Could You Build a Car on Kickstarter?

Kickstarter car 1 photo
Photo: Kickstarter
I like to think that cars are the coolest things in the world because they make me happy and give me an everyday purpose (as in… a job). But stepping outside the cocoon I may have built around myself, I will admit that motoring isn’t all that with the younger generations, which I’m actually a part of. Many companies have squandered billions in the vain attempt to build something that will tempt the us millennials away from the Xbox controllers and television remotes and nothing they do makes sense.
Forget Scion, the MINI Coupe or Hyundai’s Veloster. Nobody is going to buy a car just because it looks like a baseball hat or because  divas like J-Lo get paid to feature them in videos. That’s why all these cars have fallen short of achieving their Gen Y volume targets. So let’s pretend we have half a good idea and try to think outside the sandbox for a second here.

Millennials like to think they’re all-knowing
, so why don’t we use them and the internet to make a car. And while we’re there, let’s use it to get the money as well!

You’ve probably all heard about a website called Kickstarter. The basic idea is that you come up with a cool idea and people finance it because they feel inspired. If you think about it, this basically liberates the inventor and ensures he doesn’t need to bring his good ideas to a major company. It’s good, right?

The only problem: about 99% of the inventors are into World of Warcraft. Of the 10 biggest projects ever to be funded by Kickstarter, 4 are about video games, one is iPhone gear and another is a music streaming service.

Perhaps the funniest of all is Reaper Miniatures Bones. In 2012, 18,000 people gave almost $3.5 million just so a company could make more model dragons, dwarves and orcs. Reaper got 114 times what they asked for – we’re talking about board game fans, thousands of them that were obsessed with their hobby and wanted more. Why aren’t we petrolheads so united?

If you could finance a car on Kickstarter, what would that be like? It’s probably not a 500 horsepower sportscar, that for sure. This is the internet, where what 9GAG says is 100 times more valuable than CNN. You’ve got to think like Apple, Microsoft and… Tesla.

That’s right, if it’s not electric, it’s not worth doing. So what else can we add to this mix? How about a tubular chassis like the Ariel Atom, combined with some retro elements from the Morgan 3-Wheeler. The design should be 100% computer generated and borrowed from hit games like Halo, Portal and Mass Effect.

What if you could make a 3-wheeled 2-seater that looked like the Batmobile? What if you made a Steampunk Renault Twizy? I’m really not the best person to come up with such ideas, but I’m confident the Kickstarter car can happen, with the right idea done at the right time.

Why do I care about this so much? Is it really wrong that Call of Duty high scores and Facebook likes keeps a whole generation happy? A photo I keep of my grandfather riding his motorcycle tells me it is. He and his wife spend their first 10 years of marriage on the road, seeing places and making memories. We don’t do that any more, not while playing board games!
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea Radu profile photo

Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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