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Ford Of Britain 100: Image Of The Week - 17

Ford Of Britain 100: Image Of The Week - 17

To celebrate the centenary of Ford of Britain in 2011 the company is exploring its photo archive to reveal rarely seen images. Ford's unique relationship with Britain and its society will be illustrated each week by specially selected pictures.

There was a time when concept cars were seen as an opportunity to be outrageous in design without any real prospect of the vehicle entering full-scale production.

The Futura Concept Car featured in this week's image was built in 1954 and designed to "garner valuable engineering data and test public reaction to styling”. A decade after its debut the Futura became the inspiration for the Batmobile in the popular 1966 television series. Although radical in appearance the Futura featured many ideas seen as mainstream today such as power-steering, power brakes, dual exhausts etc.

Nowadays manufacturers aim for the opposite effect, displaying concept vehicles that introduce innovation while closely resembling the finished model. Ford's 2009 concept car, Iosis MAX, illustrated the kinetic body design and high technology interior that was offered in the 2010 Ford C-MAX, for example.