1983 Buick Questor Concept Car
Buick – the name itself invokes images of high tech, open top driving. Wait, what? Yes, Buick tried to get into the sports car market on more than one occasion. The 1983 Buick Questor Concept Car is one that really should have been made, but never made it in this form.
Back in 1983, Buick was, if nothing else, optimistic in their vision for cars of the future. What they conceived of in terms of the future was 1995. The vision Buick engineers had was something that would actually come to be reality, although not in the Buick brand. The car you see here would eventually become the Regal and Reatta line of cars…but without most of the goodies seen in this one.
High Tech Buick
The idea behind the car was groundbreaking. The engineering team custom built a car that would turn the automotive world on its head. The interior alone took 5 months to complete, as it was an advanced (for 1983) computer system that packed all the technology available into a single automobile. To start, the dashboard had no gauges or instruments of any kind. The steering wheel housed all the important controls. Again, for 1983, this was AMAZING, as that had not been done.
Another feature that rattled a lot of cages was the fact that the center of the dashboard housed a monitor with a camera that showed a wide angle view of the what was behind the car. The monitor also provided a central navigation center, much like the modern GPS. Did you think your backup camera and NAV systems were new ideas? Nope, they were conceived of decades ago.
Amazing Tech Features
Other interesting features included a lack of exterior door handles or sideview mirrors. To enter the car, a laser key system emitted an invisible beam of light which triggered the doors to open when the key was six inches away. After the driver opened the door, all systems automatically adjusted for that driver, including the height of the pedals, the seat position, and entertainment center settings. Again, these are features that have only recently become common in cars, yet they were in this prototype in 1983!
There was also a voice activated telelphone, which was yet another innovation that has only recently become common. Finally, when the 1983 Buick Questor Concept Car reached 25 miles per hour, the nose of the car dropped a couple of inches to increase aerodynamics. For added stability, the rear would raise 3 inches when the car reached highway cruising speeds. The car had an impressive 14 onboard computers to control all these functions – all of which were working in the prototype!’
Fate Had Its Way
Sadly, with all its high tech beauty, open roof and all the computer goodies, the 1983 Buick Questor Concept Car never made it to production. The cost to produce it, combined with the lack of reliable electronics for cars in 1983, made it impractical, and the car was scrapped. They did, however, keep the basic design to use in the Regal and Reatta coupes, which was a luxurious and reliable line of cars.
However, it is worth note that Buick did end up being successful with one line of high performance cars. The Buick Grand National (otherwise known as the GN) still commands high dollar resale value to this day. The GN is a legend among gearheads, and it is worth learning about. Read more about this great car and other high powered cars at the website of our friends over at highpowercars.com. What do you think – would you have bought this car, if it were made? Do you like it? Comment below to let us know!