Simca Fulgur—Dream Car of the Future

In 1959, the French automaker Simca showed a prototype of the Simca Fulgur (aka "Dream Car of the Future") at various auto shows. It was a concept car designed to demonstrate "the advanced thinking of Simca engineers."

The final car was supposed to incorporate the following not-yet-invented technologies (according to this Dec 1959 article):

  • controlled by an electronic brain fed travel instructions by the driver
  • Power supplied on main highways through magnetic induction from road-imbedded cables
  • On secondary roads, Fulgur derives power from six batteries in the rear which gives it a range of up to 3000 miles.
  • The front wheels which steer the Fulgur at low speeds are retracted at above 90 miles per hour and the car will plane along on its rear wheels.

There was also talk of making the Simca Fulgur atomic-powered. And it seems possible that it may have inspired the design of the Jetsons' car, though I can't find any confirmation of that.

More info:,
     Posted By: Alex - Mon May 02, 2016
     Category: 1950s | Cars

That planing idea happened on some of the American road-boats because of the fins on the rear fenders. Not a good idea.

3000 hours on 6 batteries... Yupper!
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 05/02/16 at 09:49 AM
Everyone thought the atom was the power supply of the future for cars. No one seemed to be concerned what would happen in a crash with all that flying radiation shielding.

The strangest French car I'm aware of is the C class Citroen. A well appointed car with a back seat like your living room couch. It used a fluid suspension in place of springs and shock absorbers. The ride height was adjustable from the drivers position and after the car sat for some time it would settle. When restarted, it would rise to its previous ride height. Really strange to watch.
Posted by KDP on 05/02/16 at 12:19 PM
Ah... don't you mean the old D class? Safest car on the road that was illegal to import into the US?
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 05/02/16 at 12:26 PM
I shouldn't rely on memory after this. I had to look it up - yes, it was the D Class body.

I think that the North American market wasn't accepting of such an exotic car at the time. Look how long it took for front-wheel drive to become accepted here. The VW was as exotic as they came with the air-cooled engine and drive on the rear wheels.
Posted by KDP on 05/02/16 at 05:10 PM
I prefer Soviet concept cars -- free thinking in a very restricted industry.
Posted by Phideaux on 05/02/16 at 07:12 PM
I got the initial impression the advanced thinking from the Simca guys had come to the conclusion there is no need to steer a car once you get going more than 90 MPH. However, the article explains that's when this thing changes over to being steered by that V-shaped air rudder at the rear. Sounds like one hellacious ride.

In fairness, Expat, they didn't say what kind of batteries would give it 3000 miles. They might be those special matter / anti-matter jobs.

Travel instructions from the driver??? They sure missed realizing Siri would be making all out decisions for us.
Posted by Virtual on 05/02/16 at 07:40 PM
Suggested reading: Robert A. Heinlein's 1940 short story- "The Roads Must Roll"
Posted by BMN on 05/02/16 at 07:47 PM
Seems like George Barris did a custom design similar to this. I remember seeing the bubble top when passing by his studio.
Posted by GFinKS on 05/05/16 at 03:03 PM
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