These days, you’ll find the Bison name attached to pickups like the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison and Chevy Silverado ZR2 Bison, but back in 1964, GM was imagining something a little bit different. Back then, The General unveiled this – the GM Bison concept truck, which wrapped together a number of interesting features and design ideas into one tasty package. Now, we’re taking a closer look at the 1964 GM Bison concept thanks to the following photos.
These original photos were recently republished online thanks to the GM Design Instagram account (@generalmotorsdesign), and provide a glimpse of the automaker’s forward-leaning ideas at the height of the Space Race. Making its big debut at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the GM Bison concept incorporated a curvaceous exterior design that looks like a flying saucer mated with a semi, and includes a clamshell windshield section that tilts forward, providing access to the interior. With the clamshell up, panels around the sides slide forward and deploy steps to aid ingress and egress. Two seats provide accommodations for passengers.
The styling is absolutely wild, but there was even more to this concept beyond the design, such as the four-wheel steering technology. However, the elephant in the room (or Bison, as it were) has to be that enormous winged thing on back.
That structure is actually a GT-309 gas turbine, which was supposed to provide the GM Bison concept with the necessary motivation. By 1964, General Motors had been dabbling in gas turbine powerplants for more than a decade, and GM applied the idea to heavy trucks with its 1964 Bison concept. Mounted above and behind the cockpit, the turbine included an aerodynamic design, leading rearwards to an enormous standardized container. The GM Turbo Titan III gas-turbine prototype would debut only a few years after the 1964 Bison concept.
Unfortunately, the 1964 GM Bison never developed beyond the initial concept stage, but regardless, it’s an inspiration to look at, even today.
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