The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – Ford Mystere

Sun 17th Nov 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 Mystere
Unveiled at the height of space-age car design in the 1950s, the Mystere was a rear engine concept which cam with a glass dome which kept passengers inside, but also lifted up to allow entry and exit.

Like many concepts, Ford’s Mystere came with plenty of amazing innovations, even if it didn’t have an engine. The most interesting of those was the ‘dual operation’ steering which came with a control stick, more akin to a video game controller than a steering wheel, one which could be swung from one seat to the other to allow two drivers to take control.

Air-conditioning was provided by a unique ‘scoop’ at the top of the glass bubble roof, while in-car entertainment would be provided by a television set behind the front seat,  and a radiotelephone which was located between the two rear bucket seats. In addition to the jetplane style steering control, the drivers also had swivel seats, a pushbutton ignition switch and a padded dash.

The Mystere was created by Bill Boyer at Ford’s Advanced Styling Studio in the summer of 1954 an was intended to be showcased at the Detroit Auto Show in 1955, however due to similarities with Ford’s 1957 product line it was held back and it wasn’t until September 1955 that we finally got to see photos of the design. The car finally debuted at the 1956 Chicago Extravaganza.

"The Mystere was a full-size car," Boyer recalls. "It had an operating canopy and a fully trimmed interior, but it was [only] a static fiberglass display model. It was done specifically for the 1955 January Detroit Auto Show. The Mystere influenced the 'swash' [bodyside] molding...of the 1957 Fairlane 500, and also the fin development on the quarter panel and taillights [of all models]. In order not to tip [our] hand, the Mystere didn't go into the 1955 Auto Show. I don't believe it was shown until 1956 or 1957, and then [only] as an idea car preceeding the 1957 Ford.. "