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Showing posts with label Classic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Classic. Show all posts

Friday, September 30, 2022

Super rare American classic Pontiac Tojan might You've never heard before

~Rare ONE~ Seeing the title of the article you might immediately ask; Has there ever been such the Pontiac Tojan model? Or had You ever seen this kind of car? As quoted of Wikipedia, this car once existed and was a production sports car that is built based on the F-Body Platform (was General Motors' rear-wheel drive pony car automobile platform built during production periods of 1967 to 2002). Indeed, only a few people have ever heard of it, let alone seen it. We're bet you've never known before.
The Pontiac Tojan is built by Knudsen Automotive Inc. for General Motors during 1985 to 1991. (Picture from: StreetMuscleMag)
As we could be seen, it may look like a kit car or a body kit for a third gen Trans Am. No, they are not like what those kind of cars as you think above just now. Then what are they? According to Ken Lingenfelter these cars were commissioned by GM to be built by Knudsen Automotive Inc. They were built so Pontiac would have a car that was be capable of competing with Ferrari, as quoted of  StreetMuscleMag.
While inside of the Pontiac Tojan's cabin is featured with a wooden dash which equipped with 'Back to the Future' style digital gauges. (Picture from: StreetMuscleMag)
In other words, they wanted a sports car that could go toe to toe with those world's famous Italian cars on a road course yet was still affordable to the average American. Might be that's the point. Besides being designed to compete with Ferrari, turn outly the Tojan could also be considered GM’s answer to the Ford Saleen Mustangs. So the idea behind the Pontiac Tojan was that a drive could build its own super car for a fraction of the price.
The Pontiac Tojan's cabin also has a Recaro leather seats, also many other advanced features a cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, power windows, power mirrors, and the power hatch release from the F-Bodies. (Picture from: StreetMuscleMag)
Uniquely, because of the high desire to be able to look as a decent rival of Ferrari (even Mustang), unmitigated to the extent that the car emblem also displays the figure of a horse. Only slightly different in appearance, if the Ferrari's emblem is a prancing horse, while the Ford Mustang with its wild horse running emblem, then the Tojan's displays the figure of a winged demonic horse. Creepy enough huh?
The Pontiac Tojan could be pinned Lamborghini Countach styled rear-wing as an option. (Picture from: StreetMuscleMag)
The Pontiac Tojan produced as limited numbers of car, only an estimated 150 to 300 units were produced during 1985 to 1991. These cars were assembled in Omaha, Nebraska at the Knudsen's plant. GM provided Knudsen with GTA frames, Tuned Port Injection 305 engines (LB9’s) and 700R4 Transmissions. Knudsen then beefed up the stock suspension so the Tojan could corner like it was on rails. The car also equipped with power disc brakes on all four wheels and power steering to make handling easier. These mods would allow it to run with the best Ferrari model had to offer.
The Pontiac Tojan appeared with the 1980’s body styling and looks like the radical cross-breeding between the Trans Am and the Fiero. (Picture from: StreetMuscleMag)
As quoted of StreetMuscleMag, all the car's cosmetics are 100% original designed by Knudsen. As you can see, this rare American sports car appeared with the 1980’s body styling and looks like the radical cross-breeding between the Trans Am and the Fiero. Actually, the Tojan’s styling was heavily influenced by the Ferrari 305, as can been seen on it’s rear trunk lid and rear tail lights. Further adding to the Italian supercar influence, Knudsen also provided Lamborghini Countach styled rear-wing as an option.
The Pontiac Tojan (in pictured is GT model) is powered by Tuned Port Injection 305 (LB9’s) engines coupled with the 700R4 Transmissions. (Picture from: StreetMuscleMag)
For the legs, the Tojan supported by five-spokes rims of Gotti Wheels (GBS) which were wrapped in 345/50 R15 tires for added grip. Meanwhile the car's interior given a touch of style inspired of the 1980s top movies and TV-series such 'Back to the Future' and 'Knight Rider.' Besides that the car got a Recaro leather seats, a wooden dash which equipped with 'Back to the Future' style digital gauges. Furthermore this rare American sports car got another advanced features, such cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, power windows, power mirrors, and the power hatch release from the F-Bodies.
During its production periods, the Tojan was a built to order car, to purchase one you simply went to your local Pontiac dealership and they called up Knusden who then shipped it to the dealership. At the time it's sold at a starting price of $21,995 and the price could climb as high as $55,000 depending on the bells and whistles. These bells included a B&M Supercharger and B&M Superjection as well as a 3.73 Posi. Other options included aforementioned Lamborghini wing and AM/FM Cassette with Equalizer (that was a big deal in the 80’s).
While it may not have been a big seller, at least Russ Knusden owned auto company managed to put the hands of middle class Americans behind the wheel of a such this good supercar. Due to their limited production, perhaps one day the Tojan will become a renowned collector’s item similar to the Cord 812 or the Phantom Corsair. Some might love these cars others see it as one of those odd cars came from the 1980’s. Love it or hate it you gotta admit the Pontiac Tojan is such a pretty good one wild car ever made. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | STREETMUSCLEMAG | WIKIPEDIA ]
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Thursday, September 29, 2022

A story of the Chrysler Norseman Concept was sank tragically along with SS Andrea Doria

 ~Sad Story~ Not only human beings who have a tragic story, even the car as well. For example, the famos one was the Chrysler Norseman by Ghia. The story began in the mid 20th century, precisely in the early 50s. At that time the Italian economy amid improve itself by war. Conditions that make the cost of labor in Italy are lower than in the US. 
The 1956 Chrysler Norseman Concept was once described as 'the handsome lad who never made it to his prom'. (Picture from: VanDerBiltCupRaces)
By considering this reasons and the tradition of the exquisite craftsmanship of Italian coachbuilders, it is not surprising that when one of the American big three automaker, Chrysler turned its attention to Italy
to create some research prototypes. Then in 1950, C.B. Thomas, head of styling at Chrysler contacted the Italian manufacturer Fiat and asked them to suggest which companies could take on this contract.
According to a Chrysler press release, the color of 1956 Chrysler Norseman Concept was "two-tone metallic green with a touch of red inside the flared wheel openings. (Picture from: The Esoteric Curiosa)
At the time, the Italian automaker gave two names: Ghia and Pininfarina. In short then the choice fell on Ghia thanks to the level of craftsmanship and smaller costs, regardless of which is better design proposals, as both companies had to build a car based on the same set of drawings sent from Detroit.
3D rendered image of the 1956 Chrysler Norseman Concept made by Dan Palatnik. (Picture from: GaragemDigital)
It was a turning point in the history of Ghia, an Italian coachbuilder company based in Turin given a valuable opportunity to show their designs to the world under the auspices and the costs borne by the Chrysler. After developing several prototypes, in 1955 Chrysler finally commissioned Ghia to build a show car. It was to be 'the most automated car in the world'. For design matters usually entrusted to the American auto design maestro, Virgil Exner, even though most of the work done by one of his trusted men, Billie Brownlie.
The 1956 Chrysler Norseman Concept has impressive lines and concealed headlights while seen of the front. (Picture from: The Esoteric Curiosa)
As a result of truly innovative design, its most striking feature is the cantilevered roof, which was supported only at the rear pillars. There are no side pillars and window ventilation is usually there at that time. In addition to the rear pillar, the roof is just resting on the frameless curved windshield. On the roof, there is an electrically operated sunroof, a feature that is very advanced at the time and extremely difficult to integrate into the slender roof structure. The interior had four leather upholstery and a set of futuristic gauge pods, complete with luminous paint at the back of front seats as an experimental method of lighting systems.
The rest of the interior was credited to Deo Lewton featuring green and gray metallic leather-covered buckets seats and lap belts that retracted. (Picture from: The Esoteric Curiosa)
Meanwhile its power came out by using a Hemi V8 engine with a capacity of 331 ci (5,424cc) is capable of generating power up to 235 hp with 2-speed Powerflite transmission, shifted by push-buttons, while the chassis is the possibility of taken from the Chrysler 300.
The interior of 1956 Chrysler Norseman Concept was featuring the Bill Brownlie-designed instrument panel with two wide-set gauges. (Picture from: VanDerBiltCupRaces)
There was no consensus over the subject of the car's color. Chrysler ordered the car's exterior painted in dark green color, with green and gray interior, while according to Exner it was to be painted silver. But according to the journalists who saw this car in Italy before shipping then wrote that the car appeared in two-tone blue, while its interior got the touche of red leather and black accents.

Here are several colored 3D rendered images of the 1956 Chrysler Norseman Concept that made by a Brazilian artist, Dan Palatnik. (all of the pictures taken from: GaragemDigital)

The intricate elegant design makes these vehicles take a long time in development. It took almost 15 months on the works by the team, led by Sergio Coggiola  and made the American automaker should willing spend their money more than the US $150 thousand to finish the Norseman. The project was finished right on schedule and the Chrysler Norseman completed on July 17, 1956, then packed in wooden crates, and loaded in the number two cargo area of a luxury liner of the private Italian Trans Atlantic Lines named SS Andrea Doria, operating between Genoa and New York.
All four seats were electronically adjustable, the fronts seats pivoted to allow access to the rear. (Picture from: VanDerBiltCupRaces)
While in Highland Park, Michigan, the Chrysler design team could not wait for their new car which is scheduled to be a star of the 1957 auto show circuits. Unfortunately, it was never seen again by most of the Chrysler stylists that designed it, when the forwarding agent delivered the news that the Norseman had been lost forever.
The 1956 Chrysler Norseman Concept had no posts or pillars to support the unique cantilever roof. (Picture from: The Esoteric Curiosa)
On the evening of Wednesday, July 25, 1956, SS Andrea Doria was heading west through the New York Bay. No one will know if it was its last voyage. Ships are expected to dock in NY the next morning. At 23:10, 40 miles off the coast of Nantucket, SS Andrea Doria collided with MS Stockholm, a Swedish passenger ship on its way from New York to Gothenburg in a heavy fog.
Nearly all of the roof’s mass needed to be supported at the rear so that the leading edge did not to place any stress on the delicate wrap-around windshield. (Picture from: VanDerBiltCupRaces)
Thanks to the professional rescue operation, from about 2,500 passengers, only 53 people were killed in the disaster. Eleven hours later, SS Andrea Doria sank carry the entire payload including the Chrysler Norseman to rest in peace at a depth of 72 meters in the dark ocean floor.
1956 Chrysler Norseman Concept sank along with the SS Andrea Doria on July 25, 1956. (Picture from: Grimaldi707)
Since then, only one person who had seen the car. In 1994 a famous diver with a diving expedition, David Bright found what he describes as 'rusted hulk' of the Chrysler Norseman. According to what he described, the position of the car in the accident that makes it almost certain that nobody will be able to see again. David Bright passed away in 2006 from decompression sickness after another of his divings to the SS Andrea Doria wrecks.
If the Norseman arrived in America at that time, it would have certainly influenced the design of Chrysler in the late 50s to early 60s. The rest, only a few photos were left for us to see and remember the car that was once described as 'the handsome lad who never made it to his prom'. *** [EKA [10052015] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | COACHBUILD.COM | THE ESOTERIC CURIOSA | VANDERBILCUPRACES ]
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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Here's the Pontiac Phantom as one of the Bill Mitchell's phenomenal car legacies

~Phenomenal ONE~ As we all know that one of the American giant automakers General Motors (GM) has many talented auto designer who have succeeded in giving a distinctive face to the four-wheeled vehicles it produces. Well, among these legendary designers there is the famous name Harley Earl as GM's Vice President of Design for over three decades. As a leader, he was so observant that he could see the talent of one of his subordinates named William 'Bill' Mitchell since the 1930s.
The Pontiac Phantom (also called the General Motors Phantom and given the internal code name "Madame X") is a concept car created by General Motors (GM) in 1977.. (Picture from: Dean'sGarage)
Who is Bill Mitchell? He's also one of the most famous designers ever worked to GM after Harley Earl, and his brilliant career began when Earl appointed him as Cadillac's first design chief  in 1936. Then in 1954 he was promoted to Director of Styling, whose working directly under Earl. The peak of his career occurred after Harley Earl retired, so he appointed to be Earl's successor as GM's Vice President of Design in the end of 1958 and held that position until his own retirement in 1977.
The Pontiac Phantom posed along with its initiator William 'Bill' Mitchell, who hoped he could literally drive off into the sunset on his retirement day in the 1977. (Picture from: MyCarQuest)
And during his tenure, the American automotive manufacturer has remained victorious as one of the top three American automotive brands. It is recorded that several iconic American legendary models appeared such as the Chevrolet Corvette with all its derivatives, then the Cadillac, Buick Riviera which later became one of his favorite vehicles.

And in 1976 at the end of his tenure, then Mitchell decided to create one last concept car, one that he hoped he could literally drive off into the sunset on his last day. To make this happen, he then commissioned Bill Davis, a young designer who had worked with him on many projects. Besides that he was reopened the mysterious Studio X, Mitchell’s ultra-secret personal design studio (it was periodically shut down by management) in the styling building’s basement.
The Pontiac Phantom is designed by Bill Davis, a young designer who had worked with Mitchell on numerous projects. (Picture from: CarStyling.ru)
In the short, Davis and a small team set up a workshop and began the car project by designing and modelling the car that was dubbed 'Madam X'. During the development of this concept car, Davis was given a free hand in the design, Mitchell only acted as the patron and stayed away from the drawing board. After a few months of design, then a clay model was built, in this process also Mitchell generally approved of the design, with some necessary changes. Like the original clay was a notchback, for example, but Mitchell was fastback man.
The Pontiac Phantom is a fastback two-seat coupe built on the chassis of a Pontiac Grand Prix, featured the long bonnet of the V16 project cars, with the prominent prow flanked by rectangular headlights. (Picture from: Dean'sGarage)
Soon the completed full-scale model was primed with a special nitrocellulose black paint that had been used in the 1930s on GM luxury cars. The car was painted double black and polished to a beautiful liquid. In the scalloped wheel wells, a special red color was used to accentuate the sculptural underbody. Once completed, the concept car was presented to Mitchell and other management in dramatic lighting accompanied by several professional models dressed naturally in black gowns, reminiscent of the famous Madam X.
The Pontiac Phantom has long, sweeping lines at the sides recalled both the classic 1930s cars and GM retro designs like the 1971-4 boat-tail Buick Riviera. (Picture from: Dean'sGarage)
At that time Mitchell was delighted, then several GM divisions were contacted for the car's further development. It was Pontiac who was then entrusted with realizing the concept car project by donating the Grand Prix chassis for the finished car. Meanwhile, third-party trusted contractors, including Pininfarina were also invited and asked to submit bids. In the end, only the body shell was built, due to the cost of sculpting the voluptuous body was high, that later inspired the name for the concept car as the Pontiac Phantom.

Well by design, many noted it was a mix of Grand Prix and Firebird style themes, while others noted similarities to the V16 project a decade earlier. While some also noted that this concept car was inspired by the 1961 Pontiac Scorpion concept. As You can see, the Phantom is a fastback two-seat coupe built on the chassis of a Pontiac Grand Prix, featured the long bonnet of the V16 project cars, with the prominent prow flanked by rectangular headlights (Mitchell was not fond of retractable lights).
The Pontiac Phantom only consists of a fiberglass shell, including not completed interior and does not have a drivetrain, rendering it inoperable. (Picture from: Dean'sGarage)
Unfortunately, it only consists of a fiberglass shell, including not completed interior and does not have a drivetrain, rendering it inoperable. Initially, he hoped to present the concept to the Board of Directors for additional funding to complete the project, but was blocked by Howard Kerl, a powerful executive in charge of product planning and technical staff (and Mitchell's sworn enemy). The project ceased, after having endured many a tirade over the years.
The Pontiac Phantom was primed with a special nitrocellulose black paint that had been used in the 1930s on GM luxury cars. (Picture from: Dean'sGarage)
While the car was technically in Pontiac's possession and placed in storage in its queue for destruction like most unfortunated GM concept cars at the time, but a team of designers quietly stepped in and negotiated with GM to save the car and managed to move the car to the Sloan Museum near Flint, Michigan. As a result, now the Pontiac Phantom concept car has become one of the museum displays, as you can see to this day.
The Pontiac Phantom now sat on display at the Sloan Museum near Flint, Michigan after saved by a designer team from GM's crusher machine. (Picture from: Dean'sGarage)
As for Mitchell, he retired soon after in 1977, with no new concept car to drive home. He's not without transportation, though, as he's adopted more than 50 GM vehicles ranging of the concepts, special editions, and personal customs for his own collection. Mitchell launched his own design consultancy and ran it for almost a decade, until health problems forced permanent retirement and passed away in 1988.
As quoted of Dean's Garage, enthusiasts’ opinions differ on Mitchell’s most significant contribution to GM’s automotive legacy. Some say the Corvette, some say his stewardship of Cadillac through four decades, but many point to the personal luxury car as his greatest contribution. Even though he did not invent it, he certainly perfected the format and helped define the romance of a car that promised a great presence on the road, with lots of power and style. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CURBSIDECLASSIC | CARSTYLING.RU | DEANSGARAGE | MYCARQUEST | WIKIPEDIA ]
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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Unique Porsche 550 Buckelwagen and Coupé

~Legendary BEAST~ Speed, the world of race, and Porsche are like a straight line. Yes, since the first time the company was founded in 1931 in Stuttgart, Germany by Ferdinand Porsche, it has always been close to the speed and the world of race. And one of the famous cars ever made by the German manufacturer is the Porsche 550.
1953 Porsche 550 Coupé (chassis number #550-01) was painted with the race car’s livery along with #154 like when it is raced in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana. (Picture from: Pinterest)
It is a racing sports car manufactured by Porsche ranging from 1953 to 1956. At that time only 90 Porsche 550s were produced, but it quickly dominated the world of racing in the 1.1 and 1.5-liter classes. Truely, the Porsche 550 is a mid-engine car with an air-cooled four-cylinder engine, whose design follows the 1948 Porsche 356/1 prototype designed by Ferry Porsche with its aluminum body made by Erwin Komenda.
Ferry Porsche's sons. Hans-Peter (b-1940), Ferdinand Alexander (b-1935), Gerhard (b-1938), and Wolfgang (b-1943) were posed on 1953 Porsche 550 'Buckelwagen' (chassis number #550-09). (Picture from: OppositelockKinja)
A year before producing the legendary RS Spyder model, the manufacturer had experimented on several unique 550 prototypes. The car featured  with a high rear deck head-faring behind the two comfortable seats, and then Porsche engineers gave it a nickname as the 'Buckelwagen,' it translated to 'hunchback car'.
1953 Porsche 550 'Buckelwagen' (in picture the chassis number #550-06) along with the #550-07 are built as a factory test and endurance race practice car.. (Picture from: Type550)
There was a total of three configured 550 prototypes with the buckel fitted, ie the car with chassis number #550-06, #550-07 (originally built as a factory test and endurance race practice car) and #550-09 were fitted with removable hardtops that transformed the diminutive roadster into a sleek coupe, was also used by factory drivers Hans Herrmann and Richard von Frankenberg as a demonstration car to assess potential Swiss driving school students to join the company' factory team. 
1953 Porsche 550 'Buckelwagen' (chassis number #550-07) while on the racing track with a female racing driver named Annie Bousquet behind the wheel. (Picture from: Type550)
As quoted from the Type550, it was also stated that the Porsche 550 was also inspired by the Glöckler-Porsche 356 racing car developed by Walter Glöckler previously for his racing team. This car is designed with a full glass-rimmed windshield and tapered transom windows which, under rigorous testing, proved to be more aerodynamic than previous designs.
1953 Porsche 550 'Buckelwagen' (chassis number #550-09) with removable hardtop built by Karosseriebau Weinsberg with a red interior. (Picture from: OppositelockKinja)
The first car built in 1953 by using VW's spare parts, it could be possible because previously Ferdinand Porsche Sr. had designed many impressive cars including the Lohner-Porsche Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz SSK, Auto Union V16, and Volkswagen Beetle, so no wonder for his son easier to build the first Porsche racing car by using VW's parts.
1953 Porsche 550 'Buckelwagen' (chassis number #550-09) with removable hardtop sported a quad-cam engine. (Picture from: OppositelockKinja)
Not only that, the Stuttgart-based auto manufacturer also had time to make two units of the 550 pure-coupé racing car which were later used as the company's team racing cars. These were quite successful and could be faster in the circuits, but the roadster was later preferred as a more saleable car. And this RS Spyder model then known became the most expensive Porsche car ever sold in an auction and has many legendary stories as well.
1953 Porsche 550 Prototype 'Buckelwagen' (chassis number #550-09) was painted with the race car’s livery along with #351 and had toured around the several Porsche dealerships throughout Germany for the few months with the winning wreath displayed on the front hood. (Picture from: Type550)
The design advantages made the Porsche 550 so dominant among the high-end racing cars in the mid-1960s. Indeed, the 550 racing car has a solid racing history with its first race entered was the Nürburgring Eifel Race (Eifelrennen Nürburgring - Sports 1500 cc) in May 1953 and where's the Spyder model won. And since then, the 550 Spyder will usually occupy the top 3 positions in its class, due to each Spyder is designed and adapted to be fastly driven.
1953 Porsche 550 Coupé (chassis number #550-01) was painted with the race car’s livery along with #154 and won a Best of Show award at the 2005 Amelia Island Concours. (Picture from: UltimateCarPage)
In late 1953, Porsche showcased a more definitive version of the 550 with a quad-cam engine and simple roadster body. Despite these upgrades, the Coupés were retained by the factory to contest the Carrera Panamericana race. Outfitted with sponsors, they were raced by Jose Herrarte and Jaroslav Juhan to victory in the 1500cc class.
After their appearance at the Carrera, both Coupes were retired and little seen at pubic events. The car with chassis number #550-01 was eventually discovered in the mid 2000s and restored by Cavaglieri Restorations for the Collier Collection. In its 1953 Carrera Panamericana #550-1 won a title of the Best of Show Award at the 2005 Amelia Island Concours.
1953 Porsche 550 Coupé (chassis number #550-03) was painted with the race car’s livery along with #159 and debuted at the 2011 Porsche Race Car Classic after a five year restoration. (Picture from: Type550)
The second Coupé with the chassis number #550-03, was also restored by Cavaglieri Restorations for Jerry Seinfeld. Sitting on original Dunlop Racing tires it debuted at the 2011 Porsche Race Car Classic after a five year restoration. Restorer Joey Cavaglieri said the most difficult part was restoring its hand-made aluminum body. *** [EKA [05112020] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | TYPE550.COM | SUPERCARS.NET | WIKIPEDIA | OPPOSITELOCK.KINJA.COM]
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Saturday, September 24, 2022

It's only one running replica and quarter-scaled model were left

~Replica ONLY~ To produce a car model, usually, the auto manufacturer must go through many stages, starting from a concept design development to making a decision to produce it or not. Well, at the design development stage, manufacturers usually also make several models of the car concept in several sizes ranging from small to 1: 1 for a series of tests and or also used as a promotional model to see the public interest on being worked model.
1956 Pontiac Club de Mer concept car (in pictured replica model by Marty Martino) launched for the first time to public at the GM's Motorama Show(Picture from: Carscoops)
The same thing was done by the American automotive giant, General Motors who had made several famous future concept cars. They make these concept cars as a basis for producing cars in the future. Including something created based on one of their other brands, due to the manufacturer houses multiple car brands.
1956 Pontiac Club de Mer Concept is said the perfect setting for its resort club image(Picture from: CarDesignNews)
And the Pontiac Club de Mer Concept may be one example made by Pontiac in 1956 and launched for the first time at the General Motors Motorama Show at the time, and sat along with its sibling, Oldsmobile Golden Rocket. This futuristic concept car creation embodies Harley Earl's design ideas, then translated and brought up by Paul Gillian, the Pontiac design chief then.
The Pontiac Club de Mer published on the 1956 GM Motorama's brochures. (Picture from: AMKlassiek)
As quoted of Wikipedia, it was a two-door sports roadster that incorporated innovative breakthrough styling like a sleek, low-profile body encasing a large engine, a design trend used widely in LSR (land speed record) trials at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah during the 1950s. The overall its body styling was a smooth, non-undulating profile, similar to an American supersonic jet fighter, with virtually no protrusions or recesses of any kind save for the out-vents on the leading edge of both doors, and the fin. 
This reproduction version of 1956 Pontiac Club de Mer Concept's interior is faithful insisted to the original design(Picture from: CarDesignNews)
The vehicle had no bumpers, a common feature on most concepts, and the door handles were quite small and also had a very low profile at just under 990.6 mm (39 inches). The concept car's exterior was inspired by contemporary aircraft designs at the time, using a stainless steel monocoque, individual windscreens similar to those on the 1955 Lincoln Futura (later TV's Batmobile), an aerodynamically fashioned fascia that flowed down from the hood skin to cover most of the grill, concealed headlights, and a single rear-deck dorsal fin.
1956 Pontiac Club de Mer concept (in pictured replica model by Marty Martino) was inspired by contemporary aircraft designs at the time(Picture from: AMKlassiek)
While its interior styling had a barebones functionality to it, but it is still much better than the production vehicles available in showrooms at the time. Instruments were low key, with triangularly configured gauges mounted well behind a three-spoke, GT-style steering wheel, around the steering column. The speedometer was positioned on top, and a smaller gauge on either side, each enclosed in its own pod. The interior was finished in red, while passengers gained entry through conventional doors. 
1956 Pontiac Club de Mer (front) sat along with the Oldsmobile Golden Rocket at the 1956 Motorama(Picture from: CarDesignNews)
It is known that only one Club de Mer prototype (actually just a rolling model) was ever constructed and unveiled in Miami, Florida, along with another ¼-scale model. But then, the only prototype was scrapped out by GM in 1958 as part of the company's policy for any concept vehicles it deemed had expired and no longer profitable. And only its ¼-scale model exists todays was owned by Joseph Bortz of Illinois until it sold to noted car collector Ron Pratt at the 2007 Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction for $75,000.
However, there is another life-sized Pontiac Club de Mer replica in mint shape and fully functional ones. This running replica built by Marty Martino back in the 2000s, based on a 1959 Pontiac chassis and powered by the 1959 Strato Streak engine mated to the Jetaway Hydro-Matic 4-speed transmission. It took three years to complete and sold at auction in 2009 for $110,000. *** [EKA [15092020] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | BARRET-JACKSON | WIKIPEDIA | CARSCOOPS  | AMKLASSIEK]
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