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Sunday, January 5, 2014

10 Unique Concept cars of the 20th century (Part-2)

It is not our aim to present a complete list, or even a comprehensive coverage of particular brands and car shows (there is enough material of this nature available on the web).

What we want to do instead, is to celebrate the daring and esthetic value of the most fascinating and unusual concept automobiles - give you shapes and curves to brighten up your day, and to make you say "Wow, what a cool concept!" a couple of times. Here we show the 2nd list of five unique vehicle concepts of the 20th century,

5. 1961 Chrysler Turboflite
Designed for cruising the superhighways of the future, the 1961 Turboflite was so far ahead of its time that it incorporated design features that still have not been introduced - like the glass canopy that rose automatically when either door was opened!

The 1961 Chrysler TurboFlite was a show car which featured the company’s latest gas turbine engine, the CR2A, and a long list of revolutionary features.
1961 Chrysler TurboFlite. (Picture from: http://www.imperialclub.com/)
The 4-passenger concept vehicles also featured a large rear spoiler later incorporated in the 'muscle cars' of the sixties, roof-hinged side windows, tail-lamps and turn signals placed behind a single lens stretching across the entire rear of the car, full-volume foam rubber seat cushions, and electroluminescent interior lighting in the door panels.

4. 1964 Ford Aurora
The Ford Motor Company showed off its wares at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City and included a number of concept vehicles. The crown jewel was a radical "luxury lounge" prototype wagon. The bright orange Aurora station wagon rode on a 3327.4-millimetre (131-inch) wheelbase. Its celestial name was explained to visitors as meaning "the beginning or rising light of morning."
1964 Ford Aurora. (Picture from: http://www.oldcarscanada.com/)
In showing experimental cars to millions of potential consumers, Ford intended to collect valuable feedback so that product planners, designers and engineers would be in tune with future market trends. This was of concern because Ford was a distant third in the station wagon game, well behind GM and Chrysler. Even little Rambler was snapping hard at Ford's wagon heels.

3. 1969 Buick Century Cruiser
Designed for cross-country cruising on future automatic highways, the Century Cruiser was built off the chassis of the 1964 Firebird IV concept car. Providing the comforts of a living room on wheels to the four passengers, the Century Cruiser featured semi-reclining, swivelling contoured seats, a pull-out refrigerator, a television, and a pull-out table.
1969 Buick Century Cruiser. (Picture from: http://www.autointhenews.com/)
The entrance canopy, consisting of all the glass areas and most of the roof, slid forward and upward and unlatched the doors, which then glided forward for easier access to the seats. All door and canopy controls were activated at the touch of a button. Braking was aided by stability flaps on both sides of the car past the front wheel.

As the car turned, the wheel covers moved outward to allow the wheel to tum easier. The wheel covers could also be operated manually, using hand grips in the armrests. The front luggage compartment raised for easy access height. Once on an automatic highway, seen in the future from 1969, the driver would insert a programmable card into a slot and allow the car to drive to the destination automatically.

2. 1969 Chevrolet Astro III
The radical 1969 Astro III is a two-passenger experimental car resembling an executive jet aircraft, even down to its 'tricycle' wheel arrangement....though it actually has four wheels, with the front pair placed close together under its nose. 

Powered by a Model 250-C18 gas turbine engine, it was envisioned as a high-performance vehicle suited for future restricted access or system-controlled highways.
1969 Chevrolet Astro III. (Picture from: http://www.conceptcarz.com/)
Besides having an aerodynamic design, this car is more economical fuel consumption. A power canopy moves forward and upward for entry, and rear vision is provided by closed-circuit TV with a screen on the center console.

1. 1969 Autobianchi Runabout
The design project for the Runabout took its inspiration from the motorboat world. As in the case of other prototypes inspired by the design concepts and styling applied to other fields, here once more Marcello Gandini of Bertone took his inspiration from outside the motoring world.

The Runabout was in fact inspired by the racing speedboats around at the end of the 1960's. Despite its unusual look and evident dream car status, the prototype was used as the starting point for the design of the future Fiat X1/9, which was launched a couple of years later.
1969 Autobianchi Runabout. (Picture from: http://fabwheelsdigest.blogspot.com/)
Featuring a mid-mounted 128 SOHC engine & gearbox taken from the front wheel drive Fiat 128, even though the car was presented under the Autobianchi marque. With its pointed shape, generous rollbars hosting the headlamps and the colours chosen by its designer, the car was aimed at a young market.

The Runabout is an invitation to fun, stress-free travelling, evoking the sheer joy of driving in places where traffic is no more than a distant memory. The Runabout was presented at the 1969 Turin Motor Show: an original vision of the future which once more attracted the attention of more than a few curious on-lookers. (Back to previous article.) *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CONCEPTCARZ | GALIH PAKUAN | PIKIRAN RAKYAT 03012013] 
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