HERSHEY, PA – The Elegance at Hershey announced the first-ever showing of two very famous and important concept cars from the collection of General Motors. Through the courtesy of the General Motors Heritage Center and GM Design, these two magnificent automobiles will be on full display Sunday, June 9, in the Italian Gardens in the rear of the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This will be a rare opportunity for car aficionados to get an up close and personal look at two of the cars that have influenced designers over the years.
The 1951 General Motors LeSabre show car wowed audiences when introduced as it was the first concept car produced by the GM Styling Section following WWII. Combining functional styling and advanced engineering, it has been a favorite of car buffs.
The LeSabre reflected GM Styling Vice President Harley Earl’s fascination with the sleek designs found in high-performance aircraft of the day. Lightweight materials were used throughout the car and the 201.87 inch long car was carried by a supercharged V-8 engine.
A unique feature of this car is the two rubberized 20 gallon gas tanks – one to hold gasoline, while the other held methyl-alcohol. The alcohol gave the car additional power after the accelerator pedal was pushed beyond the half-way position. The supercharged engine was only 215 - c.i.d. but put out 330- hp with the help of the alcohol. Another unique feature, and an industry first, was the wrap-around windshield that became popular in subsequent GM models. When introduced, electric windows and a built-in hydraulic system enabled the car to be lifted to change a tire!
The second car featured at The Elegance is the 1959 Cadillac Cyclone. Its canopy design was reflective of airplane design as both the driver and passenger have a 360 degree view of the surroundings. The canopy is stored under the rear hatch and flips 180 degrees to cover the passenger compartment.
The Cyclone was a major engineering achievement, as well as being a dramatic styling exercise. It not only had the power canopy, but a device that would scan the road and let the driver know if there was a foreign object ahead. The doors would open electronically, allowing them to be slid back for easy entrance. There was an intercom system for the driver and passenger to talk with people outside of the car when the canopy was up. The instruments took their styling cues from the world of aircraft as well.
A 325hp V-8 engine was nestled in the nose of the car with an unusual feature. The exhaust was routed just ahead of the front wheels. It was also equipped with a transaxle. Another notable feature to note is that there were powered headlamps that would flip up 180 degrees from under the front grille to clear the front cowl. This car made its debut in February 1959 to much acclaim.
The Elegance at Hershey does not rope cars off. You will have a fascinating opportunity to really get to see these two special cars and an expected 73 other automobiles up close and personal.
Here’s a quick list of the weekend’s events so you can plan your visit:
- The Grand Ascent – June 7 & 8, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; $10 tickets per person, vintage race car hill climb & ride-alongs!
- Cars & Coffee – June 8, starting at 8 a.m.; $10 per person, no pre-registration required, bring YOUR car!
- Concours d’Elegance – June 9, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; $40 tickets per person, garden party with the finest cars you will ever see!
(Children 15 and under are free to all events.)
Tickets for all events are available onsite or can be purchased ahead of time online. For more information about The Elegance at Hershey and to purchase tickets, visit TheEleganceAtHershey.com.
About The Elegance at Hershey
The Elegance at Hershey, a 501 (C) (3) organization based in Hershey, PA, was established in 2010. In its first seven years, The Elegance at Hershey has donated more than one million dollars to its three charities, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), the AACA Museum and the AACA Library & Research Center. Contributions are facilitated by significant sponsor support. Together with a great team of volunteers and donors, The Elegance is excited to move forward with the 2019 event. The event will be held on June 7-9, 2019. For additional information, visit www.TheEleganceAtHershey.com.