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  1. That photo of the 88 Delta is one I colorized for my book, "GM's Motorama: The Glamorous Show Cars of a Cultural Phenomenon," published nearly 12 years ago. I am going to file suit for it being used here without my permission. JUST KIDDING. :-) I still remember coloring in all those stripes on those shirts! Just a guess on the colors of the clothing but figured it was all color-coordinated since it was a publicity photo taken by GM Photographic Services. The fact those wheels are not with the 88 Delta is not a good sign - looks like that one has not survived. It was one of the most striking cars created for any GM Motorama! What a loss to us enthusiasts! I had about half-way expected that it still existed partly because I suspect this one was a running car. GM published an "engineering report" on this car. It was not deeply technical, but it gave an official horsepower rating (xxx hp at xxxx rpm) rather than just a number (i.e., 300hp) as well as a maximum torque rating for the engine. I have never seen the level of detail for any of the others. A running concept car had a better chance of survival than a non-running one.
  2. The photos of the Landau taken in May of 1954 are new to me. I do not know the occasion, but what is interesting about them is the landau convertible top is in place. It was not for at least part - if not all - of the GM Motorama. On another note... at my request Bob Coker emailed a photo of the Landau's VIN plate. It begins, 2667xxx. According to a website I visited, this a pre-1954 type sequence with the first digit representing the assembly plant. If true, this means the car was built at the South Gate, CA plant. The remaining six digits represent the unit number. Furthermore, beginning in 1954 another style was used for the VIN with a letter in the second position representing the model year such as "A" for 1954. Is all of this correct? If so, am I correct in believing the Landau was built as a pilot line 1954 and serialed like a 1953? The car's body number is G5. What does this mean?
  3. Is there any update on the progress of the 1954 Buick Wildcat II replica?
  4. Yes, the hardtop is at the Sloan Museum. I've seen it. However, it can no longer be affixed to the XP-300 due to changes made to the car long ago. As originally built, the XP-300 had a retractable rear window; that was removed. Therefore, there is no rear glass for the top. Furthermore, the mounting hardware for the top was deleted. The car does have a convertible top, but it is in poor condition. I've seen it, too.
  5. "GM's Motorama: The Glamorous Show Cars of a Cultural Phenomenon" can still be found through book sellers affiliated with Amazon.com. So, just type "GM's Motorama" in the search box under books on Amazon.com and you will find a listing of available copies. Unfortunately, I no longer have any copies available to sell.
  6. The hardtop car is NOT the same car that Joe Bortz now owns. I have dated photographs/information to disprove that theory. My book, "GM's Motorama," (now out of print) details the possibilities as they seemed to be around 2005/2006 when I was writing this book. However, newly found photos and information have led me to strongly suspect four of these cars were built with the hardtop car possibly being the last of the four. I do not believe it was really on the show circuit but it did appear at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in Sept. 1953, a stop of that year's Glidden Tour. It was also used in the Oil Progress Motorcade in Oklahoma City the following October along with the second of four Cadillac LeMans' show cars, a 1953 Oldsmobile Starfire, a 1953 Eldorado, a Kaiser Darrin, and a Packard show car. A photo from that event appears in my book. The hardtop car may have even been shown at some dealerships, but as far as major auto shows I believe the other Wildcats were used. The first of the '53 Wildcats was shown at the Waldorf Astoria, the first venue for that year's GM Motorama. It does not appear to have been shown again. Perhaps it was repainted. There may have been only three, but think four is more likely. I have a few photos that would really surprise some people but am saving those for a second edition of "GM's Motorama" assuming there is a publisher out there willing to publish it. So far no luck on that.
  7. Thanks for the replies. I will be writing an article on Bob Coker's 1955 Buick Century four-door hardtop prototype which was exhibited at the 1955 GM Motorama for AACA's "Antique Automobile" magazine. Some of the history provided about the car to Mr. Coker is that GM would not sell the car to the person who ultimately bought it unless the buyer agreed to repaint the car. If the paint scheme had not been offered by Buick I could see some logic in this requirement. As best Mr. Coker can determine the original colors on the car were Dover White (roof) and Cherokee Red (entire lower body). There is no paint code on car's data tag. Perhaps the shades used differed from stock offerings. However, some of the original red paint was found on the car during its restoration and it seemed to match Cherokee Red. Can anyone offer an explanation or a reasonable guess as to why the car had to be repainted as a condition of sale?
  8. What were the available colors paired with a white roof on a 1955 Buick Century four-door hardtop? Wasn't Cherokee Red available for the lower body in this case?
  9. A complete list of XP cars would no doubt be most interesting. I am curious to know about XP-1 through XP-7. There seems to be no such record of these cars identified as such until the XP-8 and XP-9, the Le Sabre and the XP-300 respectively. The ones designated XP-10 to XP-19 are also unknowns though some of them had to have been the 1953 GM Motorama concepts like the Cadillac Le Mans and Buick Wildcat.
  10. Yes, the opinion of "two were unlikely" is definitely being revisted. You and other concept car fans probably have something to which to look forward. Not long ago (approx. 2008) the 1954 Chrysler La Comtesse was discovered in a garage in Southern California. The car was donated to (or maybe purchased by) the Chrysler Historical Foundation and last I read was under restoration. There are some nice photos of the car in as-found condition here: 1954 LaComtesse Concept Car I have not done much research into post-GM Motorama show cars, but have done some. There seems to be much available on the Corvette prototypes from the '60s and beyond - not much mystery - at least on the more well-known types. I did come across a poor black & white photo of a 1962 Chevrolet Patriot on eBay several years ago. I did not buy it thinking a much better one was available through GM Media Archive. They found no photos of it, though. The car was a full-size Chevy - probably an Impala SS, though it may not have been an SS. That is all I could determine from the photo. Presumably, with a name like "Patriot" it had some sort of red, white, and blue color scheme. The XP-812 is new to me. A convertible station wagon... interesting.
  11. Hi Mark. Nothing new at all on the XP-75 has come my way. As the overlapping dates of the La Espada showings... I have come across another situation like that leading me to suspect two La Espadas were built - one Apollo Gold and the other Sword Silver - rather than the one car getting repainted. Still, there is no absolute proof of this. S.O. 2136 may be the second La Espada or it may be the number assigned to the convertible top buck. Even if the latter proves true, that doesn't prove anything regarding the number built. Hopefully, there will be a definitive answer soon.
  12. Thanks to GM Media Archive I can confirm XP-27 was the La Espada! The S.O. number (2136) from the aforementioned document does not match with that of the show car (1928). Can someone explain how S.O. numbers were applied? Would one be assigned to a convertible top buck?
  13. Hi Jim. I didn't say these cars weren't pushmobiles. The term "shells," at least as I interpret it, simply doesn't apply to these concept cars. Many of them were, in fact, pushmobiles. However, some of them were made operable later through such procedures as adding a wiring harness. As for the lack of an internal rotating assembly in the engine... that's interesting and something about which I have wondered. In the case of the first of four Cadillac Le Mans' built, its engine still exists. (The car was destroyed in a building fire in May 1985, but some parts from it still exist.) This car was customized by George Barris for Harry Karl who became the owner of the car. It was a running car. Whether or not Barris had to add the internal components to the engine or not I can't say. However, the car's engine has the serial number assigned to Le Mans #1. Le Mans #3 was sold to Floyd Akers. According to the late Buddy Abel who worked as a mechanic at the Akers dealership, a wiring harness, functional instrumentation, and suspension changes (to meet Maryland minimum road clearance requirement) were the things needed to make that car operable. No mention of adding pistons, crankshaft, etc. for the purpose. My sources for information include the late Chuck Jordan and dozens of other people listed in the acknowledgements section of my book. Also, hundreds of photographs also helped with the research. Original GM documents were of great help, too. However, the research continues as the subject of GM Motorama cars seems to have no end. There remains much new to discover.
  14. I have emailed an inquiry regarding a picture or pictures of the XP-27 to GM Media Archives. To the best of my recollection, I have not ever seen a photo of any drawings or of a mockup of this car. My expectation is it got to the clay model stage before being terminated.
  15. The La Espada was assigned S.O. 1928 which does not match the S.O. # of the XP-27.