The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone made its debut at the very first Daytona 500.
Those provocative cones on the front fenders? The enclosed a radar guidance system that it was hoped would interact with future “smart roads.” The plan was to also include a “proximity warning system” which was a precursor to like systems on today’s cars.
Featuring a Cadillac 390-cu.in., 325-hp V-8, the Cyclone was a GM Motorama hit.
Designers Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell, the visionaries who came up with this piece of historical awesome, fitted the Cyclone with a canopy which would store itself in the trunk on command. The top, coated in vaporized silver to deal with the sun, the sliding doors actuated with a push of a button and the rectangle in the door which included a compartment to allow outside operation without flipping the top and external speakers to amplify the driver’s voice made this car a novelty and a harbinger of the future of automotive strange.