Cadillac Historical Collection.
Cadillac developed the Cadillac LeMans concept car, designed by Harley Earl. Le Mans is named after the French 24-hour race in which Cadillac participated in 1950.
Presented at the 1953 General Motors Motorama in New York City, the design was a two-seater, fibreglass-bodied, low-profile roadster (51 inches (1,300 mm) to the windshield frame). Cadillac debuted its first wraparound windshield in this concept.
In 1955, Cadillac produced its first production vehicle with a 250 horsepower (186 kW) version of its 331 cubic inches (5,420 cc) V8 engine. Le Mans had an overall length of 4,978 mm (196 in). Despite four prototypes being built, this model never went into production.
Cadillac Le Mans cars, out of four, have been accounted for in three instances.
The car, which was customized by George Barris, belonged to Harry Karl, a wealthy shoe manufacturer, who gave it to his wife, Marie “The Body” MacDonald.
California’s Beverly Hills Cadillac dealer bought another. The George Barris custom was destroyed in a fire in 1985, while another one is on display at the Cadillac Historical Collection in Warren, Michigan.
The revised car with quad headlights is in possession of the GM Heritage Center.
At the Oil Progress Exhibition at Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma City in 1953, the fourth Cadillac Le Mans was on exhibit, along with two other vehicles from the 1953 Motorama exhibition (the Starfire and the Wildcat I). In the following week, the car went on display at Greenhouse-Moore Cadillac Chevrolet in Oklahoma City. Since November 8, 1953, the vehicle has disappeared without a trace.
The Le Mans has been searched for by many investigators and auto enthusiasts, but so far their efforts have not produced any results.
1953 Cadillac Le Mans Vintage Pictures