The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – Ford FX Atmos

Sun 27th Oct 2019

Sometimes your wallet won’t stretch to purchasing your dream motor. But don’t worry too much, there are some cars that even the biggest bank balances can’t buy, the dream cars that will forever remain a dream. These are the concept cars that never go into production.

Ford FX Atmos
While some cars in this series should seriously be considered for road use, others, such as Ford’s space-age styled FX Atmos, serve no purpose other than to audition for a 1950s sci-fi series.

The 1950s were a halcyon era for concept cars, with Harley Earl’s amazing designs dominating exhibitions such as Motorama and cities across the USA pulling in the masses with their motor shows giving a glimpse of a space-age future.

To the executives of Ford Motor Company however, they didn’t feel the need to titillate with such fanciful ideas of ‘concept’ they had sold cars a plenty since the Henry Ford I era. But the company’s flamboyant styling chief, George H. Walker had other ideas and in an effort to break free from Ford’s dated and dowdy image, he encouraged his team to stretch their ambitions by designing a series of dream cars.

The FX Atmos is perhaps the most famous car to come from that philosophy. The Dearborn styling studio had created a spaceship like design which came complete with a plexiglass bubble canopy, hugely ambitious tail-fins, red-tail lamps which were supposedly included to simulate rocket exhausts. The FX Atmos didn’t even have headlights, instead at the front, built into the bumper, was a pair radar antennae.

FX was short for Future Experimental, and all of the literature of the time promised that the Atomic Age of motoring was only a neutron away from being reality. But truth be told, the FX Atmos had absolutely no commitment to nuclear motoring at all, it had no engine, and no premise of one. Speaking at the time, Ford’s Vice President Lewis Crusoe said: “It is not proposed as a future production vehicle. For that reason, no engineering considerations have been involved in its development.” Crusoe did admit however that the FX Atmos could "represent one of the many avenues which styling could take into the future"


This limited ambition didn’t stop Ford marketing the vehicle heavily and the FX Atmos even appeared on the front of Car Life magazine with the headline ‘Atomic Car Coming?’ The truth being that the space-age car without an engine would prove nothing more than inspiration for Gerry Anderson’s sci-fi puppet series, Supercar.