Then and Now: The rear engine, rear drive 1936 Stout
Scarab, created by William Stout, is the little-known predecessor to
The Petersen Automotive Museum (www.petersen.org) in Los Angeles is hosting the "Driving Through Futures Past" exhibit from April 16 to Sept. 11 featuring 75 pieces of concept car art, conceptual models, and futuristic automobiles. Among the rare prototypes and concept art are works by noted designers and illustrators such as Harley Earl, Bill Mitchell, and Syd Mead. Most of the pieces being exhibited are rarely ever seen by the public, says Dick Messer, the museum's director. The exhibit provides a look at the hands-on process of automotive design before computers became a standard tool. Often referred to as "blue sky" concepts, the futuristic auto designs were created in advanced styling studios to promote revolutionary ideas.
Californiaís plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isnít the first such undertaking and certainly wonít be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.