Posted by: Mark Polk | 2013

General Motors Heritage Center Tour Part 1

In January of this year GM invited me to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to look at their all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra truck line-up. While there I had the opportunity to go to the General Motors Heritage Center where some very rare cars and trucks from GMs history are stored and preserved. GM has so many vehicles in its collection that it is impossible to display them all in one building, so they rotate vehicles from the collection through the GM heritage Center. Let’s take a look at what I saw at the General Motors Heritage Center the day I was there:

GM Electrovair II

GM Electrovair II

GM was experimenting with electric cars back in the 60s. This 66 Electrovair II is a good example. To avoid the problem of heavy lead acid batteries they used silver zinc battery technology. It was ahead of its time but experienced the same issues electric vehicles are experiencing in 2013, limited range and recharging issues.

1966 GM Electrovan

1966 GM Electrovan

In an attempt to solve the limited range and recharging problems with electric vehicles GM came out with this 1966 Electrovan. The Electrovan demonstrated the use of an electric propulsion system powered with fuel cells. The Electrovan was the world’s first known application of fuel cell technology in a vehicle.

1926 X Series Chevrolet

1926 X Series Chevrolet

Here is a nice example of a 1926 Chevrolet X Series one-ton truck. It came equipped with a 35 hp inline 4 cylinder engine with a base price of $550.

1928 Chevrolet Depot Hack

1928 Chevrolet Depot Hack

Did you ever wonder where the term station wagon came from? GM explains that the Woody bodied vehicles were the forerunners to the popular station wagons of the 40s through the 60s. This 1928 Chevy Depot Hack was used to transport passengers from the train station to the local hotel, or provide other means of ground transportation, thus the station wagon.

Early Cadillacs models on display

Early Cadillacs models on display

The General Motors Heritage Center has some of the most impressive antique Cadillacs on display, beginning with models dating from the early 1900s.

2003 Cadillac Sixteen Concept

2003 Cadillac Sixteen Concept

Cadillac V-16 engine

Speaking of Cadillacs, here is the 2003 Cadillac Sixteen Concept car. This concept car pays tribute to the V-16 of the 1930’s. The Cadillac logo on the steering wheel was carved out of solid crystal and  it later made its debut in the movie Click, as a vehicle of the future.

1931 Cadillac V16

1931 Cadillac V16

1938 Cadillac V-16 Engine

This is one of the 30s V-16 Cadillacs the 2003 V-16 was paying tribute to. This one is a 1931 V-16 model. A V-16 engine in 1931 marked a continuation of engine leadership for GM.  Only 86 V-16 Phantoms were built. I’m not sure if you can put a dollar amount on this car.

59 Cadillac Biarritz Tail Fins

59 Cadillac Biarritz Tail Fins

I find it interesting how aviation influnced automobile design and style. Here is a 59 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible that demonstrates that influence. GM aircraft styling began in the 40s using P38 style tail fins. By the time this 59 model came out rocket styling replaced aircraft styling and the Biarritz had the tallest tail fins found on a production vehicle. Very cool!

The GM Heritage Center is a facinating place to visit. If you are a car enthusiast, and are  ever in the Detroit area, you should make it a point to visit the heritage center.

Go to GM Heritage Center Part 2

Mark Polk

www.rveducation101.com

www.rvconsumer.com

www.rv101.tv

Follow us on FACEBOOK

Advertisements

Categories

%d bloggers like this: