Top 10 20th Century Concept Cars | Amazing Design

A concept vehicle is a car that is made to showcase new technology in automobiles. The first concept car, Buick Y-Job was manufactured in 1938. They are also known as prototype cars because they never go into production directly. Every year car manufacturer releases their latest ideas about the concept cars. These cars may or may not be mass produced. Some concept cars use expensive materials such as carbon fiber and alloys. In the United States, concept automobiles are also known by the term “Dream Car”. These cars are usually destroyed and those survived are placed inside the museum. In the following list we represent you the Top 10 20th Century Concept Cars with their amazing design.

10. Ford FX Atmos

Ford FX-Atmos Concept CarPhoto credit: Pinterest

Ford FX Atmos was launched at the Chicago auto show of 1954. The name of the car was representing FX by future experimental and Atmos by atmosphere. The body of the car was made of white plastic and red bands on the front luggage compartment. It has two sharp spears which were used for controlling the vehicle from colliding with other vehicles.

9. Autobianchi Runabout Bertone

Bertone Autobianchi Runabout 1Photo credit: Pinterest

The Autobianchi Runabout Bertone was designed by Marcello Gandini and launched at the 1969 Turin motor show. It featured a mid mounted Fiat 128 engine and gearbox and became the bases of the Fiat X1/9. It has a wedge shape design and head lamps were mounted on the rollover bar. The main idea behind this car was to put wheels under a speed motorboat.

8. General Motor Firebird

FirebirdIPhoto credit: Wikimedia commons

The General Motor Firebird is a prototype car designed by Harley Earl, engineered in 1953. The Firebird 1 was also named as jet airplanes on wheels. It was the first gas turbine powered car in the Unites States and with 370 HP Whirlfire turbo power gas turbine engine. Recently the car was placed in the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. The car was never tested to its full power and speed potential.

7. Chevy Astro III

Chevy Astro IIIPhoto credit: conceptcarz

The 1969 Chevy Astro III was a two passenger concept car powered by a gas turbine engine. The gas turbine engine weighs just 63 kg but provides 317 HP. It was basically a small sized spaceship. It was visualized as a high performance vehicle suited for the future. It featured a closed circuit TV with a screen on the center console and an innovative design.

6. Ferrari Modulo

Ferrari Modulo Photo credit: Wikimedia commons

The Ferrari Modulo is a concept car designed by Paolo Martin and launched at the 1970 Geneva motor show. It has an extremely low body with a canopy style roof but it has some limitations of the design. The main feature of the car is the Ferrari V12 engine which produces 550 HP, a top speed of 220 MPH and 0-60 in just 3.1 seconds.

5. Phantom Corsair

Phantom Corsair Pasaden - 20th Century Concept CarsaPhoto credit: Wikimedia commons

The Phantom Corsair is a six passenger, two door sedan, built in 1938. The car weighed 2100 kg and has the maximum speed of 185 km/h due to its 190 HP Lycoming engine as well as its aerodynamic shape. The car design was considered as a failure because it never entered into production. Now the only prototype of Phantom Corsair is placed in the National Automobile Museum in Nevada.

4. Lincoln Futura

Lincoln Futura 1Photo credit: ytimg

The Lincoln Futura was designed by the Lincoln partner of the Ford automobile company. It was powered by a 368 cubic inch Lincoln engine and became a popular show car in 1955 auto show. In 1966 the car was modified into the Batmobile for the Batman TV series. It was also appeared in the 1959 movie, it started with a kiss.

3. Ford Nucleon

Ford NucleonPhoto credit: flickr

The Ford Nucleon was a concept car developed by Ford motor company in 1958. It was originally developed as a prototype of the nuclear powered car. It did not include an internal combustion engine and powered by a small nuclear reactor of uranium fission. Now you can view the car at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.

2. General Motors Le Sabre

General Motors LeSabrePhoto credit: Wikimedia commons

The General Motors Le Sabre was a 1951 concept car. The design of the car was to convert the look of modern jet fighter into an automobile design. It was powered by a supercharged 3.5 Liter V8 petrol engine and Buick dynaflow automatic transmission. It was one of the most important show cars of the 1950s. It was GM’s first use of a rear mounted transmission and later it reappeared in many other cars.

1. Buick Y-Job

BuickY-JobPhoto credit: Wikimedia commons

Recommended: World’s Best Limousines 

The Buick Y-Job was the first concept car, produced by Buick in 1938. The car had power operated headlamps, powered windows and flush door handles. It was powered by 5.2 liter Buick straight V8 engine and inspired many other concept cars. Till 1993 the car was placed at the Henry Ford museum and then it was returned to the GM design center. In 2001, Buick recreated the car with modern advancement and named it Buick Blackhawk.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is an experienced science and technology journalist interested in machines, AI, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out what his latest project is, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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  • i like to know about chevy astro III but and i am surprised that it was just 63 kg. it used gas turbine technology. why today’s engineer are not working on this type of technology.