1989 Plymouth Speedster Concept Car

1989 Plymouth Speedster Concept Car Design

In keeping with the motorcycle motif, 1989 Plymouth Speedster concept car controls and instruments rode a movable rectangular fork.
In keeping with the motorcycle motif, 1989 Plymouth Speedster concept car controls and instruments rode a movable rectangular fork.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Not surprisingly, there wasn't much about the 1989 Plymouth Speedster concept car design that could be called conventional. If you expected an ordinary round steering wheel, for instance, you'd be in for a surprise. The little funster was supposed to serve as a merging of high-performance motorcycle with open sports car, so it had more of the feel of a two-wheeler than might be imagined.

All the major controls and instruments were mounted on a movable, rectangular steering control fork. Instruments could have come off a motorcycle instead of an automobile. Driver and passenger seats were in fixed positions, but the foot controls moved forward and backward to suit drivers of different physiques. Front fenders and hood combined to form a motorcycle-type fairing that wrapped around the front, reaching all the way to the doors. As well, this car did not incorporate ordinary headlights: Contained within that fairing were pop-up upper and fixed lower light bars.

The low wraparound windscreen was like a cross between a motorcycle's air deflector and a downsize roadster windshield. The Plymouth Speedster concept car's gray two-seat body was actually a simple molded plastic tub, with a lighter-gray roll bar for safety's sake. It almost looked ready to float out to sea, like the old Amphicar of the 1960s.

The wedge-shaped profile was led by a rounded nose, with near-ground level rocker panels that looked almost like old-time running boards. Splashes of color were added by bright green wheels that looked like they could have come off a performance motorcycle.

The exhaust pipes also appeared to have a motorcycle pedigree, and the front turn signals formed an integrated assembly with the car's mirrors.

There was no need to worry about keeping the Speedster clean and tidy. When the molded plastic interior grew grimy with the deleterious effects of leftover hamburger wrappers and other byproducts of the youthful Good Life, cleanup was a breeze. All you had to do was sweep out the big stuff and hose away the rest.

The fixed seating surfaces were upholstered with removable foam pads, covered in unique neoprene "wet suit" material; nobody had to bother changing from swimwear to motoring togs -- you just plopped your dripping bod down on the seats and drove off, letting the sea air and sun handle the drying-off chore. Lots more fun that way, anyway.

Indeed, fun was what the Speedster was all about. To learn more about how the designers tried to make the Plymouth Speedster concept car more fun, and how they developed the car, go to the next page.

For more on concept cars and the production models they forecast, check out: