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The wheel ranks right up there with the telescope and four-slice toaster in the pantheon of inventions that have moved humankind forward. But what if a circle in three dimensions had never occurred to anyone, and we all had just moved on without it? Perhaps we'd be driving around in Lucas Motors Landspeeders with anti-gravity engines. Or maybe we'd have the same cars we do today, just without wheels.

That's the thought experiment that seems to have led French photographer Renaud Marion to create his six-image series called Air Drive. The shots depict cars throughout many eras of motoring that look normal except for one thing: they have no wheels. The models used include a Jaguar XK120, Cadillac DeVille (shown above), Chevrolet El Camino and Camaro, and Mercedes-Benz SL and 300 roadsters.

Perhaps one day when our future becomes our past, you'll be able to walk the street and see with your own eyes the rust and patina of age on our nation's fleet of floating cars. Until then, Monsieur Marion's photographs will have to do.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Mohammed Smith
      • 2 Years Ago
      You can see cars without wheels every day in Detroit.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe because I'm OCD... but seeing the rear passenger door on that Caddy with the line still following a wheel-well that no longer exists... it kinda bugs me. I also think early '50s Nashes would be perfect for this... heck, it wouldn't take much work to make them look wheel-less :P
      • 2 Years Ago
      Very cool juxtaposition. I like the artist's choice to have no humans in any of the pictures.
      Mr E
      • 2 Years Ago
      The 300SL almost looks like it belongs that way. Now, I also really want a 60 Chevy El Camino Hovercar!
      • 2 Years Ago
      If there are no wheels, why are the rear doors still cut to accomodate the rear wheels?
        • 2 Years Ago
        Because photoshoping an existing photo is easier and the artist was lazy?
        • 2 Years Ago
        The creator's skill hasn't caught up to the creator's concept yet.
      • 2 Years Ago
      How exactly are these images "eerie"?
      • 2 Years Ago
      as a total car nut i love this. just why don't we have flying cars and hoverboards yet?! back to the future lied to us ;)
      • 2 Years Ago
      Interesting how the removal of the wheels changes the impact of the styling. The Pagoda SL almost takes on this lowly Nash Rambler or Amphicar appearance, while the 50s 300SL turns into an almost American Rocket Age concept car.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gawd I was doing this with photoshop 12 years ago. My job involved working with old Rolls-Royces so they were my subjects. Also tried the opposite, designing 12-wheelers.
      Vien Huynh
      • 2 Years Ago
      What do you call a car without wheels? A boat...
      • 2 Years Ago
      I find these picture distrubing and creepy.
      • 2 Years Ago
      they should do a range rover!
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