While clearing out some junk in my garage, I came across a October 1980 copy of Popular Mechanics that contained the above story with “spy photos” of a two-passenger electric hybrid GM was working on for sales in 1985. Keep in mind, this was a full decade before GM’s legendary EV-1.

The same issue of PM also contained glowing reviews of Mazda’s RX-7 powered by a Wankel rotary engine and reminded readers that “Wall Street prognosticators predicted that by 1980, 90 percent of domestic cars would be powered by rotary engines.” (As a one-time Mazda repair prodigy in the 1970s, I can tell you that the Mazdas were blazingly fast and had great ceramic composite apex seals, but the engines were extremely heavy, prone to combustion chamber seal failures every 50,000 miles and were big-time gas hogs. Pity.)