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Cadillac Cyclone inspired Ed Welburn as a 9 year old


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At the Philadelphia Auto Show on Friday, Jan. 29, GM Vice President of Design Ed Welburn showed off the source of his personal inspiration as a designer, the Cadillac Cyclone, which he first saw as a 9-year-old at the Philadelphia show half a century ago. Welburn also introduced the local media to the new Cadillac CTS-V Coupe.

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Bruce

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The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept was designed to test new styling and engineering ideas. The two- passenger automobile has a clear plastic top that fits snugly against the panoramic windshield to give the driver true 360 degree vision. When not in use, the power-operated canopy folds backward beneath the surface of the trunk deck. It automatically lifts out of the way when either door is opened.

Among its advanced engineering features is a radar-locating device, which scans the highway, and warns the driver electronically of objects in its path. Large, twin nose cones in the front of the car house the proximity-sensing units. They electronically alert the driver with both an audible signal and a warning light if an object is in its path.

At a touch of a button, Cyclones doors move outward from the car three inches. Moving smoothly on ball bearings, they can be slid back for easy entrance.

A 325 horsepowered engine that is positioned in the nose of the car powers the Cyclone. It features a low profile carburetor, cross flow aluminum radiator and twin fans. The muffler and exhaust are located in the front engine compartment with the exhaust outlets just ahead of the front wheels.

Inside, instruments are clustered like an aircraft dashboard before, and between, the two passengers. An intercommunication system allows passengers to converse with persons outside the automobile without raising the canopy.

This was Harley Earl’s last concept vehicle before his retirement in 1958. After Earl’s retirement, with Bill Mitchell as Vice President and head of design, the Cyclone’s fins were cut down, the taillights moved to the bumber ends, the hubcaps changed, the bubble top removed and the pearl white paint changed to silver. The car was then known as the 1964 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74 Concept.

Source: http://wiki.gmnext.com/wiki/index.php/The_Two_Lives_of_the_Cadillac_Cyclone_Concept_Vehicle by Bill Bowman

Bruce

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  • 3 years later...
  • caddy_3_toppick_crop.jpg
  • 1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74 Concept Car

AUTOROTICA: It’s a Bird, It’s a Jet Plane, It’s a 1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74

The fenders look like rockets. The plexiglass bubble roof affords you a 360 degree view. The removable top would automatically close when the sensors detected rain.

This is the 1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74 Concept, designed by the legendary GM head of design Harley Earl. It looked more like a Jet aircraft than a car, and was part of the post WWII fascination with futuristic design. Imagine being able to create--from scratch, an automobile the likes no one had ever seen before, and beyond the imagination of most human beings. Lucky, lucky Harley Earl.

Read More: http://www.getthefive.com/articles/the-eye-candy/autorotica-its-a-bird-its-a-jet-plane-its-a-1959-c/

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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