The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – Volvo Venus Bilo

Sat 2nd Feb 2019

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.

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.

Volvo Venus Bilo
Sometimes a concept can be so truly mind bending and radical that even those who conceived the idea want nothing to do with it. So when the Venus Bilo was first revealed in 1933 there was plenty of guessing as to which company had actually produced it.

Some describe the Venus Bilo as the world’s very first concept car, a true one of a kind, Volvo had only been in operations for seven years, but the Swedish company were keen to test public reaction to a range of motoring styles and idea. They wanted innovation and handed a project for a closed sedan with no fender lines or running boards to Gustaf LM Ericsson, the son of famous Swedish industrialist LM Ericsson. Gustaf had not enjoyed such success in automobiles as his father had in telecommunications, but that changed when he built his 1/10 scale model of the Venus Bilo.

Gustaf Ericsson took his idea to another Gustaf, Gustaf Norberg, a director at Norberg Karosserifabrik, a hugely respected bodywork manufacturer who had royal patrons and who worked with Rolls Royce. ‘I think it’s beautiful, can you do it on a Volvo chassis?’ Ericsson asked of Nordberg after showing his model. ‘We’ll do it!’ Nordberg said a moment later.

So the first concept car was born, a point towards the airstreamed cars of the next three decades. But the fate of the Venus Bilo is less happy. After showing the concept to resellers across Scandinavia, the reaction was less than warm and after just 18 months Volvo sold it to a director in Sweden. The car was then sold to an anonymous buyer in Denmark after the Second World War, before being turned into a pick-up truck in the 1950s. It was last seen in 1956 before vanishing completely. The world’s first concept car… lost forever and to most certainly a car that money can’t buy.