Being behind the wheel of a classic car is a thrilling experience, but there are some cars that were only designed for show. This is the case with concept cars, which are made to showcase new styles and technology. American designer Harley Earl came up with the idea of the concept car in the 1950s and it became very popular. Over the years there have been many concept cars, and here are some of the most memorable.
Ferrari 512 S Modulo
In 1970, Ferrari decided to create a car that was almost completely flat and so the 512 S Modulo was born. The Modulo had a low body with a canopy-style roof that was meant to slide forward so people could enter the vehicle. Unfortunately, the design made it impossible to drive.
The 1988 Audi Aztec had a futuristic design that made it seem like something out of a sci-fi film. It featured a five-cylinder DOHC 200 PS Audio Turbo engine and four-wheel system adopted from a Lancia Delta Integrale. The car stood out because of the separation between the driver seat and passenger side. When two people sat in the vehicle, they would have needed to communicate electronically. In addition, the car featured a removable electric screwdriver, torch and fire extinguisher that was housed on the left hand side.
First introduced at the 1956 Motorama GM, the Buick Centurion immediately caught the attention of car enthusiasts. The car had a muscular build that was inspired by the aviation industry. The fibreglass exterior featured sleek curves while the interior looked like an aeroplane cockpit. A broad, shark-like bonnet gave the Centurion an aggressive appearance that set the tone for future Buicks.
General Motors Firebird
What happens when you cross a plane with a car? You get the GM Firebird. Engineered for the 1953, 1956 and 1959 Motorama auto shows, the Firebird was never intended to be driven in public. Instead, the vehicle was designed to showcase the kind of technology General Motors were able to create. The 1953 version was presented as a jet plane on wheels and became the first gas turbine-powered car tested in America.
The 1942 Electric Egg was built by French designer Paul Arzens and ran on batteries. During WW2, petrol was in short supply for civilian use, which led to Arzens experimenting with electric cars. The three-wheeled vehicle had an aluminum body and plexiglass windows. An interesting thing to note about the Egg is that it remains unrestored and can be viewed at the Indianapolis Art Museum.