Top 10 Fifties American Concept Cars

- in Cars

Here are our 10 favorite American concept cars from the 1950s:

10. 1955 Lincoln Futura
Ford unveiled the long, low but sharply finned Futura in 1955. The car featured a twin-bubble cockpit cover. After showing the car, Ford sold the Futura to Hollywood producers, who had it convert it into the original Batmobile for the 1960s Batman television series.

1955 Lincoln Futura concept car

9. 1952 Chrysler K-310
This was the first collaboration between Chrysler design chief Virgil Exner and the Ghia coachbuilding works in Italy. The concept also introduced the “Forward Look” that would characterize Chrysler production cars in the coming years.
1952 Chrysler K 310 concept car


8. 1954 Dodge Firearrows
There were four Firearrows – two roadsters, a coupe and a convertible — and all of them are gorgeous!
Learn more about 1954 Dodge Firearrows.

1954 Dodge Firearrows concept

7. 1956 GM Firebird II
General Motors did a series of three futuristic and gas turbine-powered Firebirds. The ’56 was supposed to be the most practical because it could hold a family of four and was designed to drive itself along an automated highway.
1956 Firebird II concept car with Harley Earl

6. 1957 Dodge Dart
If you’re familiar with the B.A.T. concepts done by Bertone in Italy, then picture one of them stretched way out into a very large and very American-sized car, albeit one with a gorgeous two-tone paint job and aerodynamics fine-tuned in the wind tunnel.
1957 Dodge Dart concept car


5. 1958 Ford Nucleon
Though it never grew larger than a small scale model, the Nucleon was a very interesting concept. What appeared to be a large spare tire cover on the car’s rear deck lid actually represented a small nuclear reactor that would provide power to propel the vehicle.

1958 Ford Nucleon concept car

4. 1956 Chrysler Norseman
It wasn’t so much the car but its fate that makes this one endearing and enduring. The Norseman was among the cargo that went down with the Andrea Dora sank.
1956 Chrysler Norseman concept car

3. 1951 General Motors Le Sabre
Not only did this become GM design boss Harley Earl’s daily driver, but this jet fighter-inspired convertible (complete with an altimeter, jet-like air intakes and tail fins) had a water sensor on its center console so if it sprinkled while the top was down, the top automatically powered itself up into place to keep the cockpit dry.
Learn more about 1951 GM Le Sabre.
1951 General Motors Le Sabre concept car


2. The “other” Corvettes
General Motors introduced the Corvette as a concept car at the 1953 Motorama. But the original ‘Vette was just one of only four concepts based on the same platform. The others were the Corvette hardtop, the Nomad wagon and perhaps my favorite, the Corvair, a fastback coupe.

1953 Corvette Motorama concept car

1. 1960 Plymouth XNR
This concept was Plymouth’s answer to the Corvette, and it was gorgeous, with an asymmetric design that featured dorsal fin that extended from just behind the driver’s head to the trailing edge of the car. (Yes, I know, I’m cheating a little to include a concept from 1960, but it’s just so cool and since the earliest car on this list is from 1951, I’m declaring that as the start of the decade.)
Learn more about 1960 Plymouth XNR.
1960 Plymouth XNR concept car


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