Posted by: Jerry Garrett | December 29, 2013

Major 2013 Auto Shows: Worst Concept Cars

Believe it or not, the Honda FCEV did not make this list. (Jerry Garrett Photo)

Yes, the spaceship-like Honda FCEV made it into the top five on this list. Jalopnik called it “a stunning car no one will buy.” No argument there. (Jerry Garrett Photo)

In this Sunday’s Automobiles section of The New York Times, I offer my ten favorite concept cars and design studies from the major auto shows – such as those in Detroit, Geneva, New York, Shanghai, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Los Angeles – during 2013.  (For good measure, we included Las Vegas’ SEMA show concepts.) Along with the hits, of course, there were misses. I have a list of those too. We didn’t have room for those in the paper (or maybe we didn’t want to field calls from the disgruntled), so herewith is my supplemental list of 2013’s auto show oddballs:

Fish on! (Photo credit at right)

The Witstar concept, presented in Guangzhou (an aspiring major auto show, up against L.A. and Tokyo on the calendar), is a crossover vehicle of some type, in which the four passenger seats may be adjusted to face each other (not while vehicle is moving, please), to better ponder the peace and serenity provided by a central fish tank/armrest.

The Honda Odyssey "Power Van" (Jerry Garrett)

The 1000+ hp Honda Odyssey “Power Van” (Jerry Garrett)

The Honda Odyssey Power Van, by Bisimoto Engineering, was a believe-it-or-not oddity at the SEMA show in Las Vegas; it’s the ultimate soccer mom minivan concept with a 1,026-horsepower motor. Yeah, you go, girl.

Daihatsu Deco Deck (

Daihatsu’s Deco Deck, unleashed in Tokyo, is apparently the world’s largest fuel cell-powered electric shaver. (We also have votes for popcorn popper, blender, small Japanese love motel.)

The incomparable Youabian Puma. (JG photo)

The incomparable Youabian Puma. (JG photo)

The Youabian Puma, the surprise debutante of the L.A. auto show, was the creation of a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Hambiz Youabian. Once the shock wore off, after witnessing the Olympian dimensions of his urban “pleasure vehicle,” the more charitable show-goers considered it a worthy paean to likes of the Blastolene (Roadster & Decoliner), Father Alfred Juliano’s Aurora, and Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion.

Another view of the Honda FCEV. (

And we close with another look at the Honda FCEV shown above. That’s the rear, by the way, in case you can’t tell which way it is supposed to be going.

Do we have a winner?

Jerry Garrett

December 28, 2013



  1. […] seems we have to find something we can jump on at each auto show. Last year at L.A., it was the Youabian Puma (deservedly so). This year, it seems to be the LF-C2 concept. Except for the Dyson-like nose, I […]

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