Tag Archives: General Motors

Auto Exhibitions: “Detroit Style – Car Design in the Motor City 1950-2020”

Detroit Institute of Arts LogoNov 15, 2020 — Jun 27, 2021:

Detroit designers have always led the way in car design. The futuristic concept cars, roaring muscle cars, and sleek racers designed in and around the city shape our ideas of what a car can be. Working on paper, in clay, and in metal, their ideas drive American car culture and inform the way we get around every day.

Elwood Engel Design for a Gyroscopically Stabilized Two Wheel Car 1960

This exhibit organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts will highlight the artistry and influence of Detroit car designers working between 1950 and the present day. It will bring together 12 coupes and sedans designed across that 70-year period to highlight significant achievements in style and technology.

The 12 cars include unique examples of experimental show cars created for display and iconic production models sold to the mass market. Design drawings and photographs will allow you to imagine the creative and innovative processes that bring a vehicle from the drawing board to the street.

1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer

A selection of paintings and sculptures will highlight the conversation between the American art world and the car culture from the 1950s to the present day.

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Classics: “1950 Oldsmobile 88 Holiday Coupe”

1950 Oldsmobile 88 Holiday Coupe Interior Classic DriverThe Oldsmobile 88 (marketed from 1989 on as the Eighty Eight) is a full-size car that was sold and produced by Oldsmobile from 1949 until 1999. From 1950 to 1974 the 88 was the division’s top-selling line, particularly the entry-level models such as the 88 and Dynamic 88. The 88 series was also an image leader for Oldsmobile, particularly in the early years (1949–51) when it was one of the best performing automobiles thanks to its relatively small size, light weight and advanced overhead-valve high-compression V8 engine. This engine, originally designed for the larger C-bodied and more luxurious 98 series, also replaced the straight-8 on the smaller B-bodied 78. With the large, high performance V8, the Oldsmobile 88 is widely considered to be the first muscle car, although this title is disputed.

In 1950, Oldsmobile offered a modified Cadillac manual gearbox for V8 models. The 88 now outsold the six-cylinder 76 lineup, which was dropped entirely after the 1950 model year. It had a 40 ft. turning circle. The 1950 model won the 1950 Carrera

Classic Driver logoA large number of variations in nomenclature were seen over this long model run — Futuramic, Super, Golden Rocket, Dynamic, Jetstar, Delta, Delmont, Starfire, Holiday, L/S, LSS, Celebrity, and Royale were used at various times with the 88 badge, and Fiesta appeared on some station wagons in the 1950s and 1960s. The name was more commonly shown as numbers in the earlier years (“Delta 88”, for example) and was changed to spell out “Eighty Eight” starting in 1989.

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From Wikipedia

American Cars: “1953 Buick Skylark Convertible”

1953 Buick Skylark Convertible Interior RM Sotheby's AuctionsThe Buick Skylark is a passenger car produced by Buick. The model was made in six production runs, during 46 years, over which the car’s design varied dramatically due to changing technology, tastes and new standards implemented over the years.

Created to mark Buick’s 50th anniversary, the Roadmaster Skylark joined the Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta and Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado as top-of-the-line, limited-production specialty convertibles introduced in 1953 by General Motors to promote its design leadership. Of the three, the Skylark’s run of 1,690 units proved the most successful, and an amazing sales feat considering the car’s 1953 list price of slightly in excess of US$5,000 was over 50% more than the well-equipped US$3,200 Roadmaster convertible on which it was based. Nevertheless, many languished in dealer showrooms and were eventually sold at discount.

Photos from RM Sotheby’s

Production ran for two years. Based on the model 76R two-door Roadmaster convertible, the 1953 Skylark (designated model 76X) had identical dimensions (except height), almost identical appearance, shared its drive train, and had all its standard equipment, plus its few remaining options, including power windows, power brakes, full carpeting, and a “Selectronic” AM radio. Only A/C was not offered, unnecessary in either convertible.

From Wikipedia

American Classic Cars: “1959 Chevrolet Impala”

1959 Chevrolet Impala Interior Classic DriverThe Chevrolet Impala is a full-size car built by Chevrolet for model years 1958 to 1985, 1994 to 1996, and 2000 onward. The Impala is Chevrolet’s popular flagship passenger car and is generally among the better selling American made automobiles in the United States.

The 1959 Chevrolet Impala was redesigned. Sharing bodyshells with lower-end Buicks and Oldsmobiles as well as with Pontiac, part of a GM economy move, the Chevrolet’s wheelbase was 1-1/2 inches longer. Using a new X-frame chassis, the roof line was three inches lower, bodies were two inches wider, and curb weight increased. Its tailfins protruded outward, rather than upward. The taillights were a large “teardrop” design at each side, and two slim-wide nonfunctional front air intake scoops were added just above the grille,

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Classic Driver logoThe Impala became a separate series, adding a four-door hardtop and four-door sedan, to the two-door Sport Coupe and convertible. Sport Coupes featured a shortened roof line and wrap-over back window. The standard engine was an I6, while the base V8 was the carryover 283 cu in (4.6 L), at 185 hp (138 kW). Optional were a 283 cu in with 290 hp (220 kW) and 348 cu in (5.7 L) V8 up to 335 hp (250 kW). Standard were front and rear armrests, an electric clock, dual sliding sun visors, and crank-operated front vent windows. A contoured hooded instrument panel held deep-set gauges. A six-way power seat was a new option, as was “Speedminder”, for the driver to set a needle at a specific speed and a buzzer would sound if the pre-set was exceeded.

From Wikipedia

Future Of Trucks: The “GMC Hummer EV” Will Be Revealed In May 2020

GMC Hummer LogoThe all-electric First Ever GMC HUMMER EV leads a quiet revolution – with zero emissions and zero limits. It earns its super truck status with up to:

  • 1000 HORSEPOWER

  • 11,500 LB.-FT OF TORQUE

  • 0-60 MPH IN 3 SECONDS

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Future Of Mobility: First Look At GM’s Cruise Origin “Driverless Taxi” (Video)

Cruise, the self-driving subsidiary of General Motors, revealed its first vehicle to operate without a human driver, the Cruise Origin. The vehicle, which lacks a steering wheel and pedals, is designed to be more spacious and passenger-friendly than typical self-driving cars. Cruise says the electric vehicle will be deployed as part of a ride-hailing service, but declined to say when that might be.

Cruise Origin website

Read Article at The Verge

American Classics: “1949 Cadillac Series 62”

1949 Cadillac Series 62 Interior Classic DriverThe Cadillac Series 62 is a series of cars which was produced by Cadillac from 1940 through 1964. Originally designed to replace the entry level Series 65, it became the Cadillac Series 6200 in 1959, and remained that until it was renamed to Cadillac Calais for the 1965 model year. The Series 62 was also marketed as the Sixty-Two  and the Series Sixty-Two.

The Cadillac Series 62 Coupe de Ville was introduced late in the 1949 model year. Along with the Buick Roadmaster Riviera, and the Oldsmobile 98 Holiday, it was among the first pillarless hardtop coupes ever produced.mAt $3,496 it was only a dollar less than the Series 62 convertible, and like the convertible, it came with power windows standard. It was luxuriously trimmed, with leather upholstery and chrome ‘bows’ in the headliner to simulate the ribs of a convertible top.

55,643 Series 62 Cadillacs were produced in 1949 out of a total volume of 92,554 vehicles.

From Wikipedia

View photos at Classic Driver

American Cars: “1959 Plymouth Sport Fury Coupe” (Classic Driver)

From Wikipedia:

1959 Plymouth Sport Fury Coupe Rear View Classic DriverIn 1959, Plymouth introduced the Sport Fury as its top model, and the Fury as its second from the top model to replace the Plymouth Belvedere at the top of the Plymouth line-up. The Fury range was now available as a four-door sedan and station wagon, as well as a two-door hardtop and sedan. The Sport Fury series had only a two-door hardtop and convertible. The Sport Fury was dropped at the end of 1959, but was reintroduced in mid-1962 and discontinued in 1971.

Classic Driver logoThe Plymouth Fury is a model of automobile which was produced by Plymouth from 1955 to 1989. It was introduced for the 1956 model year as a sub-series of the Plymouth Belvedere, becoming a separate series one level above the contemporary Belvedere for 1959. The Fury was a full-size car from 1959 to 1961, then a mid-size car from 1962 to 1964, again a full-size car from 1965 to 1974, and again a mid-size car from 1975 to 1978. From 1975 to 1977 the Fury was sold alongside the full-size Plymouth Gran Fury.

More photos from Classic Driver

 

1960’s Classic Cars: “1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split-Window” (Classic Driver)

From Wikipedia:

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split-WindowThe 1963 Sting Ray production car’s lineage can be traced to two separate GM projects: the Q-Corvette, and perhaps more directly, Mitchell’s racing Sting Ray. The Q-Corvette, initiated in 1957, envisioned a smaller, more advanced Corvette as a coupe-only model, boasting a rear transaxleindependent rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes, with the rear brakes mounted inboard. Exterior styling was purposeful, with peaked fenders, a long nose, and a short, bobbed tail.

While Duntov was developing an innovative new chassis for the 1963 Corvette, designers were adapting and refining the basic look of the racing Sting Ray for the production model. A fully functional space buck (a wooden mock-up created to work out interior dimensions) was completed by early 1960, production coupe styling was locked up for the most part by April, and the interior, instrument panel included was in place by November. Only in the fall of 1960 did the designers turn their creative attention to a new version of the traditional Corvette convertible and, still later, its detachable hardtop. For the first time in the Corvette’s history, wind tunnel testing helped refine the final shape, as did practical matters like interior space, windshield curvatures, and tooling limitations. Both body styles were extensively evaluated as production-ready 3/8-scale models at the Caltech wind tunnel.

To see more photos and listing: https://www.classicdriver.com/en/car/chevrolet/corvette/1963/724523