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Skins for Cars

Build a car that accepts snap-on outer shells.
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Borrowing from the idea of "skins" for computer programs, such as Windows Media Player:

The car is built with a rather plain or incomplete looking body but all of the safety stuff built in. Then you choose the style of "skin" you want and it just snaps on. You could have a car that looks like the Oscar Meyer Weener truck or a 1966 Mustang. If you get tired of it, just get a new skin.

Or maybe you just want a normal looking car but can't decide on the color. Try a color for a while and then change it by snapping on a new skin.

willatlguy, Mar 31 2002

Autonomy Concept http://www.eetimes....ws/OEG20020117S0103
GM Concept car with exchangeable body [spartanica, Mar 31 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

DaimlerChrysler Smart Roadster http://www.cardesig...smart-roadster.html
Interchangable panels to alter the look of the car quickly. As mentioned in dandr's annotation. [waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       the body sheetmetal is an integral part of the structure (especially on a modern unibody car), not just a matter of dropping on a new skin.   

       As to the paint, or look, graphics companys can cover your whole car in a decal to make it look like whatever you like.   

       And, not to be picky, but the stang didn't exist in 55.
rbl, Mar 31 2002
  

       ... not even as a concept.
thumbwax, Mar 31 2002
  

       [rbl], I think what [willatlguy] is suggesting is a sort of cover for the prebuilt body-- reminiscent of cellphone faceplates.   

       Of course, after you change the faceplate, you have to change the sound your horn makes (the ringtone) and get a flashing antenna for your car stereo. And, instead of the vibrating battery, you can just drive around the coal truck ravaged roads of Eastern Kentucky for awhile.
jester, Mar 31 2002
  

       I like this idea. If the plastic shells turn out to be incredibly unsafe, you could have "removable" metal shells that could be purchased and put on by mechanics. It may cost a few hundred, but it would be just as expensive as having your car repainted. Plus, you could change the shape (even if only in a minor way).
NeverDie, Mar 31 2002
  

       I think the Saturns use non-structural (non-monocoque) plastic panels. Didn't the Fiero as well?   

       Yes, nine and a half years too early on the Mustang.
bristolz, Mar 31 2002
  

       Baked in the Motor City by GM with their Autonomy concept car (see link).
spartanica, Mar 31 2002
  

       Baked. The Daimler Chrysler *Smart* already has changeable "skins" that allow the owner to match color to mood or whatever.
dandr, Mar 31 2002
  

       I fixed the year on the Mustang. I should have known better since I actually owned a 66 Mustang.   

       Brettjs, you get the idea. The horn is a good addition.   

       NeverDie, you have a point. It would not be too nice if your car skin started coming off in pieces while you drove down the highway.
willatlguy, Apr 01 2002
  

       In the simplest of forms, there are quite a few cars that interchange between hardtops and convertibles. Chevy has a truck that owners can "switch," to use their term, from SUV to pickup, and back.   

       Remember the movie _Johnnie Dangerously_? The getaway car in a bank robbery had several layers of wallpaper on it and the criminals kept ripping off layers to confuse the police in persuit (I liked the duckie pattern)--which brings up another problem: what in the heck will the registration certificate and title say? Couldn't someone commit a crime or steal a car, change the skin, and escape detection? Or is this where the computer chips come into play, as they will beam out owner info to the IR devices in traffic signs and black helicopters? Rock on
1kester, Apr 01 2002
  

       The Mustang--a 1955 Lincoln (essentially) with a chop top. One of the Ford boys came up with it.
entremanure, Apr 02 2002
  

       The model T ford was originally availiable with many different stlyes of body over the same basic chassis and engine.
kaz, Apr 02 2002
  

       KAZ- And as I believe Henry Ford said...You can have it in any color as long as it is black.
(Annotated)Direct quote - "The Customer Can Have Any Color He Wants So Long As It's Black". -- Henry Ford
UhhOK, Apr 03 2002
  

       sorry kaz, but that's not exactly illuminating. chrysler used the same exact chassis and engines for a whole fleet of cars, starting back in '93 i.e. intrepid, vision, concorde, LHS, new yorker all they did was change the hoods, the stiffness of shocks, and of course the wheels   

       rockin idea willatlguy. I'd love to slap on a cover and drive around in a black trans am on the weekends.
#1Fan, Jun 21 2002
  

       It would make repairs for minor cosmetic damage quick and easy. Gets my vote.
8th of 7, Jun 21 2002
  

       starting in the 80's, Chrysler had the K platform which spawned every car they sold at that time(except the omni/horizon, and Charger/Turismo, all of which were built on their own singleplatform) convertibles, sedans, wagons, and even the minivans.
BigAltheButcher, Mar 12 2003
  
      
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