(Note: The scope and text for The Phantom Future is still under development).
The final element of The Predicta Project will be an exploration of what might be the dystopian future of the Predicta. Though brilliantly restored in 2007, nothing lasts forever — everything decomposes to a state of nature. With this in mind, what if the Predicta were to fall into the wrong hands in 50 years, then mistreated, driven too much, and not maintained. And what if the disrespectful owner had driven the car, one dark afternoon, too hard on a hilltop road and missed a curve — the car plunged off the road and was left downslope to rot? The car would have been badly damaged with a crushed quarter panel, a broken bubble top, twisted frame, and a light engine fire as it tumbled down the slope.
At this point, there are two likely outcomes. First, might the crash have resulted in the ultimate loss of the Predicta, as the elements and predation ultimately claimed the car — certainly reasonable to postulate that the hapless and cynical driver would not have had the funds to retrieve, and restore, the car. Would an abandoned car be the ironic, and tragic, end to the “car of the future?” In this alternative timeline, the car would have sunk into the mud which, with the depredations that nature and animals can deliver, caused the car’s ultimate disappearance.
But what if our alternative future were more upbeat, delivering a different outcome? What if the car had been discovered by two auto archaeologists who had spent a decade chasing down faint rumors and false leads — a decades-long research effort (using then easily-available satellite photos) that finally revealed the location the badly damaged car. Elated with their discovery, the auto historians secure the services of a local recovery company who brought to bear their futuristic heavy-lift crane to the mountain road and there hoisted the Predicta onto a waiting trailer. The car was then transported to a highly-advanced, computerized, cyborg-operated repair facility, circa 2260, where its restoration was immediately commenced. There, the appearance of the car was retained, but contemporary electric engines and batteries were fitted so the car could be driven. As well, the interior was re-designed with then-contemporary computer and related functions were installed. Starbird’s prescient stick steering found an hospitable reception in our era where steering columns were no longer needed in an era of autonomous cars. After restoration of the car, it was placed in the National Automotive Hall in Washington, D.C.
We’ll do a large diorama of the place of discovery, and then design and build a diorama of the repair facility. We’ll even speculate on how a 22ndCentury Predicta would be outfitted mechanically (since the iconic appearance will be largely preserved)!
This venue will provide a lot of opportunities to be visionary and expansive in our interpretation of the future. Bob Wick has done an early schematic illustration of the discovery of the Predicta. More details and visions to come.