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Joe Bortz Article in May 2010 Bugle

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I just got my May 2010 Bugle and read Joe Bortz's excellent article on his 1953 Buick Wildcat I Motorama Show Car. Not only are the pictures fabulous, but the text is interesting as well. The story on how the missing "roto-static" hubcap was formed from the top of a Weber grill is American ingenuity at its best! We need more of that creative thinking now in this country to deal with our problems. Well done! Charles D. Barnette

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Thanks for the kind words Charles! I am looking forward to reading the article! Did you know that Joe is showing four General Motors 1950's Motorama cars at the Meadow Brook Concours in July? The 1955 Chevrolet Biscayne is very close to finally being restored - YIPPEE!!! Thanks again for the great comments!

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It is monumental to me that Mr. Bortz is now completing yet another full restoration of a great Motorama car-the 1955 Chevrolet Biscayne. Mr. Bortz of course not only deserves Buick admiration for the Wildcat I, but also was a past owner of the 1954 Buick Landau that will be shown at Ames by its new owner. Mr. Bortz is one of my auto heroes who is a legend in his own time. The Bugle article explains about his early passion for the hobby. Thank you Mr. Joe for all you continue to do for the hobby. Charles D. Barnette-can't wait to see the Biscayne complete!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by Charles_Barnette (see edit history)
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Charles D. Barnette-can't wait to see the Biscayne complete!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Does this mean we'll see you at Meadow Brook this year?

As Deb pointed out, Joe will have several of his Motorama cars on display at this year's Concours on July 25. (Unfortunately, it is just days before the BCA Nats)

Check out some of the Bortz cars scheduled to be at Meadow Brook by visiting the MB website, www.meadowbrookconcours.org

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  • 4 weeks later...

Joe Bortz,

Hello fellow AACA member! I haven't read the article in the May 2010 Bugle however I stumbled accross the Motor-rama show info on the internet. My familes relative worked at Buick and showed the cars for the Motor-rama. When he returned from the 1955 tour he quit Buick obtained one of the cars from the show (1955 Buick Hardtop) and promptly moved to California. Upon his death in the early 1970's his wife sold the vehicle to my grandmother who gave it to me for my highschool graduation in 1974. My father drove is back from California to Michigan at that time. I was told that it and other show vehicles were built and asseybled at the engineering department at Buick in Flint. It has a unique vin #, the body panels and seams appear to have been leaded prior to painting and no Fisher Body emblems, interesting! Wondering if you or other member would have any additional infomation regarding this or other 1955 Buick Motor-rama vehicles.


Tim Lyman

AACA 542711

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  • 1 year later...

1953 Buick Wildcat I update. I will let Joe know about all the nice comments on this blog. Just thought I would let you know that Velocity the new TV Channel featured the 1953 Buick Wildcat I on One-Of-A-Kind February 7, 2012 - and they have been showing reruns. Very well done show by the way.


Bortz Auto Collection


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Debbie thank you for dropping in and keeping us updated on this awesome automobile. I can't believe I missed the Velocity special, I tune into that quite often. I have a special infatuation with the '53 Wildcat and so hope to see it someday. It has so many design cues that were used in later years especially the '54 Roadmasters. I dream of incorporating some of them in a custom '54 Roadcat some day. :)

Has Joe ever considered allowing it to be shown at a BCA National. I'm sure it's too late for Charlotte in June but maybe next year in South Bend Indiana. Hope I'm not out of line asking this here but hey, sometimes all it takes is to ask.

Do you know also if there are plans for it to be shown on the east coast, perhaps Amelia next year. (well a man can dream can't he)

Again thanks and hope you will drop back soon and often.

Here is a link to a fun read blog by Deb. Bortzcars's Blog | Bortz Auto Collection Concept Cars & Motorcycles

and a set of superb photos. :)1953 Buick Wildcat I GM Motorama concept car album | Rik Hoving | Custom Car Photo Archive | Fotki.com, photo and video sharing made easy.

and a few of my fav pictures...






Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)
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This is an interesting thread also because it is this thread that caught the eye of the gentleman from Winston-Salem that has just finished restoring the 1955 prototype 4 door hard top. Contact was made with Mr Lyman and well, the rest is history. History that from what I hear will be revealed in Charlotte in June. Care to share a picture here Bob? :)

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While we're in the mode of closing loops, is Tim Lyman's '55 Buick hardtop prototype the same "1955 Buick series 68 - Motorama prototype", now owned and restored by Bob PROGOOFOFF Coker? Small world. Well, small Forum, anyway.

I just answered my own question by searching Bob's other posts. There it is - 'The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept". Michigan to California and back to Michigan, where Tim stored it for 37 years. Returned now to its original and very attractive orange and white two-tone.



Edited by Rob McDonald (see edit history)
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I remember seeing the Wildcat at the Chicago Auto show in 2005 and meeting Joe Bortz in person. Wonderful man very happy to talk about his car. A freind and I were walking past the exhibit and I started to tell him what little I knew about the Wildcat and and Joe just kind of appeared out of no where. One of those events I will treasure as long as I live.

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