July 13, 2015


i want to see a system like the F-35 helmet
So does the US Air Force.
posted by adamrice at 7:52 PM on July 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


Now I'm picturing someone driving merrily along wearing a Oculus Rift.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:39 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is really cool looking.

My Dad was an old car buff. Gave me a '67 Cadillac Eldorado with two teeth missing from the flywheel to drive to school. Had a '47 Packard we'd take for Sunday drives. Dad taught me to drive it so he could relax while I wrestled with the bias-ply tires, useless windshield wipers and bad ventilation.

These experiences taught me this: new cars and tires are wonderful, wonderful things. I'll look at the pretty old ones, but damn, give me a new one to drive (though I do still prefer a stick shift).
posted by kinnakeet at 10:18 PM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would love to drive this thing with a lift kit installed and monster truck tires. Spray painted silver for the new space age.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:34 PM on July 13, 2015


Then there's the Ed Roth's Beatnik Bandit immortalized as one of the original 16 Hot Wheels.
posted by fairmettle at 7:28 PM on July 13


Ooh, I have that hot wheels car. Let's talk about that shift lever for a second though. Fourth gear is going to leave a mark on the passenger's face, for certain.
posted by mcrandello at 2:18 AM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Actually, I think the 1955 Ford was a better-looking car before these butchers attacked it, not least because it didn't have anything like the ugly tailfins they put on.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:13 AM on July 14, 2015


I would love to drive this thing with a lift kit installed and monster truck tires. Spray painted silver for the new space age.

The silver spray paint goes on your teeth.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:44 AM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


That 55 Ford is a much, much better looking car than this monstrosity.
posted by deadwax at 6:10 AM on July 14, 2015


A few more pictures here. It does have hydraulics to get a bit higher off the ground for actual driving.
posted by exogenous at 7:35 AM on July 14, 2015


Ooh, I have that hot wheels car. Let's talk about that shift lever for a second though. Fourth gear is going to leave a mark on the passenger's face, for certain.

That's not the gear shift, it's the tiller / brakes/ accelerator.
 
posted by Herodios at 8:40 AM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The steering wheel on this car has metal spikes aimed at the driver. I don't think safety was a primary design concern.

The steering wheel is bonkers. There's literally no ten and two (nothing but nine and three; go try driving your car like that and you'll see how ridiculously terrible it is within five seconds), and how on earth would you ever turn a corner? This space-boat must have all the handling of a GT Snowracer.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:20 AM on July 15, 2015


The steering wheel is bonkers. There's literally no ten and two (nothing but nine and three . . . how on earth would you ever turn a corner?

Radical custom show cars in those days were nearly always conceived as dragsters. Dragster steering wheels are all like that. You won't be turning any corners on the quarter mile.

Not practical for a street machine, but it's not a street machine, it's a Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby.

HEEE-wack!
 
posted by Herodios at 11:19 AM on July 16, 2015


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