The concept car is considered as the motor vehicle in its closest form to the art object. This type of vehicle, which appeared in the 1910s, is generally in the form of a single model, produced for aerodynamic or styling studies or later for commercial promotion. All the major manufacturers, as well as designers and master bodybuilders, have produced this type of vehicle. Often destroyed after an ephemeral presentation during a season, some of these models have come down to us.
This catalogue aims to trace the genealogy of these unique objects. Based on the thirty vehicles on display as well as photographs, documents, preparatory drawings and models, he looks back in particular at the influences between Europe and the United States and the gradual development of Italian notoriety in the field. These general considerations are supplemented by notices but also by essays devoted to emblematic concept cars: the Jamais Contente, the Bugatti 28 and Louis Bionier's creations. To top it off, the first chronology dedicated to concept cars ever published makes it possible to visualize in 101 dates the iconic vehicles and their evolution.
The book is published on the occasion of the first museum exhibition devoted to concept cars, a sign of the renewal of the National Car Museum, the first museum in the world dedicated to locomotion, which was opened in Compiègne in 1927.
Exhibition at the Château de Compiègne, from 29 November 2019 to 23 MarCH 2020
208 pages / 277 illustrations
Dimensions: 20.8 x 25.6 x 1.8 cm
Rmn - Grand Palais Publishing
- Compiègne - Musée national de la voiture et du tourisme