There are limited production cars, there are rare cars and there are concept cars that never find their way to the showroom. A fleet of Cadillac’s rare and mythic Motorama and Detroit Auto Show Concept Cars will take to the field at the 18th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on Sunday March 10, 2013.
Created under the supervision of GM’s legendary styling chief, Harley Earl, the Cadillac Concept cars of the ‘Fifties were created as the stars of GM’s Motorama shows. All are blood ancestors of the contemporary Cadillac Cien and Cadillac Sixteen Concept Cars of the 21st century. Many were created not to be driven, but only to be shown and crushed. Some early cars were sold to GM executives, celebrities, or people of influence. Happily, orders to destroy these spectacular harbingers of the future were often ignored or outright disobeyed.
Unlike many show cars of the Fifties, Cadillac’s Motorama Concept Cars carried the future in their lines, options, trim and colors. The quad headlights of the 1955 Cadillac El Dorado Brougham Concept Car were GM’s first use of the four headlight format that became standard GM styling practice in 1957. The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone featured sliding doors, predating the design nexus of all minivans.
Nine of Cadillac’s Concept Cars will be featured in the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance; the 1949 Cadillac Fleetwood Coupe De Ville prototype, two 1953 Le Mans roadsters, 1953 El Dorado Special, 1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car, 1959 Cyclone, 1961 El Dorado Chicago Auto Show car once owned by pro golfer Walter Hagen, the 2002 Cien, and the massive, 1000-horsepower 2003 Cadillac Sixteen.
“’Standard of the World’ is not simply a Cadillac slogan or the product of some ad copywriter’s imagination,” said Amelia Concours Founder and Chairman Bill Warner. “It is an honor and a title bestowed upon Cadillac in 1909 by the Royal Automobile Club when a trio of Cadillacs won the RAC’s Dewer Trophy, the Nobel Prize of the automotive world.”
The Cadillacs were driven from London to the Brooklands race track, disassembled (with their parts scattered and intermingled with other random parts), reassembled and driven 500 trouble free miles. It was an unrivaled international engineering and manufacturing feat that set Cadillac on its course to be an industry leader.
“Cadillac’s dedication to precision and technological leadership has been part of their corporate DNA since the company was founded in 1902. That spirit is personified in Cadillac’s concept cars. They’re not just interesting styling exercises. They’re important for the entire automotive industry,” said Warner.
The 2013 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be held March 8 -10th on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach adjacent to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated over $2 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996.