Ever since I was 6 or 7 years old I have been infatuated with concept cars. Back at that time the manufactures were prolific in building and displaying concept cars. They were not visions of what the next generation of automobiles will look like, they were distant perspectives of the future of what cars might look like when I could drive!
Today, unfortunately, such factory dream cars seem to be what the next model change will look like if a California customizer had his way with the car. They may be beautiful but lack real-world utility and no vision of what we might be driving or flying in 25 years.
The 1956 Buick Centurion ZP-301 Dream Car was radical but yet realistic. It seemed to straddle the line between the distant future and the next generation of the automobile. Honestly, I don’t remember this Buick concept car as well as others. Actually, I have seen it in person several times over the last few years and it blows me away more each time I see it. It is a gorgeous car and has features that have only shown up on production cars in recent years, 50 too 60 years later.
The Centurion XP-301 was a featured car at the 1956 GM Motorama. It featured a rear-mounted camera and video screen. The top was a popular concept car of the day bubble top. More futuristic as in predicting the future, the car had retractable seat belts and bucket seats with headrests.