An optical display system (10) presents visual source information to an observer (18). The display system includes a vision unit (14) that has reflective surfaces (16) through which the observer can view an outside world scene and which reflect source information emanating from an information source (22) for display to the observer. In a preferred embodiment, the optical display system constitutes a head-up display system for an automobile and the observer is the driver of the automobile. The vision unit constitutes an automobile windshield with or without a reflection enhancement material and whose inner and outer surfaces reflect source information carried by light propagating from the information source, such as a liquid crystal display (32). A projection lens system (24) positioned between the inner surface of the windshield and the information source has optical light-directing properties for compensating for optical aberrations introduced by the nonplanar windshield surface. The projection lens system includes an aspheric element (262) that is unique to a specific aspheric windshield shape and remaining elements that are common to a great number of different windshield shapes. A positioning mechanism ( 130) allows the driver to adjust the vertical position of the source information (60) reflected by the windshield within a total display field of view for optimal viewing by a seated driver. The positioning mechanism also automatically changes the distance between the display image and the driver as a function of vehicle speed to promote safe vehicle operation.