Cadillac - Le Mans
The Cadillac Le Mans was a concept car developed by Cadillac in 1953. It was named for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France, in which Cadillac competed in 1950. The design was a low-profile (51 inches (1,300 mm) to the windshield frame), two-seat, fiberglass-bodied roadster. This concept showcased Cadillac's first wrap-around windshield. It was powered by a 250 hp (186 kW) version of Cadillac's 331 CI V-8, a power output not reached in production Cadillacs until 1955. The Le Mans overall length was 196 in (4978 mm). Though 4 units were built, the model never went into production, and it would be nearly 50 years before Cadillac developed another vehicle with a similar design concept, the Cadillac XLR. Of the four, one is documented as having been destroyed in a fire; the other three still exist with one of those currently in the Cadillac Historical Collection.
The Cadillac LeMans dream car was a fiberglass two-passenger sports car shown at the 1953 Motorama. It was named in honor of the famed French road race which Cadillac had competed in for the first time in 1950.
The LeMans debuted bold styling cues which would set the styling tone for production Cadillacs throughout the 1950s. It also featured some more recognizable Cadillac styling elements such as the P-38 inspired taillights and heavy grille. It was built on a 115-inch wheelbase and was powered by 331.1-CID V8 engine.
Four LeMans show cars were built for the show circuit in 1953. After they had been retired from the Motorama stage, the cars were sold as was common practice in those days. LeMans #4 was restyled a few times by the GM Styling Section between the years 1954 and 1959 and was eventually sold to GM Vice President James E. "Bud" Goodman. Goodman was head of Fisher Body and a good friend of Harley Earl. When he received the LeMans it had been given a full rebuild with a 1960 Eldorado drivetrain and a new exterior body style featuring quad headlamps and re-sculpted tailfins.