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In 1954, General Motors unveiled something called the Firebird, an experimental show car meant for display in the very popular "Motoramas" the company held periodically in various American cities. These were exercises in marketing, not technology, and the cars shown were often simply versions of current models with heightened symbolic content, or trials of features that were a year or two away. Later, General Motors produced a car called the Firebird, but the Firebird of 1954 was never meant for the road. It was a literal translation of the fighter plane into what may have been an automobile. If it weren't for the four large, garishly hubcapped wheels, you would never guess it was an automobile. For one thing, it had wings, delta wings sticking out from the sides of the car and looking large enough to carry a real airplane, as long as there was a jet engine. In fact, it actually had a form of jet engine. The Firebird had a clear bubble top and a black