Today, auto shows are filled with fancy concept cars; at this week's Geneva motor show, we found enough to pack an entire slideshow -- and still had plenty leftover that didn't make the cut. It's a way for designers to express themselves and engineers to showcase future technology. But perhaps more importantly, it's a way for automakers to test the water; gauge public (and media) interest and, if sufficient, put together a viable plan for the company's bean-counters to consider for actual production.
The history of the concept car stems back to 1938, when Buick revealed the Y-Job, shown here courtesy of bluto2000. Designed by Harley J. Earl, the concept was responsible for offering styling cues that graced Buicks well into the 1950s; even today the vertical waterfall grille can still be seen on current models.
Earl was in charge of a department called "The Art and Color Section," created in 1927 by Alfred Sloan. The idea was to "prepare consumers by measured steps for more radicalRead More »from The story of the world's first concept car: Flickr photo of the day