Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lost Show & Concept Cars: 1955

Scalloped front wheel openings, gull-wing front bumper, and a cantilevered roof were among the many features of the 1955 Pontiac Strato-Star. It was one of eight unique concept vehicles built for exhibition on the 1955 GM Motorama circuit. Its fate is unknown.

One of the many attractions of the 1955 GM Motorama was this 1955 Oldsmobile 88 Delta. The two-tone blue dream car featured a blue-tinted, brushed aluminum roof and blue-tinted glass. This car's fate is not known. The photo seen here was colorized so the colors are approximations.
Described as both a "man's car" (probably not an acceptable advertisement today) and as a "toy convertible," the 1955 Buick Wildcat III was quite low in height for the day at 51.75 inches. This car was reportedly crushed by orders of GM.
The 1955 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was another prototype of what ultimately became the 1957 Eldorado Brougham. This car may have been scrapped.
During the years of the GM Motorama, numerous production cars were altered with non-production paint colors and upholstery schemes. The car seen here is one of those cars, the 1955 Cadillac Celebrity. A long-grain vinyl covered top is one of its special features.
The 1955 Cadillac St. Moritz was a specially trimmed production Eldorado for the Motorama show circuit. It was painted pearlescent white with an elegant interior finish of white ermine trimmed in pearlescent white English grain leather and floor carpeting of white mouton fur. A built-in vanity was also included. Its namesake was the popular ski resort in Switzerland.
A 14-inch television, a telephone, tape recorder, and Korina gold wood paneling were among the unusual features of the 1955 Cadillac Westchester show car. Its fate is unknown.
A vehicle ahead of its time was this 1955 GMC L'Universelle. A modified version of it was set for production but was terminated due to the escalating costs of producing it. The design was ultimately replaced by the Corvair-based Greenbriar a few years later. Presumably, the L'Universelle, a non-running show vehicle, was scrapped.


15 comments:

  1. Hi...Your post really got me thinking man..... an intelligent piece, I must say. concept cars

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  2. What I’ve noticed about concept cars from way back is that they have this particular stance which is rarely found in modern models. I believe it has a lot to do with the lifestyle of people when they were first released. They look so classy, and it's safe to say that they're timeless pieces and will have that same opulent appeal in years to come.

    -Dewey Setlak

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  5. If the 1955 GMC L'Universelle was manufactured, it could have been great! It's sad to know that it's too expensive to produce because I think that it's a very good-looking and spacious vehicle.

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  7. I'm not 100% sure but, I believe I saw a '55 Biscayne concept car in a junkyard in Atlanta years ago, on Bankhead Hwy. It was a faded metallic green (seem to recall it was two-tone..either a medium green and light green or medium green and silver?) it had the front fenders scooped-out and the bottom portion of the bumper missing. I seem to think it was a Buick or even a Cadillac but, after seeing the Biscayne and the Pontiac Strato-Star, it seemed to look more like one of those. I seem to recall too, that it was a 4 dr. sedan. with suicide doors.

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  8. Thanks for sharing that information. SInce only one 1955 Biscayne was built I do not believe you could have seen that car. Joe Bortz has owned the '55 Biscayne since the late '80s and has had it restored. It was found in a junk yard in Sterling Heights, MI with three other GM Motorama cars. Your description seems to almost match that of the 1955 Eldorado Brougham pictured under the 1955 section of this blog. However, as you can see in the photo of it, the front wheel openings are not scooped out. Perhaps you saw an old customized car - a '50s car customized in the '50s or '60s. Regardless, your story is intriguing.

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  9. These concept cars always come in new design and specifications. Different from the previous ones. I love the 1955 Buick Wildcat III. I think its because i love being wild. And it definitely is a "wild cat"! Good piece of information and great photos too.
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  10. Should you paint a car in pieces or not? It’s not a common question, but a good one.

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    What I mean by stages is painting part of the car one day. Like your hood, fenders and bumpers, then painting the rest of the car the next day all in pieces in your garage.

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