Categories History

XPAK 400 Air Car Stunned the 1964 New York World’s Fair

One of the wildest and most futuristic cars ever created was the XPAK 400! This groovy ride was designed and built in 1959 by the legendary Barris Kustoms crew from North Hollywood.

The XPAK 400 wasn’t your ordinary four-wheeled vehicle. In fact, it had no wheels at all. It was called an “air car”. 

The vehicle glided on a cushion of air, like a magic carpet for the modern age. Can you imagine cruising the street without touching the ground? 

But that’s not all that made this car so out-of-this-world. 

There was also no transmission or frictional moving parts. Twenty-inch cast aluminum fans in the vehicle’s belly elevated the car five inches off the ground. These fans blew air downward to lift the vehicle off the ground.

A revolving jet nozzle moved the car with air thrust. It could go right, left, forward, reverse, or stop. 

The car could fit one person and weighed 422 pounds. It measured 12 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 30 inches high. The fins measured 53″ high, and the wingspan was 8’7″. 

Metalflake Makes A Big Debut

Metalflake was a new creation, and the XPAK 400 was one of the first vehicles to feature this metallic look. The vehicle featured 35 coats of nitrocellulose lacquer, each containing a million particles of Metalflake. Each particle was precision cut and coated aluminum foil. 

Developed by the Dobeckmun Company, they offered a trial to George Barris to display it at the National Car Show in Detroit. 

The Talk

The car was designed to show the public how an air vehicle could operate. In 1964, it was displayed at the Cavalcade of Custom Cars at the NY World’s Fair. According to the show program, this showing resulted in more talk about the transportation industry since the jet engine. 

The Newsboys 1966 album Take Me To Your Leader featured the car on their cover.

cover of newsboys take me to your leader album

Where Is The XPAK 400 Today?

Unfortunately, no one knows where the XPAK 400 is. Barris stored the car at the Van Nuys airport. Years later, Barris found it missing from the storage unit. Someone sold the vehicle without Barris’s knowledge to pay a debt he owed.

Cars From The 1950s Most Have Not Seen

smyk b30 with front door open

Some never made it out of prototypes, others had limited runs, but all of these cars from the 1950s are unique. There is no lack of creativity, from doors that open in the front to spaceship-inspired cars.

View the weirdest cars from the 1950s.

The 1934 Ford V-8 With The Weirdest Testimonial

bonnie and clyde outside ford car
Topeka Capital-Journal

The 1934 Ford V-8 is a car that received a testimonial letter from an adoring fan like no other.

View the letter and story.

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