As they say, you can’t make this stuff up. There, on page 4B of The Journal News’ “USA Money” section January 13, was a photo of what looked very much like a sofa-arm-shaped fish tank – as part of the back seat of a car.
By Allen Clark
As they say, you can’t make this stuff up.
There, on page 4B of The Journal News’ “USA Money” section January 13, was a photo of what looked very much like a sofa-arm-shaped fish tank – as part of the back seat of a car. There were a half-dozen colorful miniature fish circling, waiting to go on a trip.
The caption made my point: “The WiltStar concept car has a backseat arm rest that doubles as a fish tank.”
Now, if you’re a fan of auto shows (I’m not), you know that Detroit and the Italians and other makers of sporty vehicles always parade out some racy new ideas at each year’s car show that, theoretically, will influence the real stuff that we all get to test drive the following year or two. This year’s show in Detroit is no exception.
For starters, Ford is betting on an over 600-horsepower GT supercar. With carbon ceramic brakes (not sure what they do), seven-speed dual clutch transmission (ditto), this concept car is a knockout, as is its expected price next year between $100k and $200k.
As an aside, one wonders if we haven’t heard this story before. U.S. automakers chasing the high-end, high gas-guzzling models that helped steer them into financial dead ends.
But back to the fish tank. I know that the car market is by now well into built-in baby seats, TVs in the seat backs, and accommodations for your pet dog or cat. But do we really want to take our goldfish with us? Maybe they’re an even better distraction for the kiddies than videos, but do we need them when we go to the A&P?
Other questions crop up. What do you do (more to the point, what do the fish do) when the temperature drops to 15°F? Do you have to add windshield wiper fluid? How about a nice 100° summer day in the mall parking lot? What happens when you tip the armrest up vertically? Does the little ceramic grotto crash down? Does all the fish food collect at one end, only to be churned up when Little Johnny slams the armrest back down?
Of course, this is just a concept car. And it’s from a new entry into the car design arena – state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group of China (GAC). GAC has only been showing its wares at the Detroit show for a couple of years. Maybe this idea won’t go too far. This concept car also introduces a driver’s seat that swivels 360°, I guess so the driver can also watch the fish. (This is a self-driving car, so it’s okay the driver is oblivious to the oncoming traffic, pedestrians, bicyclists, and traffic lights.)
But if fish-in-the-car is here to stay, then why not perches for your cockatoo? A small ironing board so you can multi-task? And we certainly could use a pull-down blender to make really, really fresh smoothies as you’re leaving the farmer’s market.
Now those are concepts!