An Open Letter To Automakers Regarding Concept Cars

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As a child, I used to love the concept cars shown at auto shows because I always thought I’d be driving one someday. Now, as an adult, I hate them because I know they will never grace my driveway.

Dear automakers,

I’ve been a “car guy” since as far back as I can remember. My bedroom walls were plastered with pictures of exotics and the floor was littered with Hot Wheels. I used to move the driver’s seat of my dad’s car as far forward and as high up as it would go and pretend that I was a race car driver. Living outside of New Canaan, Ct gave me the opportunity to see numerous Ferraris and Porsches and every time I did I would flip out like a maniac.

I love cars for many reasons, their looks, their muscle, their ability to get an average guy laid, and the fact that with each passing year they get better (for the most part). Whether it’s a technological advancement, mechanical breakthrough, or design improvement you guys always manage to amaze me. I do business process improvement for a living and find nothing more satisfying than revamping a process and documenting the improvements. That being said, I enjoy seeing what other people can do to make improvements in day-to-day life. I gotta say that after, my second favorite site is Anyway, since I’m a car guy, you can imagine how interested I am in any kind of improvement of the 4-wheeled variety.

As technology has progressed so has my access to advancements in car design. Back in the days when the internet was non-existent (yes I’m that old) I learned about any body changes or upgrades by seeing new models driving around. My dad got us AOL when I was in grade school so my automotive knowledge began to grow at the blistering rate of 14.4 kbit/s. However, it centered mainly on the exotics in the posters on my bedroom walls; since it took 5 minutes to download a picture. Eventually, I discovered that I had access to pictures of just about anything and so cars lost priority to “other” interests (ie. boobs). But, with age, my priorities have straightened themselves out again – let’s not tell my wife that.

It’s been years since my introduction to internet porn and now that the “newness” has worn off I use the web for other reasons; mainly reading about all the latest offerings from you guys, usually while sitting on the can. Amazing what we do with technology, eh? There are hundreds of websites that list every little detail and option available. Some actually do a better job then your own sites by the way. There are even sites out there that specialize in posting pictures of cars you’re still testing wile driving around with that ridiculous camo. I’m sure you’re well aware of these and probably hate the fact that prying eyes like my own don’t let you get any privacy. Maybe if you quit playing the cat-and-mouse game with your upcoming designs and got some more customer feedback you would do a little better.

This brings me to the point of my letter, your concept cars. Please stop making them if you are not even going to try to bring them to market. Why do you tease me so? Back when I didn’t know any better, I thought that you guys rolled those things out as a way of showing the public what you were planning on producing in a few years. At the time, I didn’t realize that many of them are held together with double sided tape or crazy glue and didn’t even run. I got excited by the sleek designs, gull-wing doors, futuristic headlights, and cockpit-like interiors that I thought I’d see in my own driveway some day. Well, 25 years later I’ve given up on that hope because while some of the stuff you guys come out with looks cool, it’s completely ridiculous.

The idea behind a concept car is to encompass “out-of-the-box” ideas that are meant to sway the imagination; I get that. However there are limits to how far out of the box one can go. The fact that we hardly see any of your new ideas make their way to production models is pretty much a testament to their uselessness. Frankly, whomever you have gluing these things together doesn’t need to be on the payroll.

I can imagine producing concepts is cheap. Think of all the money that goes into fabricating these things and the engineers and designers that you use to build them. Your customers would be much more satisfied with computer generated models that we could see in 3-D if we knew you had designers working on solving some of the problems that we have been dealing with since the advent of driving. Although judging by all the bailouts and crap we’ve seen in the past few years, money isn’t really important to you.

Sometimes I think that you guys can not see the forest for the trees. Between concept cars and some of the electrical gadgetry that you introduce in your production models, you are “solving” problems that many of us didn’t even realize we had. How about taking care of some of the quirky little things that seem to be present on every single car out there? I’d love to see you guys do a survey of the top ten pet peeves people have about their cars and build a concept that addressed all of them. I’d also be willing to bet that you’d receive a lot less flack about being beige or even eco-terrorists if you designed a car that made me want to be driving inside of it rather than behind a nylon rope, drooling at it.

Very truly yours,

Top Car Blogger

This piece was written and submitted by a Jalopnik reader and may not express views held by Jalopnik or its staff. But maybe they will become our views. It all depends on whether or not this person wins by whit of your eyeballs in our reality show, “Who Wants to be America’s Next Top Car Blogger?