There are generally three kind of show cars that auto manufacturers trot out at the varied Auto Expos. There’s the thinly disguised impending production model, typically devoid of such necessities as functional mirrors, door handles, or non-crazy train thin tires, but otherwise ready to pop off the line. Next there’s the production model that’s decked out in some sort of special use packaging – maybe a Jeep Compass intended to scale Everest, or a Mini Cooper with a fold-out hotdog stand. The last – and this focus of today’s query – are the pure show cars, the concepts that let the designers and engineers stretch their muscles and color, so to speak, outside the lines.
It’s that last group that almost never ever reaches the dealer floor, although your can see many pine for that day. Some actually have translated from show to go, the most notable example being the Dodge Viper, which in first-generation production guise seemed a carbon copy (ask your dad) of its Dais Darling progenitor. That’s one of the few exceptions to the rule, and what we are looking for today is what other show cars from days gone by could still pass for production today. Cars like Pininfarina’s glorious Ferrari Pinin above, or Ford’s frantic attempt to take on the perceived threat the Fiero could have been, the Cobra 230ME. What other concept cars do you think could be pulled out, dusted off, and put into production today?