The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – Buick Centurion Concept

Sat 7th Jul 2018

Sometimes your wallet won’t stretch to purchasing your dream motor. But don’t worry too much, there are some cars that even the biggest bank balances can’t buy, the dream cars that will forever remain a dream. These are the concept cars that never go into production.

Buick Centurion Concept
When you conceive of a car that needs to be part rocket and part jet fighter you are taking on the wild imaginations of many motoring fantasists, a car that can take you to the moon and back. When GM debuted the Centurion concept at the 1956 Motorama they made many of those dreams of fantasy a reality.

GM had been showcasing concept cars at Motorama throughout the 1950s, most of them ended in the crusher, but the Buick Centurion was destined for the history books. Designed by GM’s then current Vice President of Design, Harley Earl, with the help of his future successor, Charles ‘Chuck’ Jordan, the Centurion was the perfect car to star at a motor show which was famed for displaying cars on moving sets and with performers and bands as accompaniment.

Featuring a stunning two-tone paint job, the Centurion looked aggressive, almost shark-like, but it’s softer, glass dome roof it gave way to a jet-fighter cockpit - a design feature which has been the favourite of many concept cars before and since.

Inside the bubble was some fairly space-age tech. Gone was the mirrors, replaced by a central camera screen, the seats retracted for ease of entry, whilst the steering wheel cantilevered off a central column of chrome.

The Buick Centurion became such a favourite of motoring fans, that even beyond its Motorama appearances, it was given its own national tour, receiving huge publicity.

As for the elements which were borrowed for future use? Though we are yet to see the bubble roof take a real hold on modern car design, what tech-savvy car these days comes without its own camera rear-view mirror?