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Sunday, August 27, 2023

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

Unique ONES - In the realm of automotive innovation, the 20th century witnessed the emergence of concept cars that defied convention and ignited the imagination of enthusiasts worldwide. These vehicles, though not intended for mass production, showcased the creative prowess of automotive designers and engineers.
The Buick Century Cruiser made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show 1969. (Picture from: V8Buick)
While we won't attempt an exhaustive list or delve into every brand and car show (as a wealth of such information exists online), we're here to celebrate the audacious and aesthetic values of the most captivating and unconventional concept automobiles. Prepare to be awed as we present the second list of five unique vehicle concepts that graced the 20th century.

6. 1961 Chrysler Turboflite
Cruising into the future's superhighways, the 1961 Turboflite by Chrysler boldly embodied a vision beyond its time. Boasting design elements still unparalleled today, like the automatic rising glass canopy upon door opening, the Turboflite redefined innovation.  It flaunted the cutting-edge CR2A gas turbine engine, along with an array of revolutionary features.
1961 Chrysler TurboFlite. (Picture from: Hemmings)
Notably, this 4-passenger marvel sported roof-hinged side windows, a full-width lens encompassing tail-lamps and turn signals, and the avant-garde electroluminescent interior lighting. Its influence even extended to the spoiler design later seen in the iconic 'muscle cars' of the 1960s.

7. 1964 Ford Aurora
At the 1964 World's Fair, the Ford Motor Company captured hearts with an array of concept vehicles, among them, the stunning 1964 Ford Aurora. This radical "luxury lounge" prototype wagon graced the stage with its vibrant orange hue and rode on a substantial 131-inch wheelbase. 
1964 Ford Aurora. (Picture from: OldCarsCanada)
Dubbed "the beginning or rising light of morning," the celestial Aurora aimed to ignite a new era of Ford's station wagon supremacy. While Ford trailed behind competitors like GM and Chrysler, the Aurora shone as an emblem of Ford's determination to align design with future market trends, seeking insights from potential consumers.

8. 1969 Buick Century Cruiser
Crafted for leisurely cross-country expeditions on forthcoming automated highways, the Buick Century Cruiser, a descendant of the 1964 Firebird IV concept car, merged innovation with comfort. The cabin, akin to a mobile living room, accommodated four passengers with swiveling contoured seats, a concealed refrigerator, television, and a retractable table.
1969 Buick Century Cruiser. (Picture from: CarInfo)
The entrance canopy, encompassing most of the roof and glass areas, ushered in passengers with seamless grace. Stability flaps, aiding braking, and dynamic wheel cover adjustments for smoother turns, showcased the Cruiser's attention to both luxury and functionality.
1969 Buick Century Cruiser. (Picture from: CarInfo)
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.

9. 1969 Chevrolet Astro III
In the realm of audacious design, the 1969 Chevrolet Astro III stood tall. Resembling an executive jet aircraft with its 'tricycle' wheel arrangement (although hosting four wheels), the Astro III embraced a Model 250-C18 gas turbine engine.
1969 Chevrolet Astro III. (Picture from: ConceptCarz)
Engineered for high-performance ventures on restricted-access highways, its aerodynamic form was not only a spectacle but also an exemplar of fuel efficiency. Featuring a power canopy for graceful entries and closed-circuit TV for rear vision, the Astro III captivated as a symbol of futuristic excellence.

10. 1969 Autobianchi Runabout
Inspired by the world of motorboats, the Autobianchi Runabout, a brainchild of Marcello Gandini of Bertone, exuded a distinct charm. Drawing from the speedboats of the late 1960s, its unusual yet captivating design paved the way for the future Fiat X1/9.
1969 Autobianchi Runabout. (Picture from: LotusEspritTurbo)
Beneath its Autobianchi marque, it concealed a mid-mounted 128 SOHC engine and gearbox from the front-wheel-drive Fiat 128. This pointed masterpiece, adorned with rollbars that hosted headlamps and vibrant colors, aimed at a youthful market. The Runabout beckoned adventure, evoking the pure joy of driving in traffic-free realms.
Witnessing these five concept cars, one cannot help but marvel at the ingenuity that defined the 20th century's automotive landscape. These daring creations not only showcased futuristic design but also spurred the imagination of generations to come. As we reflect on these icons, we're reminded that the road to innovation is paved with boldness and creativity. (Back to previous article). *** [EKA [05012014] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | V8BUICK | CAR.INFO | HEMMINGS | OLDCARSCANADA | CONCEPTCARZ | LOTUSESPRIRTURBO | CHICAGOAUTOSHOW | PIKIRAN RAKYAT 03012013]
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