The cars may eventually be built, with some changes, or not built at all. The ones that do make it to the production line seldom resemble the original concept. In fact, most production vehicles are radically different than the concept cars that were presented to the enthusiasts in the beginning.
The Petersen’s “History of the Future Gallery” displays three of the most exciting and unique concept cars, each from a major American Manufacturer, that allows us to take a look back at what the big three automakers thought the future would look like. Here are the three concept vehicles currently on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum:
The 1955 Biscayne was built by Chevrolet to showcase its new “Turbo-Fire” 265 cubic-inch V-8 engine and innovative features such as a panoramic windshield, rear suicide doors and swiveling front seats. Its futuristic styling cues would influence subsequent General Motors vehicles, including the Corvette, Corvair and Riviera.
This concept car was long thought to be destroyed until noted car collector Joe Bortz’s son spotted the car in a photo printed in the Automobile Quarterly magazine. The photo was a shot of an auto scrap yard in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Bortz bought the car and began to retrieve all the pieces. With no drivetrain or chassis, he managed to find and assemble the car’s body parts that were scattered around the wrecking yard.
Like a majority of other Chrysler Corporation “dream cars” of the period, the sporty Plymouth Explorer was bodied by Carrozzeria Ghia in Turin, Italy. Its hand-formed coachwork was distinguished by carefully sculpted contours and accentuated by horizontal spears on the sides that were painted white to contrast with the striking metallic green body color. Interior features included leather upholstery, fitted luggage and concealed radio controls.
The D-528 was built to test advanced concepts in safety, lighting, air conditioning, and front frame design. The oddly designed hinged rear fender bulges were functional, concealing a spare tire on one side and a gas tank on the other.
The extraordinary luggage capacity is obvious, and probably would have fit in well in the mid-fifties larger family car lifestyle. The large trunk also fit the large air conditioning evaporators required for the air conditioning system.
Article courtesy of Street Legal TV, written by Bobby Kimbrough.