Garner’s Backward Car

In the early 1970s, artist Philip (now Pippa) Garner converted a '59 Chevy into a "backward car." This involved flipping the body of the car around so that the back became the front. It was fully drivable.

Esquire magazine ran an article about it in their Nov 1974 issue. They noted, "Even though the Chevy conformed to highway codes, it was stopped by police on numerous occasions. The car was legal, yes, but hard to handle. After these pictures were taken, Garner buried the car in a secret place, forever."

More info: Redling Fine Art (pdf of Esquire article)

     Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 11, 2023
     Category: 1970s | Cars

It's probably because of this silly car, but I can't figure out which side of the Golden Gate it's driving on, and if it's going toward Marin or the city. (Hopefully, no one will tell me that's not the Golden Gate Bridge.)
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 02/11/23 at 07:15 AM
I remember an observation from the late '70;s made that most cars of the time would be more aerodynamically efficient if driven backwards. Whether it was a comment on the styling of the time or an actual fact was open to interpretation on the part of the viewer.
Posted by KDP on 02/11/23 at 09:45 AM
Virtual - Pretty sure the car is headed into Marin; that looks like the north end of the Golden Gate. The steep hillside is one clue. Also, every time I walked across the bridge, I was on the Bay side of it, and there seem to be pedestrians on the sidewalk in the photo.
Posted by Fritz on 02/11/23 at 12:30 PM
I doubt having those fins/wings on the front did anything to enhance the handling. This vehicle wasn't more aerodynamic from the back. I wonder how many folks freaked out seeing this on the highway...?
Posted by Teri on 02/12/23 at 12:40 AM
Very hard to believe this mess "conformed to highway codes."
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 02/12/23 at 06:01 AM
Were the headlights red and the brake/tail lights white?
Posted by ges on 02/12/23 at 07:04 PM
Since the Volkswagen Beetle had its motor at the back of the vehicle, it would have been safer to drive it backwards.
Posted by Yudith on 02/13/23 at 11:29 AM
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