The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – Ford Nucleon

Sun 21st Oct 2018

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 Nucleon
The nuclear age was a time of fear and confusion for many during the 1950s and 1960s, but the prospect of nuclear did not just promise the total destruction of civilization, the upside of nuclear science was a relatively clean source of power.

Motor manufacturers were excited by the prospect of a power source which wasn’t dependent on the burning of fossil fuels, so were keen to demonstrate what was possible. In 1957, Ford Motor Company designed a car which they believed may herald a new era for engine design.

Throwing aside the traditional ‘internal-combustion engine’ Ford intended the Nucleon to be powered by a small nuclear reactor in the rear of the vehicle. Based on the same concept which saw a steam engine powered by uranium fission found in nuclear submarines, Ford envisioned an end to petrol stations, being replaced by full service recharging stations.

One of the drawbacks for the Nucleon was that the nuclear reactor would have to be changed every 5,000 miles, though that was marketed as a benefit as owners could choose which type of engine they might want to replace it with, a fuel efficient or high performance model.

Thankfully we never actually got to see what would have happened when another car crashed into that nuclear reactor as Ford only produced the actual bodywork for the vehicle and never got to develop the reactor!

The Nucleon did gain fame in the modern era as it was featured in the popular ‘Fallout’ video game franchise and inspired the fictional Chyslus Corvega car which was powered by an Atomic V8 engine.

The only existing Ford Nucleon can be found to these days safely tucked away in Heny Ford’s Museum in Michigan, United States.