Cars of Futures Past | GM Firebird Concepts
In the car-obsessed 1950s, showing off technical capability was just as important to automakers as staying current with the latest design trends. While auto shows served as a platform to highlight cars that would be hitting dealerships in the near future, technology-driven events like the World’s Fair and GM’s Motorama served to highlight features that would (presumably) be appearing in cars of the future. GM’s trio of aircraft-inspired Firebird concepts were never intended to be production automobiles, but they did give audiences of the 1950s hope for a brighter motoring future.
Designed under the guidance of the legendary Harley Earl, the official purpose of all three Firebird models was to test the feasibility of the gas turbine engine in automotive applications. Each also pushed the envelope of technology, and by the time the Firebird III was introduced in 1958, General Motors had done a remarkably good job of predicting what the future of the automobile would look like. - Kurt Ernst
Got to love early car design. Much more interesting than today’s appliances.