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This 1977 Toyota Prius Artwork Deserves Its Own Alternate History Show

We’ve been fawning over the fantastical work of Dutch illustrator, Ruben Nooms, over here at Grand Tour Nation. His renders reimagine contemporary models of cars as vintage classics, which would have undoubtedly made a huge splash had they been released for our parents’ generation.

My favourite alt-history model to ponder is this beautifully done 1977 Prius, with its aggressive window louvers and green side-stripes. The chrome bumpers and mirrors really make it stand out, and would even be a good idea for Toyota’s current models, if they wanted to channel some post-ironic styling, maybe as an answer to the Honda E.

It recalls the pintos and fiestas of yesteryear, but with some much needed aerodynamic work deserving of its Prius badge. Which, of course, would have been primed to take on the energy crisis that shocked the late 70s economy. We’ve all seen the pictures, a line of square bodied steel beasts, all waiting for their shot at a few precious drops of gasoline.

What do we definitely not see in this aged snap? The imaginary 1977 Toyota Prius, which of course would have blown right past this mess, running on its nickel-batteries and infinitesimal 4-cylinder. Granted, the technology for a hybrid car wasn’t nearly as prepared for the primetime as it would be by the late 90s. Maybe with that history, the world would have been more eager to adopt cult classics like the GM EV-1.

The ’77 Prius would have been the sensible man’s choice, and the most talked about car around the gelatin table at every potluck. Now to take it a step further, and sketch up the restomods.

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