The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – General Motors LeSabre

Sun 10th Feb 2019

Sometimes your wallet won’t stretch to purchasing your dream motor. But don’t worry too much, there are some cars that even the biggest bank balances can’t buy, the dream cars that will forever remain a dream. These are the concept cars that never go into production.

General Motors LeSabre
Not to be confused with Buick’s car of the same name, the GM model was ultimate showcar, designed by one of the most inspirational carmen of all time, Harley Earl.

Earl had already seen one of his previous concepts, the Y-Job, inspire a generation of motors and the LeSabre with its iconic tail fins would inspire a classic era of car design during the 1950s.

Harley Earl’s design for the LeSabre concept was inspired by the jet-engine era and came with the kind of curvature which could cut through clouds and turbulence. The LeSabre also came with some aircraft inspired bodywork, built from aluminium, magnesium and fibreglass, making it as light as a feather. The supercharged 3.5 litre V8 engine could run on petrol, but also like the Indy Sports cars of the time was also able to run off methanol.

As to be expected of a one-off concept, the LeSabre came with a host of innovative additional extras, including a 12 volt electrical system, heated seats, electric headlights, a water sensor which would activate a power roof in case of rain, electric jacks integral to the chassis which would assist with tyre changes. The most striking element of the LeSabre was the central oval ‘jet intake’ and impressive ‘Dagmars’ bumpers at the front (which were named after a particularly curvaceous actress of the time). The LeSabre looked like a jet fighter and even its name was inspired by the F-86 Sabre which was scorching across the skies at the time.

It’s easy to imagine that Harley Earl had an era of jet-propelled vehicles in mind when designing the LeSabre, but whilst that technology never got off the ground, Earl’s designs took off throughout the 1950s and can be seen on a number of classic car designs from the era including Cadillacs and Buicks, which stole the LeSabre name in 1959.

As for the original? Well it went on to enjoy fame at motorshows on both sides of the Atlantic before being retired to Harley Earl’s own personal runaround.