Monday, 14 February 2011

US Special : AMC Gremlin

Sometimes you get a glimpse into the future without realising it. For instance, how many people would have thought when they first saw the godawful internet pages of the mid 90s that they were glimpsing into what would revolutionise the world? For those that don'tremember, there were lots of pages detailing bell button lint, cats and other such pointless things.

And of course, there were personal computers themselves, famously forecast to sell no more than six worldwide, but now they are so ubiquitous that very few people in the developed world don't have access to a computer.

Sometimes we get it totally wrong, and we all now know that the Sinclair C5 hasn't changed the world, mainly due to its ludicrous design which puts the rider at extreme risk of being squashed to death by a haphazard lorry driver.

But when I was in America, I did see one car that everybody thought was terrible at the time, but has evidently shaped modern designs - the AMC Gremlin. Surprisingly it was still on the road, which is amazing given that American cars are lucky to last 6 months.

Ridiculed at the time, and still ridiculed, it's design is quirky, but Gremlin is a suitable name. Not nice, a bit nasty, but exactly summed up by the title Gremlin.

The car itself is two completely different cars welded together in the middle, a 1970s American saloon car (or should I say sedan?) and a 2010 Volvo C30 in the rear. Now I know what you're thinking, and you're wrong. There is no way that Volvo designers would be so idiotic as to copy the rear end from the Gremlin, so it had to be the other way round.

How on earth did they manage to pilfer the rear end of a car from 40 years into the future?

Answers on a postcard please.

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