Concept Cars

Concept Cars through history

Concept Cars have been built by many different kinds of people and/or organizations for a variety of reasons. Privateers and small builders continue to build custom concepts to this very day, and of course automotive manufacturers large and small attempt to wow us every year with stunning new concept cars. In that vein, they have served as a window into the industry, or at least what the industry is willing to show, to the public at large. Concept cars draw crowds to car shows each year, and its been like this for decades. The very first such factory-built concept car was the 1938 Buick Y-Job. It was designed by GMs head of design, the flamboyant Harley Earl. It set the automotive world on fire, but unfortunately World War II started shortly after, and it wasn't until after the war that work resumed on such "Cars of Tomorrow". GM led the way, but others soon followed.

CONCEPT CARS
in order by year


1951 Buick XP-300

Literally the world's second Factory Concept Car following the '38 Buick Y-Job. Heavy jet-fighter influence.

1956 Buick XP301 Centurion
The wild 'Jet-Fighter-on-wheels' was Buick's concept car entry in GM's 1956 Autorama.

1963 Buick Riviera Silver Arrow I

The Riviera was Bill Mitchell's baby to begin with. So he commissioned a special one to be customized to his specifications to be his personal driver.

1977 Pontiac Phantom

This sinister-looking show car was Bill Mitchell's last project before he retired. A wild fantasy with no hope of production.

GM Designs by Dick Ruzzin
He was Design Chief for Chevrolet & GM of Europe, worked on 140+ cars & more. Some of his early sketches of concept cars.

Check out these CONCEPT CAR BOOKS





Concept Cars: From the 1930s to the Present



Concept Cars



THE WORLD'S WORST CONCEPT CARS: From Creative Failures to Breathtakingly Ugly Disasters



Motorama: GM's Legendary Show & Concept Cars (Cartech)



Concept Cars: Designing for the Future



Creative Industries of Detroit: The Untold Story of Detroit's Secret Concept Car Builder



Concept Cars: From the 1930s to the Present



70s Concept Cars: Yesterday's Dreams of the Future (English, German and French Edition)



Pontiac Concept and Show Cars: Includes Club De Mer, Banshee, GTO Flamme, Cirrus, Firebird Pegasus & More



Modern Chrysler Concept Cars: The Designs That Saved the Company





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Updated 10/29/17

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