1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six Series 26
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The highlight of the Series 26 lineup was a special vehicle that was designed specifically for general Motors 'highways and Horizons' pavilion at the 1939-40 New Yorks World's Fair.
Norman Bel Geddes designed the GM Pavilion, known as 'Futurama', which foretold the transportation and communities systems of 1960. This peak into the future included 'Previews of Progress,' with items such as 'Yarns made of Milk! Glass that Bends! The Frig-O-Therm that cooks and freezes at the same time! The Talking Flashlight transmitting speech over a light beam!' Sharing the spotlight was the 'Glass' Car - The first full-sized transparent car ever made in America.' General Motors along with Rohm & Haas, the chemical company that had recently developed Plexiglas, built a one-off special body using the chassis of a 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six. Rohm & Haas, using drawings for the Pontiac four-door Touring Sedan, constructed an exact replica body using Plexiglas in place of the outer sheet-metal. All the hardware, including the dashboard, was chrome plated. The structural metal underneath was copper washed. The rubber moldings were made in white, as were the car's U.S. Royal all-white tires. The result of the work was an exterior that allowed onlookers to view the cars innards. Fittingly, the car is commonly known as the 'Plexiglas Pontiac' or 'Ghost Car.' It reportedly cost $25,000 to build.
A second Plexiglas car was later built, using a Torpedo Eight chassis, and hurriedly constructed for the 1940 Golden Gate Exposition on Treasure Island, a man-made island in San Francisco Bay. The 1939-40 Deluxe Six is the only one known to survive.
After the New York World's Fair, the Series 26 Ghost Car went on a dealership tour, and then retired to a special display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. where it remained until 1947. It was later owned by a succession of Pennsylvania Pontiac dealers. It appeared at the first annual meet of the new Pontiac-Oakland Club International in 1973 and was purchased by Don Barlup of New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Barlup commissioned a partial restoration from S&H Pontiac of Harrisburg and sold it to collector Leo Gephart in 1979. The current owner's father purchased it from Gephart in the early 1980s, and it has remained in the same family ever since.
Source: RM Auctions
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2011
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|RM Auctions - Concours d'Elegance at St. Johns||1933-1942|