Back in the days of Jetsons cartoons and sci-fi films, the idea of jet cars entered the minds of engineers. While there have been a few demonstrations of concept cars as the decades passed, none have proven successful. But the design has lived on with ground-running crafts with sleek lines and cockpit-style doors even if they never left the road for the skies. Such is the case with the Pulse, designed by Jim Bede, who just so happened to also design the Bede line of airplanes before shifting to the Owasso Motor Co.
The Owasso Pulse was actually not a car at all. It was technically defined as a three-wheeled motorcycle with “outriggers” wheels attached to add stability. It seated two people and boasted that it could go 100 miles on a single gallon of gas through its six-speed Yamaha engine. The tank carried three gallons.
The design had the 1,000-pound motorcycle riding on two wheels with the outrigger tires only touching the ground during turns. But unlike motorcycles, the Pulse steered like a traditional car, with clutch, brakes and gas pedal on the floor and a standard steering wheel. Production of the Pulse began in 1984, but didn’t last long. The last one rolled out of the Michigan plant in 1990, after only 325 cars. Pulse cars turn heads wherever they go and are well sought after by collections, often turning up on auctions for about $30,000.