9 Weird Car Innovations That Thankfully Flopped


In the mid-20th century, automakers tried partitions between front and rear seats to ease road trips with restless kids.

Children's partition

In the 1950s and '60s, car manufacturers explored nuclear fusion engines in cars, like the "Ford Nucleon" concept. However, safety concerns led to its swift abandonment.

Nuclear fusion engines

Before satellite radio, automakers installed record players in cars for a portable music experience. 

Onboard record players

In South Africa, cars had optional side-mounted flamethrowers to deter crime and wildlife encounters.

Side-mounted flame throwers

Automotive enthusiasts added automated scent dispensers to combat car odours.

Scent dispensers

To tackle parallel parking challenges, engineers created a retractable fifth wheel for assistance. Cadillac led this innovation in 1951.

A fifth wheel for parking

Futurists imagined a world with flying cars, and automakers experimented with hover cars but loud aircraft engines and fuel consumption issues made it unfeasible.

The hover car

During the '60s and '70s, the fascination with creating cars that could double as boats captivated engineers and the public.

The amphibious car

In a bizarre experiment, Cadillac equipped a car with a working toilet for non-stop long-distance driving.

The in-car toilet