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GM's Motorama: The Glamorous Show Cars of a Cultural Phenomenon

GM's Motorama: The Glamorous Show Cars of a Cultural Phenomenon

Review

Road and Track, May 2007 “Ample captions and fully researched text explain the one-off production, and destruction, of this American studio’s creations. This book would grace the coffee-table in any of today’s uber-chic downtown lofts.” Car Collector, March 2007 “GM’s Motorama is the best book I have seen on the history of GM’s dream cars and the evolution of their concept. This handsomely designed 10x10 inch book is lavishly illustrated with many never before seen photos, and so well-written you don’t want to put it down … this is about as much book as you could ever hope to get for only $40. This is the summer’s must have car book.”                                                                      

Product Description

In the postwar exuberance of America, General Motors launched their Motorama, an all-out extravaganza that turned the marketing of new cars and designs into a cultural event of . GM’s Motorama brings this short-lived but unforgettable tradition back to life with words and period photographs that revisit the posh venues, such as the in 1953, where celebrities in Broadway-style shows and phalanxes of introduced the public to “Dream Cars” destined to become legends—the GM LeSabre, Cadillac Le Mans, and the prototype. This book recreates the drama of the eight shows staged between 1949 and 1961, focusing on the cars designed under the leadership of the founder and head of GM Design, Harley Earl. The cars that emerged from the mind of Earl are today among the most desired of the twentieth century. Previously unknown facts about the fate of the Dream Cars—some of which seemingly disappeared—and a glimpse of GM’s recent crop of concept cars are offered in the book’s final two chapters.

Book Description

This book recreates the drama of the eight GM Motoramas staged between 1949 and 1961, focusing on the cars that took center stage and came to define an era of auto styling. In words and period photographs GM’s Motorama revisits the star-studded extravaganzas that introduced the public to “dream cars” destined to become legends—from the 1951 LeSabre and the turbine-powered Firebirds to the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham and Corvette prototype.

From the Inside Flap

The General Motors Motorama was created to showcase the products of the corporation, which included not only automobiles from Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Chevrolet, and GMC, but also its auto parts and non-automotive divisions. More notably, it featured experimental automobiles, or “Dream Cars,” created to test public reaction to new ideas. These cars also exposed the public to advanced concepts—a simple but effective way to introduce features that would be found on automobiles in the near and distant future. Certainly, there are no cars rarer or more uniquely styled than the Dream Cars of the 1950s. These Dream Cars are fascinating not only for their peculiar history, but also for their styling. GM’s Motorama and its futuristic styling moved people, as the cars embodied freedom itself and provided a vision of a bright future ahead.

From the Back Cover

In the postwar exuberance of 1949 America, General Motors mounted its first Motorama, an all-out extravaganza that turned the marketing of new cars and designs into a cultural event of national proportions. GM’s Motorama brings this short-lived but unforgettable tradition back to life with detailed text and period photographs that revisit the posh venues, such as the Waldorf-Astoria, where celebrities in Broadway-style shows and phalanxes of glamorous models introduced the public to “Dream Cars” destined to become legends, including the 1951 LeSabre, the Cadillac Le Mans, and the Corvette prototype. Later, the Motorama introduced cars like the turbine-powered Firebirds, the Olds F-88, and the Pontiac Bonneville Special. Author David Temple recreates the drama of the eight Motoramas staged between 1949 and 1961, focusing on the cars that took center stage and came to define an era of auto styling.

About the Author

David W. Temple is a freelance automotive photojournalist specializing in the vintage car hobby. His work has appeared in Car Collector, Cars & Parts, Classic Chevy World, Collectible Automobile, and other magazines over the past 20 years. This is his first book. Temple is a member of the Antique Automobile Club of America, Cadillac & LaSalle Club, and the Packard Automobile Club.
Among contributor Dennis Adler’s best-known titles are: Porsche, The Art of the Sports Car, The Art of the Automobile, Mercede-Benz: Silver Star Century, Packard, and Fifties Flashback.

GM's Motorama: The Glamorous Show Cars of a Cultural Phenomenon Book Reviews

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