Image credits: © Cadillac. GM Corp.
1953 Cadillac Le Mans Concept
Built by GM Styling for the 1953 GM Motorama. Named after recent Cadillac racing successes by Briggs Cunningham at the 1950 LeMans 24-Hour race. GM also introduced the Eldorado the same year. Motorama visitors who were taken by the LeMans stunning styling could visit their local Cadillac dealer and buy a Cadillac similarly styled as the 1953 Eldorado. The concept never went into production, but the design was an exercise in the use of fiberglass and 3-seat design. The Cadillac Eldorado was also introduced in 1953.
GM Styling built four of these gorgeous fiberglass show cars for various shows and exhibits. LeMans #4 was brought back to GM styling and given a styling redux under the watchful eye of Harley Earl head of GM Styling. Front-end styling as changed dramatically by the edition of quad headlamps GM first. Quad headlamps made their production debut on the 1957 Eldorado Brougham. Rear-end styling was also changed and a more modern Tailfin was added. The complete drivetrain was updated to 1960 Eldorado specifications.
The Restyled Lemans ended up in the hands of James (Bud) Goodman who was head of GM Fisher Body division.
The LeMans was on display for many years in a Cadillac dealership in Hollywood, California. Ownership later passed to Mr. Goodman's son, Jack.
The LeMans is currently owned by Cadillac Motor Car Division - General Motors Corporation, and is currently displayed at the Cadillac Historic Collection.
This 1953 Cadillac Lemans received its name from the grueling and prestigious 24 Hours of LeMans raced in France. Briggs Cunningham, driving Cadillacs, scored many successes in the 1950 race.
GM styling built four of these fiberglass show cars for various shows and exhibits. The LeMans features a 250 horsepower V8 engine coupled to a 4-speed gearbox, making it faster and smoother than any contemporary Cadillacs. The fiberglass body also sported the company's very first wrap-around windshield.
Three of the four cars constructed have survived to this day. The fourth was destroyed by fire.
Created in 1953, the Cadillac Le Mans received its name for the grueling and prestigious 24 Hours of LeMans race in France. The concept never went into production, but the design was an exercise in the use of fiberglass and two-seater design.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006