8 MODERN CARS THAT STARTED OUT AS WILD CONCEPTS

Ford Mustang

Early concept: Mustang I, 1962

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Aside from the name, and a subtle nod to the side scoops behind the doors, the Mustang you know and the original Mustang don’t have much in common. The Mustang I, as it eventually came to be called, was a true sports car, and featured a four-cylinder engine behind the driver. In the grand scheme of cars, it was somewhere between a Corvair and a Corvette, but it was fast. Ford brought in racing icon Dan Gurney to drive a few laps ahead of a Formula One race, and it was only a couple seconds off of the F1 lap times.

Corvette (C2)

Early concept: Mako Shark, 1963

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The second-generation Corvette owes more than a few of its design elements to the original Mako Shark. Itself an evolved descendant of design legend Bill Mitchell’s 1959 Stingray race car, the Mako Shark’s influence on the C2, and to some extent, on every Corvette ever since, is apparent.

Fun fact: Mitchell wanted the car’s color to match the actual mako shark he had on his wall, but the design team couldn’t quite get it right. One night, after Mitchell had left, they hijacked the shark, painted it to match the car instead, and told Mitchell they managed to match the fish. It worked.

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