Buying a true concept car from a private owner or auto manufacturer is the holy grail of purchases for car collectors. It is seldom heard of and rarely seen on the road, though this doesn't mean it is impossible. Finding a concept car that has not been destroyed and is available for purchase requires dedication, investigative skill and, more importantly, enough capital to swing the purchase.
Reality of the Concept Car
There is no established means to purchase an auto maker's concept vehicle, as they are often destroyed before they reach manufacturing. The actual model that appears on a car show convention floor has not been evaluated for safety and road specifications and as such is not "street legal." That being said, there are vehicles that began as concepts and received only minor changes before hitting the factory for production.
Sketch to Production Line
Investigate existing lines of automobiles. "The Renault Avantime was a fantastic example of a recent vehicle that started life as a concept and was taken to production almost without modification," writes www.conceptcar.co.uk. "This included keeping two-color bodywork, a glass roof and double-length swing doors." Remember that most of these cars see only limited production runs and may require some quick thinking to purchase directly from the auto company.
Where to Find
Look online and in print. Owners of limited-run concept vehicles may be looking to sell their once glitzy vehicle and will probably turn to the such online outlets and in-print advertisements. Several specialty car magazines have sections that are devoted to patrons attempting to sell their classic or otherwise unique vehicles. Be prepared to spend some money. These cars will not be cheap. "It's not unheard of but it is virtually impossible to buy an actual concept or show car," continues conceptcar.co.uk. "There is no disputing the fact that manufacturers use them to lure potential customers but this is tied in with commitments to production and subject to practical quantities."
Attend the annual Detroit Auto Show. Many car makers premier their elite models at this extravaganza held in January of each year in the town where the car was born. Concept models are often paraded in front of Auto Show attendees and the careful observer may take note of them and watch the auto maker's production runs to see where the car may be appearing.
When All Else Fails
Go vintage. Several car models, like the Ford Fiesta, began life as the Ford Fiesta Fantasy. While owning a car such as this may not conjure images of space age technology and flying vehicles, it is still technically a concept vehicle, and would be able to be purchased for a significantly smaller fee than a newer model concept.
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