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Exceptional Conceptual: The Greatest Concept Cars of All Time, Volume I

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Exceptional Conceptual: The Greatest Concept Cars of All Time, Volume I

Go to any auto show and you’ll find at least one vehicle that shines bright among the horde of production units, one with exterior shapes and interior details unrestrained by the limitations of mass production. Known universally as “concept cars,” these vehicular peacocks not only lay bare the heart and soul of an automaker’s design department, but they also often allow manufacturers a way to hint at certain styling elements and design themes that may weave their way into future production models.

Initially reserved for pure flights of fancy highly unlikely to make production, the concept moniker has in recent years been slapped on barely disguised future production models in an effort to wring every last headline from a model before it officially goes on sale—we’re looking at you, 2015 Honda Civic coupe “concept.” In rare instances, as was the case with the original Dodge Viper, a concept will prove to be so overwhelmingly adored that a manufacturer essentially is forced to make the dream a reality, lest the buying public call its bluff.

Here we review some of our favorite concepts from history—note that this is by no means an exhaustive list—starting at ground zero with Harley Earl’s iconic Buick Y-Job.

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