This Pontiac dream car came from Harley Earl and his spirited team of stylists at the GM styling department.
This car was first shown at the General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1953, along with many of the other General Motors dream cars for that year. This car received it's finishing concept and design modifications on paper by Paul W. Gillan, a principle stylist at Pontiac's design studios. The color of the car and the interior design was decided by Henry Lauve, head of color and interior studios for General Motors. it was named the Parisienne by Henry Lauve, who had studied in Paris.
This car was later redesigned for the show circuits of 1954. When the car was restored, it was restored to its 1953 specifications. The car is only 56 inches tall with a road clearance of 7 inches. It is one of the first dream cars to have received a wrap around windshield.
The Pontiac Parisienne was based on a production Pontiac Star Chief and powered by Pontiac's then-standard 122-horsepower, 268 cubic-inch straight-8 engine coupled to a two-speed 'Dual-range Hydramatic Drive' automatic. The wheelbase was unmodified from the production 122-inches, and sat just seven inches off the group adn 56 inches high. Exterior modifications included a wrap-around windshield and body-color 'French-visored' headlamps.
The current owner of this car began looking for it in the 1980s. He was informed it was destroyed, but in fact then-GM styling Vice President Harley Earl had given it to a relative for safe keeping. It turned up in a New Jersey shop years later, and the owner at the time stated it was not for sale. After much persistence, the current owner eventually came to an agreement.
The car was created for the 1953 Genreal Motors Motorama. The Parisienne's two-door landau body style - sometimes called a deville coupe - is unusual. It is a conspicuous town car meant to be piloted by a chauffeur.
When its current owner began his quest for this Parisienne, he was told the car had been destroyed. Unknown to him at the time, harley Earl also like the Parisienne and had arranged for a relative to keep the car after the show circuit was complete. It was learned later that the car was in a shop in New Jersey but was told the car was not for sale. Three years later, he was successful in purchasing the vehicle.
The Parisienne has Pontiac's standard 122-hp, 268-cubic-inch straight eight engine with a two-forward-speed transmission (called Dual-Range Hydra-Matic Drive) set on the same 122-inch wheelbase chassis as production models. It is low, sitting seven inches off the ground, and its only 56 inches high.