Image credits: © Buick. GM Corp

1951 Buick LeSabre Concept

The first post-war dream car built by General Motors was the LeSabre, introduced in December of 1950. It was a two-passenger convertible featuring styling cues evocative of its namesake the F-86 LeSabre fighter jet. Design elements include a 'front-intake' nose cone, wraparound cockpit windshield, tall tail fins and a barrel-shaped trunk with glowing 'afterburner' brake light.

The brainchild of GM Design Chief Harley Earl, its design reflected his attempt to merge the modern jet aircraft into the style of the automobile. Jets symbolized the very latest design and engineering and Earl's ideas transcended into the LeSabre concept.

The LeSabre was built to be roadworthy so that following its tour on the auto show circuit, it could become Earl's personal automobile - and it was, for two years. The body is made of aluminum, magnesium, and fiberglass and the car is powered by a 215 cubic-inch aluminum, 335 horsepower supercharged V8 engine designed to run on both gasoline and ethanol with two separate fuel tanks and two carburetors.

It features GM's first rear-mounted HydraMatic transmission along with a 12-volt electrical system, heated seats, electric headlamps concealed behind the central 'jet intake' front bumper Dagmars, a water sensor to activate the power top, and electric jacks integral to the chassis. Along with its predecessor, the Buick Y-Job, it is perhaps the most famous concept car of all time.

After a publicity tour which included a tour of France and Belgium, Harley Earl updated the LeSabre's sheet metal for the 1953 Motorama where it captured the imagination of more than a million spectators.

Related Reading : Buick LeSabre History

With over half a century worth of memories, the earlier models of the LeSabre inspire a sense of nostalgia back to a time when life was supposed to be simplified. The image of technology in the early stages, design, dynamic lines, unique and individual accessories, and the advance exterior engineering is apparent in the LeSabre models of old. Maintaining the same qualities that carried it through....
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1951 Vehicle Profiles

1951 Buick LeSabre Concept vehicle information

Designer: Harley Earl

Clearly showing aircraft influence in styling and engineering, the Buick LeSabre was constructed of aluminum and lightweight cast magnesium. Billed as a rolling engineering laboratory, the LeSabre had 12-volt electrics (most cars then were 6-volts), ....[continue reading]


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