Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ugly Beauty

“I ALWAYS wanted to own a dream car,” said Andy Saunders, 44, who has a flair for customizing cars. “But others had already bought all the dream cars.”

So Mr. Saunders settled, instead, for a nightmare.

“I remember one day going through a book about dream cars, and I saw a tiny drawing, a sketch really, or artist’s impression of a car called the Aurora,” Mr. Saunders said in a telephone interview. “My dad commented, ‘Have you ever seen anything so ugly?’ He was right; it was so ugly it was unreal. I said straightaway, ‘I’ve got to own that.’”

Mr. Saunders, who operates an auto importing and customizing business near his home in England, said he enjoyed a challenge. He has worked on cars that include a Lancia and a Cord.

He saw the image of the Aurora in 1993, and it took him several years of detective work to find what happened to the car.

The Aurora may have had the most unusual pedigree in the history of the auto industry. It was created in the mid-1950s by a Catholic priest, Alfred A. Juliano, and partly bankrolled by parishioners of his church in Branford, Connecticut.

Juliano wanted to create the world’s safest automobile, and his Aurora featured innovations that were years ahead of their time. The Aurora also had many wacky ideas to go along with its bizarre styling. Some auto historians have called it the ugliest car ever made.

Although Mr. Saunders originally agreed, he has come to see beauty in the Aurora.

Designer Priest Alfred A. Juliano.

Juliano, who studied art, said he always wanted to design cars, even as he studied to join the priesthood. Published reports said he entered competitions for aspiring auto stylists, including one sponsored by General Motors. Juliano’s family said G.M. offered him a scholarship to study with the legendary designer Harley Earl, but he said the offer came just after he had been ordained a priest.

Juliano continued to be fascinated with cars and their design. He also believed that most cars were unsafe, and began a quest to design a car that addressed his laundry list of safety issues. His solutions were novel, to say the least.

Read the rest of Jerry Garrett's article over at: Ugly Car.

Personally I think Father Juliano's concept car is one of the sickest rides I've ever laid eyes on - it's perfectly awesome! I'd love nothing more than to be driving my little family around listening to A Holly Jolly Mystery Stream and checking out this year's perfect Christmas moon!

Happy Holidays and God Bless!


That's Right,