From time to time we've all been tempted to purchase that fake diploma from the endlessly circulating email, right? The last time I checked, though, they weren't offering fake certificates from the Art Center College of Design, or the Academy of Art University. If you still held onto the dream of someday shaping cars, even after all your sketch pads had been confiscated, the normal path was that you'd go to an institution where you could learn industrial design through a rigorous academic program. That's the reason why those of us who continue to doodle four wheeled conveyances are reduced to sketching while on boring phone calls; to truly design real cars takes years of practice, hard work, and skill. Alternatively, you could drop a measly 20 bucks and start computerating up some fun looking vehicles with Topics Entertainment's Sports Car Designer software.

In the end, it's still no replacement for learning to render a form on paper with perspective, shading and foreshortening; all those things that take years to develop skill with. From what we can see, you're limited to a profile view, but the options for body shape creation are wide ranging enough that you can whip up some interesting forms. We're not seeing a tremendous amount of variety or originality in the screenshots at the support website sportscardesigner.com, but for $20 at Best Buy what do you want, Cinema 4D? When you're done with your masterpiece of the moment, you can export it as a .jpg, or you can spit CAD data out so that another program might be able to stitch the entire car together for you in 3-D space. It's a fun way to divert some hours, and hey, it'll keep that eternally fidgeting car-crazy pre-teen quiet for the vast span of 15 minutes, at least.

Thanks for the tip, Larry!