Authentic Car Design Sketches from a 9th Grader, Circa 1983

One of my best friends growing up was Gene, who lived several houses down the street from me.  We shared a lot of common interests, and one of those interests was cars!  In fact, we both liked to draw cars, but our tastes were (and are) slightly different–I was drawing cars from the ’50s, and Gene favored more contemporary designs with a European flavor.

We recently went through his book of design sketches, which span 1982-86 approximately.   These were intended by Gene to be actual proposals for real cars.  In some cases, he made up new makes of cars that had a distinctive personality.   In my opinion, some of these designs were better than what was actually produced by the major automakers.   ’80s car designs tended to be bland and lacked charisma, but some of Gene’s sketches have a high-tech, futuristic look, while others synthesize modern design with retro elements.

Now, in 2019, this 35-year-old sketchbook is an historical artifact of its time.  So let’s see what a teenager came up with back in those days:


Eugene (“Gene”) Bohensky with his new 1986 Volkswagen GTI.


Sample drawings:

A racy-looking RX-7


Another variation on the theme, the “Renault Allure Espada”.


A “1986 Audi 8000”, Computer Controlled, dated January 31st, 1983.


A “Medusa 3”, dated April 22nd, 1983.


Cadillac Seville sketch from 1984 speculates what the 1986 model will look like, complete with specifications.


A sporty Pontiac 4-door, the “Grand Vitesse Superfast Turbo”.


“Sable Moonbeam”.


“Renault Espace” looks remarkably similar to a modern SUV!


One of two Imperial revival proposals, dated March 14th, 1984.


Proposal for a 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Coupe.


“Aerostar 136”.


Plymouth Horizon “Aero Coupe”.


K-Car proposal from June 15th, 1984.


“Ghia Spyder” dated April 4th, 1986.


“Ford Mustang IV” dated April 7th, 1986.



Not all the drawings were so serious. . .


“Dupree Brougham” luxury sedan, with nose-thumbing radiator ornament.


And finally, an “Escape Craft” for 10 people, for use in case of nuclear war.