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Link: http://www.canadiandriver.com/thene...-gm-motorama-concept-cars-to-be-displayed.htm

Rescued GM Motorama concept cars to be displayed.

Pebble Beach, California - Fifty-three years ago, the LaSalle II Roadster and the Chevrolet Biscayne were among the concept cars that showcased General Motors’ vision of the future in its travelling Motorama. After their debut, these cars were not only discarded but destroyed.

Joe Bortz, who was a young boy when he saw these “dream cars” at the 1955 Chicago Auto Show, found their remains decades later in a Detroit-area junkyard and worked laboriously to resurrect them. Now Bortz will bring these rescued vehicles to the Aug. 17 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of GM.

The Chevrolet Biscayne was considered “one of the most desirable and beautiful concept cars of all-time,” said Bortz, who’s restoring all aspects of the Biscayne in collaboration with Kerry Hopperstadt and Fran Roxas. “It was called the ‘Miracle Car’ inside General Motors because it drew the largest crowds of any of the concepts shown in Motorama.

Article continues at link.

Additional article quotes from Motor Age:

Throughout the 1950s, the General Motors Motorama took concept cars on tour to cities throughout the United States, inviting the public to enter the future by stepping through the doors of a GM automobile. After each cross-country show was concluded, these futuristic cars were relegated to the trash heap. In fact, since most of these vehicles had not been road tested, GM often ordered their total destruction to prevent legal problems.

"A GM executive was required to watch each of the dream cars get cut into pieces and crushed," said Bortz, who is retired and living in suburban Chicago. "The GM exec took the LaSalle Roadster and Biscayne to the junkyard, and he figured the guys at the junkyard would finish the job properly, so he took off early to go Christmas shopping. The junkyard workers never crushed the LaSalle, instead leaving it in many pieces."

The Biscayne's chassis was crushed, but the junkyard owner managed to save all the pieces of the original body. "I felt like an automotive archeologist," said Bortz, who first showed some of his concept cars on the upper lawn at Pebble Beach in 1989 and 1990, drawing a crowd that couldn't believe any of the cars still existed. "I had to dig pieces out of the ground. The body of the car was fiberglass, so it didn't oxidize, but other remaining parts were almost hopeless. The body had to be glued back together from all the bits and pieces; it was like resurrecting a dinosaur.

"I've been doing this since '78 - being a treasure hunter and restoring concept cars. These cars are a treat for the eyes and a study in history, and I'm excited to bring several of these gems to Pebble Beach."
 

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that Biscayne concept sure does have a lot of Corvair in it to me, just beautiful. it just makes me insane how wasteful people (especially large businesses) are. these cars could have been enjoyed and instead were just discarded. they could, no, should be in a museum somewhere.
 

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Any 1 have any pics of what they look like....?
"Pebble Beach will be the first time the Biscayne will be shown publicly since 1955. Since the windows weren't flat, we had to create a wraparound windshield. And the door mechanisms are made with the help of Swiss clockmakers.

The "junkyard fresh" LaSalle II Roadster has been seen in public only a couple of times since 1955. In addition to the Harley Earl-led stylists, GM engineers got involved in creating this car. The LaSalle II was equipped with an aluminum-block, lightweight V-6, double overhead cam, fuel-injected engine and independent rear suspension. While innovations of this type were features that would appear in European cars in the '50s and '60s, GM would not incorporate them for decades."
 

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that Biscayne concept sure does have a lot of Corvair in it to me, just beautiful. it just makes me insane how wasteful people (especially large businesses) are. these cars could have been enjoyed and instead were just discarded. they could, no, should be in a museum somewhere.
It's my understanding that tax considerations are what drive the destruction of concept and pilot vehicles.
Ed
 

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I see some corvette characteristics especially in the shape of the body and the windshield. What a sweet find and kudos to the gentleman who restored them
 

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I meet Joe Bortz 2 years ago @ The Chicago Auto Show. He was displaying his "Finds" in the museum section of the show. What a nice gentleman, and
quite the "Car" guy. Very knowledgeable about past concept cars.

I'm glad I had the chance to speak to him.

Ken
 

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Uh... those really aren't particularly good looking concept cars in all honesty... yeah, I respect their history in that they were shown at Motorama in the '50s, but they should have stayed history...
i still think its pretty cool. i bet it'd be fun to restore, too.
 

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Here ya go..............

1955 Cadillac LaSalle.......



Pics courtesy of google...........:)


SIGH............................................what could have been...as much as I love the Corvette (and plan on owning one in the next decade or so), I wish we had a Cadillac LaSalle as GM's flagship car. Strategically it would have been the better fit, for a better (see higher) price, for the better brand, for all of time. Maybe it would have morphed into a Modern Day Cadillac Cien:confused: Imagine a ZR1 with a Cadillac wreath and crest selling for a cool 200,000. a "base" Corvette with Cadillac styling STARTING at 100k. Talk about 'smacking' SL-AMG's all over the place. Putting Porsche GT3's on notice, making the M6 look like a DOG, and at the same price points as Bentley and Ferrari and Maserati:yup::D:dro:...

May GM could trace the XLR lineage back to this vehicle? idk.

Sigh.

CobaltSS

PS: thank you for this info.
 

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Maybe when DuSpinnst gets old and gray, he'll amass himself a collection of concepts......I mean he drives them day in and day out already ;)
 

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that Biscayne concept sure does have a lot of Corvair in it to me, just beautiful. it just makes me insane how wasteful people (especially large businesses) are. these cars could have been enjoyed and instead were just discarded. they could, no, should be in a museum somewhere.
It gets worse, anytime a tv show like Trucks or Horsepower TV modify a vehicle for a manufacturer those vehicle get crushed as well. The reason being; the modifications make the vehicle no longer road legal and if someone were to get in a wreck with one it would be the basis of a lawsuit.

I'd say the most wasteful, albeit amusing to watch, would be Orange County Choppers. Every week the wreck a door or a couch or a truck.
 
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