Designed and built in 1938, the Buick Y-Job is important purely for its design and aesthetic. It was the first concept car that was never produced but influenced the aesthetics and design of Buicks into the 50’s. It featured hidden headlamps, a power top that hid below the car’s tonneau and power windows.
Rolls Royce Silver Ghost
A car produced solely for promotional purposes in 1906 and then re-introduced as the Silver Ghost in 1907. It does not fully fall into the category of concept car but it did establish Rolls Royce as a reliable car manufacturer. This was achieved by allowing the car to drive between London and Glasgow 27 times. That is a total of 15 000 miles over terrible roads.
The LamboMarzal was introduced in 1967 at the Geneva Auto Show. It was the first of its kind; being the first wedged shaped car. Designed by Marcello Gandini, who also designed the Countach, Miura, and Diablo. The engine and horsepower of the concept vehicle were not up to today’s Lamborghini standards but the shape of the vehicle has captured attention for many generations after.
Porsche 695 and 901
Released in 1961 and 1963 respectively, they both inspired the creation of the Porsche 911. The similarities between the Porsche 695, or T7 prototype and the Porsche 911 is easy to spot at first glance. The manufacturers were not satisfied with the rear end and developed the Porsche 901 in 1963. However, Peugeot has the rights to using three digits with a zero in the middle. Porsche then substituted the zero with a 1.
Ford Mustang I
This concept car looks completely different the sports car icon it eventually became. It started out as a 2-door roadster with the engine housed in the center. The Mustang II, which later became the car we are all familiar with, was fashioned out of the Mustang I bombs and failings.
The name Volvo hardly conjured up innovation but the VESC stands for Volvo Experimental Safety Car. And there, Volva reigned king for many generations. The VESC, introduced in 1972 paved the way for Volvo’s airbags, anti-lock brakes, collapsible steering wheel, crumple zones, automatic seatbelts and rollover protection. Today, Volvo still holds the reputation as the leaders in automotive safety features and innovation.
This prototype, that was introduced in 1942, was the concept for the vehicle needed by the US Army. During World War II, the army needed a new off-road vehicle. Initially, there were five prototypes built and two of them lived up the US Army’s needs and specifications. The biggest drawing card of the Quad over its competition was the engine. It was a rather heavy vehicle but managed to shed some weight after borrowing some ideas from its direct competition.
This concept car was introduced in 1961 and gave birth to the Corvette two years later. This concept will also inspire the design of the C2 Corvette Sting Ray. Even still, the Mako Shark Corvette is the most triumphant concept ever designed.