Auto shows have been around almost as long as the American auto industry has existed. The first one was put on by an auto dealers association in Detroit in 1907, and was simply called the Detroit Auto Show back then. At first, such shows were like mega dealerships, bringing together lots of automakers in one place all vying for attendees orders. In the 1930s however, as aviation and other technology seemed to develop at a comparatively rapid pace, automakers began to have been dreaming big dreams about what cars they’d like to build, if only it were the future.
The Great Depression and the rise of WWII couldn’t slow down the creation of the concept car as an object of experimentation and vision, though those two world-rattling events sure did try. Here are just a few beautiful flights of fancy in automotive form from one of the toughest decades in global history.