At the height of the jet-set Motorama era, the 1954 Oldsmobile Cutlass show car was cutting edge – @Hemmings

At the height of the jet-set Motorama era, the 1954 Oldsmobile Cutlass show car was cutting edge – @Hemmings

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A look at the 1954 Oldsmobile Cutlass Motorama show car

Because the Cutlass had so many characteristics in common with its smaller companion, the Olds F-88 convertible, this dream car was simply called “the long wheelbase F-88” before its formal naming. Its wheelbase spanned 110 inches, compared to the 102 for the F-88. Other pertinent measurements of the Cutlass included an overall length of 188.5 inches and overall height of 51.5 inches. Shown is a GM Photographic promotional photograph taken near Miami just before the opening of the GM Motorama held at the Dinner Key Auditorium.

Photography Courtesy Gm Media Archive and Author’s Collection

Eight times from 1949 to 1961, General Motors staged lavish auto shows in major cities for the purpose of telling the public about its products. These shows included automobiles from GM’s passenger car and truck divisions, as well as its AC auto parts and non-automotive concerns such as Electro-Motive Diesel and Frigidaire. Essentially, GM’s road-going show (under the names Transportation Unlimited in 1949, Mid-Century Motorama in 1950, and The GM Motorama for the remaining years), served as a marketing tool for selling the current crop of new GM
automobiles and other products.

Furthermore, it informed people of the company’s latest developments in scientific research and engineering. The traveling show was well known for its array of dream cars, or concept cars in today’s vernacular, which tested public reactions to innovative styling and mechanical features that would either be included in the near future, at some time in the more distant future, or perhaps not to this day (i.e., turbine engine power for automobiles). GM’s vice president of the styling section, Harley Earl, knew the public did not respond well to too much change too soon, but knew people could and would view changes in most instances as desirable if given in the proper doses over time. This was accomplished through interactive exhibits, orchestras and troupes of dancers, lavish décor, and, of course, through the dream cars—all done at GM’s expense and free of charge to the public.

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2 thoughts on “At the height of the jet-set Motorama era, the 1954 Oldsmobile Cutlass show car was cutting edge – @Hemmings

  1. This Oldsmobile was designed in “Ned Nickels” studio. Homer Legassey, Del Schroeder, and John Richfield worked on this car. I worked with Del and John at GM Advanced engineering. Homer Legassey was my instructor at CCS senior yearinTransportatiin Design.

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