These Trucks Sure Look Like Aliens: Cold Start

Cs Renaultalientruck

I don’t really know why or how we, as beings that have never encountered any form of life that did not originate on our planet, have the ability to perceive certain arrangements of visual elements as looking “alien.” Whatever the underlying reason, this 1954 Renault 5 or 7 ton truck sure has a face that reads “alien.” I’m not exactly sure why this is. Maybe it’s the slightly arachnoid nature of the placement of the headlights, or the big green blunt head? I’m not sure, exactly, but it feels like a truck an alien would have designed.

Of course, the kind of alien I’m picturing is a sort of silly sci-fi one. Our world has produced beings as different as Audrey Tautou and a Bigfin Squid so I tend to think that whatever aliens may be, they’re not likely to be anything like us, at all. And by “us” I mean Earth beings, from ear mites to swordfish and everything in between.

And still, even with all that in mind, I still think this huge Renault looks like an alien.

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22 Responses

      1. So did Edgar Rice Burroughs in his ‘John Carter of Mars’ series from the early 1900’s. While best known for his ‘Tarzan’ series, Burroughs’ Mars novels are also pretty important. Originally released in 1911, a mere 50 years after the Americal Civil War, the native species of the Red Planet are styled racially, and the protagonist is written to be a Virginian colonel of that era.

        While clearly racist in all respects, the ‘John Carter of Mars’ series is still an interesting window into the Zeitgeist of the first decades of the 20th Century. There were white, yellow, red, black and green races featuring prominantly in the story, with the green martians being six limbed arachnoid folk called ‘Spider men’.

        I’ve often wondered if they were the inspiration for Bowie’s 1970’s ‘Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders form Mars’ thing. Probably either directly or indirectly, I suppose.

  1. Ha, yeah, that Renault truck does indeed look archetypically extraterrestrial, especially with these headlights, but about ten years later it would’ve looked downright normal and even ineffably prosaic next to the new Citroën Belphégor, so nicknamed after the popular TV series Belphégor ou le Fantôme du Louvre. As one can guess from the title without knowing any French, the show was about a phantom haunting the Louvre… so guess the Renault wins points for looking extraterrestrial while the Belphégor wins points for looking, uh, supernatural.

  2. I’m thinking that France was only 9 years post WWII then. Renault had to cobble together whatever pieces available together to make any truck work. The last thing they thought about was design.

    “Pierre, the truck needs some lights and some paint.”
    “Oui, use those lights right over there, stick on wherever. Army Green? Good enough. Go with it.”

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