Astra-Gnome concept car (1956)
|Body and chassis|
|Length||162 in (4,115 mm)|
|Width||72 in (1,829 mm)|
|Curb weight||under 2,000 lb (907 kg)|
The Astra-Gnome is concept car by industrial designer Richard Arbib using a 1955 Nash Metropolitan chassis. Described as a “Time and Space Car”, it features themes influenced by the space travel forms that were popular during the 1950s. The vehicle represented Arbib's vision of what an automobile would look like in the year 2000.
The vehicle was featured on the September 3, 1956 cover of Newsweek magazine and exhibited at the 1956 New York International Auto Show. About 1,000 questionnaire cards were distributed to viewers at the auto show, with results indicating an 80% favorable response to the prototype. Numerous photos were made of the car with Arbib, most often accompanied by attractive female models, who explained to the media that the concept was never intended for production.
Despite a 25% increase in size over the original Metropolitan body, the total weight remains under 2,000 lb (907 kg). About 400 lb (181 kg) of aluminum castings and extrusions were used, including fluted aluminum side panels that had been anodized in different blending colors. The bubble canopy provides an unobstructed vision all around; this covered the passengers, but could be raised to allow walk-in entry and exit. The Nash Metropolitan features the body work by Andrew Mazzara of New York. Among the its many features is a "celestial time-zone clock permitting actual flight-type navigation." The car is restored and can be seen in a California museum.