1969 Buick Century Cruiser: The Concept Car That Believed You Only Live Twice
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.
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, swiveling 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 turn 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.