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Concept Cars
by Richard Dredge
Thunder Bay Press
ISBN 1-59223-324-4
Published November 2004 - Hardcover - 320 pages - $24.98

I don't claim to know much about cars other than how to drive them, keep them running, and their aesthetic attraction.  I don't know anything about torque, transmissions, turbo, or differentials.  Apparently, concept cars are just ideas, and according to author Dredge, "few concept cars ever make it into production, although elements of most of them eventually reach the showrooms."  Seems odd to me.  I have to wonder how much time, money, and energy is wasted on dreaming up new cars, building them, and then never selling them.  Must be a "guy thing."  There are reasons (see page 6).  The American car manufacturers GM and Chrysler were the ones who got things going, and were later joined by Ford.  Europe followed after World War II, and "concept cars" has grown incredibly from there.  Practical these cars are not, unless you're single (i.e. no kids), very rich, or are James Bond.  Many had names like Thunder Bird, Golden Rocket, and Firebird - all rather phallic in my opinion - and were predominantly aerodynamically designed.  Even though they're not for sale, don't let that stop you from salivating over the likes of funky concept cars from Mercedes, Alfa Romeo, BMW, Fioravanti, Peugot, Pininfarina, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Bertone, Cadillac, Jaguar, Toyota, Ford, MG, Saab, VW, Zagato, Citroën, Lancia, Volvo, Pontiac, Renault, and Porsche among others.  I loved the interior of the Bugatti Veyron (p 84), the cute Opel Maxx (p 227), and the Mercedes Vision A93 (p 301).  Very interesting reading about how initial ideas became eco-friendly and more cost-efficient.  Progress I'd say.  Contents include: Sports Cars; Supercar Concepts; Luxury Concepts; Technological Innovations; Family Fun, and Production Models.
Conclusion - A great book for the motorcar enthusiast.

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