1969 Buick Century Cruiser
Buick Century Cruiser, 1969
Buick Century Cruiser, 1969
Buick Century Cruiser (Publicity photo of the original 1964 GM Firebird IV concept)
Buick Century Cruiser (1964 GM Firebird IV concept)
Images: GM; iansales.com
Designed for cross-country cruising on future automatic highways, the Century Cruiser was built off the chassis of the 1964 Firebird IV concept car
. Providing the comforts of a living room on wheels to the four passengers, the Century Cruiser featured semi-reclining, swivelling contoured seats, a pull-out refrigerator, a television, and a pull-out table. The entrance canopy, consisting of all the glass
areas and most of the roof, slid forward and upward and unlatched the doors, which then glided forward for easier access to the seats. All door and canopy controls were activated at the touch of a button. Braking was aided by stability flaps on both sides of the car past the front wheel. As the car turned, the wheel covers moved outward to allow the wheel to tum easier. The wheel covers could also be operated manually, using hand grips in the armrests. The front luggage
compartment raised for easy access height. Once on an automatic highway, seen in the future from 1969, the driver would insert a programmable card into a slot and allow the car to drive to the destination automatically.
Concept Car Central
Buick’s Century Cruiser concept car was designed for cruising on automated highways in the distant future. The experimental vehicle offered hands free driving, swivel contour seats, a refrigerator and TV set. When the Century Cruiser entered the expressways, a punched card with programmed routes would take over, piloting the car to the correct destination by information transmitted from electronic highway centers. The car’s progress could be watch on a strip map projected on a radar-like screen built-into the front console. The prototype could be manually operated via pistol grips positioned in the armrests for steering and speed regulation. An entrance canopy slid forward and upward, permitting doors on each side to glide ahead and allow passengers to enter.
Someday you will be able to drive a superhighway, turn the controls over to a guidance system, and travel across the country in high-speed safety — with nothing to do but twiddle your thumbs.
Buick's experimental Century Cruiser is a glimpse of that day. In manual operation the driver steers with pistol grips positioned in the arm rests. To change direction he moves one or both backward or forward. To regulate speed he simply squeezes or releases them.
As he enters the automated highway he inserts a punch card (programmed with his specific route) into a slot on the side wall of the car. Control is them taken over "completely" by an electronoc highway center. The car's progress is marked on a strip map projected on a radar-like screen on the front console.
Other innovations include a TV screen that provides a panoramic view of the road behind (eliminating the need for a rear window and side mirror) and a luggage compartment with an electronic system for raising and lowering the floor for easy access.
You can't buy a Century Cruiser today. But from the way our research has been going, who knows about the future?
GM advertisement in Boy's Life, November 1968
Buick Century Cruiser (1969 год). Как и другие концепт-кары тех лет, эта машина имела модные в ту пору «аэрокосмические» формы кузова.