Western car makers have been developing concept cars nearly since the dawn of the automobile. By the 30s, the Americans and Germans were producing some incredible visions of what could be. With some minor exceptions, concept cars weren't a standard practice of Japanese car makers until the mid-60s.
The importance of a more forward-looking design presence in the Japanese car companies was gaining traction by the 60s. Additionally in many cases, they determined when they did develop concepts, they wanted to increase their international appeal, particularly to westerners. Often that meant they would partner with western design houses to create the concepts for them.
This is Part 1 of a 3-part series where, in each installment, we will share some of these various Japanese concepts.