You know Syd Mead’s work.  He designed the city backgrounds and vehicles in Blade Runner.  He designed the spaceship in Aliens and Kubrick’s sequel 2010.  Those were his lightcycles and solar sailers in Tron.

He spent a lifetime showing us what the future will look like. He won’t have to wait to see what the future will say about him…

In June, the prestigious Eyes On Design auto show is going to give Mead a Lifetime Achievement Award.  This lands his legacy in some prestigious company, like Gordon Buehrig, Harley Earl, Raymond Loewy and Dick Teague.

Although he spent a couple years at Ford as a designer, he didn’t pick up any fame points there.  But its his 1961 booklet of futuristic cars undertaken for US Steel that got the wheels rolling.  Here is a sampling of those illustrations I found on a blog by James Vaughan:

... Syd Mead - signature/ logo

If you’re reading this as a baby-boomer,  then these images of the distant future will feel very comfortable to you.  Maybe even if you’re a Gen Xer.  If you’re a millennial, then you know in the distant future, we won’t have anything like these modes of transportation.  That includes the “turtle cycle”.  (The characters we see in the illustration “Party” might come true.)

It’s reasonable to assume that similarly prescient millennials will have quite different images of vehicles of the future.  Here are two snapshots from their imaginations…


Yes, it looks like a can-opener, and what are the wheels for?


Don’t need a front or back if you could be going forward and backward within seconds of each other, depending upon GPS automation.  

Here is our prediction for the distant future from Automotive-Art.  And it’s based on science.  If we think about streets and roads and highways, we are thinking 2 dimensional.  And when we think personal transport drones,  we have the freedom of three dimensional transport.  Suppose you are at home and want to attend a friend’s birthday bash in a city 100 miles away (160 km as it will be known in the future).  This will be your ride…


While you contemplate the above as replacing the new Lincoln Continental or even the Smart Car… our research came up with a site that offered some really deep future images.  Click on Concept Ships.  Yes, the themes are a bit militaristic – apparently the future may lean toward Mad Max – but you get the idea.

Of course, eventually, we’ll all be using the transporter room…


Automotive-Art offers prints of imaginative car designs painted by a legendary car designer, click on JOHN SAMSEN.  They are not pictures from the future, but of adventurous alternative designs submitted for the Barracuda.  Samsen’s imagination took car design further than it had traveled before.