A car with a built-in Nintendo in 1990? Kids would have rioted to get one.
If a few factors in my life were different (way more money, way less wife), I would be a Nintendo collector. So when I see an item that’s particularly rare and unique, it piques my “me in an alternate universe” interest.
I was completely wrong. THIS just might be the rarest single piece of video game memorabilia ever.
At the 1990 Chicago Auto Show, Oldsmobile (RIP) unveiled a concept car called the Oldsmobile Expression. It was a somewhat futuristic-looking station wagon with next-gen features like rain-sensing wipers and sports car style four-wheel steering.
But there was one killer feature that shined above all else. It had a Nintendo Entertainment System built right in.
Let’s zoom to take a closer look.
It seems somewhat passe through the modern lens, where in-car TVs and video games are more or less commonplace. (It’s also passe in the post-Pimp My Ride world; they wouldn’t have just put a Nintendo in a car, they also would’ve installed a glass cage featuring a kidnapped Nintendo employee to help you out with on-demand tips and tricks.)
But in 1990? This thing would’ve cause riots at car dealerships. Kids would’ve thrown tantrums the likes of which ye have never seen to get their parents to buy this car. It might’ve even changed the course of history, with Oldsmobile becoming the country’s top brand and station wagons ascending the mountain as the epitome of cool.
Sadly, it was too incredible to be true. The Oldsmobile Expression’s wings of wax melted and the car never made it out of the prototype phase. It’s a story we’ve heard before…
The question, however, remains: How many Expressions were produced, and is it possible to get one?
It’s not a “classic” car per se, but to a very specific subset of video game collectors, this is the Ark of the Covenant. Forget buried E.T Atari cartridges; this is million-dollar stuff right here. Maybe even multiple millions.
Of course, if you did get the car, you’d never drive it. It belongs in a museum. Plus I can’t imagine it would pass any of today’s safety standards. What happens when the car gets rear-ended with two kids facing backwards playing Nintendo? Real world case study into whether “extra lives” are a real thing.
Still, I’ll take two.
Thanks to Cars That Never Made It for the find!