Home » I Think This 1967 Ford Brochure Predicted Pod Racing: Cold Start

I Think This 1967 Ford Brochure Predicted Pod Racing: Cold Start

Cs Fairlane Podrace
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I really adore this coarse-brushwork style of midcentury brochure illustration, and this 1967 Ford Fairlane brochure is a fantastic example of the genre. But this one has an interesting detail the likes of which I’m not sure I’ve seen in car brochures like this. In Syd Meade paintings of imagined, sleek, stylish futures, sure, but not really in brochures designed to sell mainstream cars. I think there are some kind of imaginary racing technology in this brochure! I’m not entirely sure what they are, but they seem like some kind of futuristic not-quite-aircraft racing machines. Like those pods in that Star Wars movie with Li’l Vader. See those machines up there that aren’t Fairlane? What are they?

Here, let’s look at the one on the right a bit closer:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Cs Fairlane Pd2

The one on the left looks like a jet fighter plane, except it seems to lack wings. This one up there, though, that’s no plane. It has those big dual exhausts coming out of the cowl there, suggesting some kind of combustion engine, and what looks like an open cockpit. There’s not really wings, but the whole shape looks like maybe it can generate some lift? Is this is a hovercraft of some kind?

I mean, minus the giant lightning-tethered jet engines, it reminds me a lot of those racing pods, down to the desert-like environment:

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There’s another racing scene in the brochure, but that one features conventional and period-correct racing cars:

Cs Fairlane Race

There’s also a guy there dressed like either a Foot Locker employee or something a good bit more disturbing. And the rest of the brochure is pretty conventional, without any sort of other unknown retro-future tech, just vivid colors suggesting thick vegetation:

Cs Fairlane

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So what do we think those things are? Decommissioned fighter planes adapted into ground-effect racers? That’d be pretty cool. An alternative 1967 where football-sized atomic reactors powered all sorts of fun stuff, and yet we still bought Fairlanes? I’m not sure we’ll ever know.

UPDATE: Our social fella Peter says they’re hydro racing boats, and they do seem to resemble those! The color choice of the environment feels so dirt/desert-like that I didn’t even think about them in terms of watercraft. I suppose that could be it! Those were pretty amazing things! Though I still like the racing hovercraft idea.

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Toobs-N-Stuff
Toobs-N-Stuff
10 months ago

Unlimited Hydroplanes, like Miss Budweiser from back in the day….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYGSACb5UVs

Lincoln Clown CaR
Lincoln Clown CaR
10 months ago

[deleted]

Last edited 10 months ago by Lincoln Clown CaR
Beached Wail
Beached Wail
10 months ago

Today I learned that once upon a time there were people called “Fairlaners” who drove “a Trim Car that Handles Like a Sports Car.”

I looked up “Fairlaners” in my thesaurus and it said “see also: delusional.”

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
10 months ago

Those are raceboats lol.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
10 months ago

I like the last drawing. Except for this: now everybody will know which forest we drive to for our fresh peanuts.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
10 months ago

For those that say it looks like a desert landscape I guess you would have to see what Genesee Park looks like today, after the crowds, trucks, and trailers have trampled the grass into oblivion. Thankfully we had a little rain this weekend so it didn’t become a total dust bowl.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
10 months ago

They are Hydroplanes, the U- denotes they are from the Unlimited class.

Acrimonious Mofo
Acrimonious Mofo
10 months ago
Reply to  Scoutdude

And as soon as it’s pointed out that they are boats I suddenly notice the pilings with seagulls on them in the background.

Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago

There you have it. Racing boats predicted pod racing, the only good thing from the boring am-dram Star Wars films.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
10 months ago

“Decommissioned fighter planes adapted into ground-effect racers? That’d be pretty cool.”

These are not the ekranoplans you are looking for.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

I’m having horrible Andrew Dice Clay flashbacks, so thanks for that.

Last edited 10 months ago by Canopysaurus
MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
10 months ago

Speaking of Syd Mead, Mercedes had a comment in her HHR SS Panel Van article yesterday wishing that more automakers would revisit retro designs. Got me thinking that I would much rather see something similar, but different. I would love to see someone make an EV with Syd Mead styling, big long super-sleek. Cadillac should redesign the Celestiq with some Syd influence. Would make an order of magnitude improvement in it’s looks.

https://www.carbodydesign.com/2020/01/remembering-syd-mead-1933-2019/

Chronometric
Chronometric
10 months ago

The one great disappointment of my adult life is that the world didn’t end up like an optimistic Syd Mead illustration.

Marlin May
Marlin May
10 months ago

There was a time when it seemed they were thinking in a Mead-like direction. Maybe someone there still is – https://www.conceptcarz.com/images/Cadillac/cadillac-innerspace-autonomous-2-1024.jpg

DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
10 months ago

“Fairlaners, people who have more fun tripping on acid in their cars, have more to offer….”

Usernametaken
Usernametaken
10 months ago

“When are we?”

“….I don’t know”

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
10 months ago

Today’s race is brought to you by…
Ford: Official sponsor of Area 51
Goodyear Double Eagle Tires: When there’s no man around
And
JC Whitney: All the parts you don’t need

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
10 months ago

The seat with the helmet on it looks like a mildew farming experiment. Maybe the artist also imagined a future in which this car was a coveted barn find.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
10 months ago

Peter nailed it – in the first pic (with the helmet), you can see the designation on the side that begins with “U”…that’s a hydroplane racing number. Unlimited class.

I believe the numbers even stay with the boats themselves their whole lives as they pass from team to team/owner to owner. How cool is that?!

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
10 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Not to mention the Plaid Shirt Guy wearing one of those Captains Hats

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
10 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

The numbers don’t stay with the boat, at least not always, for example the original Pride of Pay N Pak was first the U-25 and when it was sold to Bernie Little it became the Miss Budweiser and wore U-12 for 3 years.

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
10 months ago

I would not put it past some of the aircraft maintainers I know to hook a couple of turbofans up to, say, a shop cart.

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
10 months ago

Looks like a airplane without the wing section attached. Post war GIs messing around with wartime surplus in the desert doing – most likely – awesome (dangerous) fun stuff!

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
10 months ago

GI Gen guys who missed the thrills they got during the war did crazy shit in the 50’s, and it wouldn’t surprise me if some of them repurposed surplus military equipment to go stupid fast across a dry lake bed. That’s sooo wizard Annie.

Aaron Headly
Aaron Headly
10 months ago

Racing hydrofoils. You had to be there.

Tbird
Tbird
10 months ago
Reply to  Aaron Headly

yes – racing hydrofoil boat

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
10 months ago
Reply to  Aaron Headly

[Putting on my Captain Pedantic hat]
Hydroplane, not hydrofoil.

Hydrofoils are those boats with “wings” under the boat, connected by struts, that lift the hull completely out of the water. Like Largo’s yacht in “Thunderball.”

Hydroplanes don’t lift completely out of the water, but instead just barely skim the surface, causing quite the spectacle when a little wave pops the front of the boat up just enough to air under the hull, launching the boat into a spectacular, although sometimes fatal, flip over the water.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

Hydroplane, yes.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
10 months ago
Reply to  Aaron Headly

I was on Sunday.

AssMatt
AssMatt
10 months ago
Reply to  Scoutdude

SeaFair? Was it pandemonium? I’ve always wanted to go, but I’m too old for crowds.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
10 months ago
Reply to  AssMatt

Yes, SeaFair. Crowds aren’t too bad, this year seemed pretty much back to normal as far as the number of people in attendance. To be fair I’m mainly there for set up, tear down and manning of a booth.

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