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Colorized Mario's Tribute to 1951 GM LeSabre XP8 by Harley Earl

1951 GM LeSabre Concept Car

1951 LeSabre-Concept car was legendary design chief Harley Earl’s tour de force that had massive influence on car design for a decade.

Body panels were made of cast magnesium, aluminum, and fiberglass.

Today, the LeSabre remains a lovingly preserved star of the General Motors Heritage Museum in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

It’s trotted out to shows and museums nationwide where viewers are stunned of its sleek, shattering style, from way back in 1951.

First appearance of GM’s famed wrap-around windshield.

LeSabre’s snout harkened to the Air Force’s F-86 Sabre Jet.

Advanced features include a 12-volt system, heated seats, first use of a rear-mounted transmission.

Electric headlights concealed behind the center oval jet intake.

A water sensor activated the power top when it rained.

Length 200.9 in Width 76.8 in Height 50 in Weight 3800 pounds.

Electric Hideaway headlights.

Twin tail fins and a huge central brake light that evoked an afterburner completed its jet aircraft style.

Twin Bucket seats like the European sport cars.

It’s extensive instrumentation included a compass and an altimeter.

Boatail rear end.

Twin Tail fins, common on auto designs during the second half of the decade.

Hidden headlights.

Headlights on.

Aluminum block V-8 that featured a supercharger and alcohol injection to make 335 HP from its 225 CI V8.

Advanced 225ci 335hp V8 Compression 10 to 1. High for 1951.

Built in electrically powered jacks at each wheel made tire changes a breeze.

Front bumper "Dagmars" named after Hollywood's famous star.

Dual gasoline and methanol fuel systems.

Electric top up.

Dual exhaust through the bumper.

Center Brake light on.

Center Brake light on.

Hidden Gas Cap for fueling. Left fin for gasoline.

Hidden Gas Caps for fueling. Left side gas, right side methanol.

Hidden Gas Cap for gas.

Hidden Gas Cap for gas.

Hidden Gas Cap for fueling. Right fin for alcohol.

Harley Earl (1893 – 1969) GM Vice President of Styling often drove it as his regular road car.

Harley Earl General Motors VP Head-of-Styling from 1927 to 1959.

Building the 1951 GM-LeSabre.

The dream car was planned and built over a span of five years at a reported cost of $7 million—in 1951-era dollars

Since the car used a rear-mounted transmission, the tunnel in the front passenger compartment remained narrow.

Unlike many show cars, the LeSabre is a fully realized, fully functional prototype.

LeSabre sales brochure.

Out for a Sunday drive in the new LeSabre

The LeSabre sported an integral jacking system.

Large trunk carries spare tire.

Video and audio clips

Building the 1951 LeSabre.

1951 LeSabre putting on a show.

1951 LeSabre On Display 2014.

1951 LeSabre Driving Around 2017.

1951 LeSabre On Display 2018.

1951 LeSabre at Annual Car Show in Hershey, PA 2019.

Dream Car 1951 LeSabre


More Cars of the 1950s
More Buick Coverage

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Mario on May 2, 2021 said:

A magnificent automobile from General Motors Design Team back in 1951. GM was truly the Leader in automotive styling and improvements.

This car was I believe 10 or more years ahead of its time.

The ideas and innovations that would materialize over the decade came mostly from the 1951 LeSabre XP8 from the General.

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57timemachine on May 2, 2021 said:

This has always been my favorite of all the GM concept cars. I would love to know more about that interesting engine that is in this special historic vehicle. I have seen and took photos of this car a number of times, every time I went to the Henry Ford museum. Mario, thanks for sharing. Cheers.

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Mario on May 2, 2021 said:

That is so great you got to see this car in person George. Someday I would love to see it too. The engine was very unique and advanced for its time in 1951.

It ran on a combination of high octane gas and methanol alcohol. It even has 2 separate fuel tanks for each with hidden fuel doors on the fins.

This is also one of my all time favorite future cars. I love it so much I have a Franklin Mint 1/24 scale model of it. Cheers, Mario.

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Mario on May 3, 2021 said:

I added more engine and interior pictures.

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azmusclecar on May 17, 2021 said:

I just think it is awesome how the nose cone flips down and all of a sudden two headlights are pushed into the's hypnotizing

If I saw it coming at me, I'd probably just get run over...mesmerized..........

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Mario on May 18, 2021 said:

Yes Rob I think it was meant for the Deer hunter to hypnotize their prey for an easy catch.

Very interesting indeed!

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Mario on Apr 8, 2024 said:

I was able to colorize all the B/W pictures.

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