Volvo claims it built the first concept car when it presented the Venus Bilo in 1933. Auto historians have long debated whether or not that claim is accurate, but what is certain is that concept cars have been around since at least the 1930s.
A look back at decades of auto shows reveals concept cars have taken almost every imaginable form ranging from highly-futuristic models like the Renault 11-based Gabbiano to more realistic examples such as the Renault Fuego Cabriolet that was largely designed with the United States market in mind. There have been trends, too: Numerous automakers unveiled aerodynamic wedge-shaped concepts in the early 1970s, and many presented safety-focused show cars in the late 1970s and early 1908s.
The latest trend in the auto industry is to present so-called “thinly-veiled” concepts that are essentially upcoming production models with futuristic styling cues like thin mirrors and hidden door handles, but some automakers still dabble in the wild and the highly-improbable.
There are many vintage concept cars that we would have liked to see built. One that immediately comes to mind is the Simca 1501 Coupe that coachbuilder Heuliez presented in 1968. Based on the standard 1501 sedan, the Coupe featured a fastback-like silhouette that was noticeably inspired by the Simca 1000 and 1200 coupes. Inside, the 1501 Coupe boasted a sporty dashboard with a comprehensive selection of analog gauges and a floor-mounted shifter.
How about you, readers, what concept car do you think should have been built?