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Colorized Mario's Tribute to 1951 Buick XP300

The 1951 Buick XP300 is a Concept Car developed by GM. The plans were developed along side the 1951 GM LeSabre XP8 Concept Car.

It can run on gas or methanol. It measures over 16 ft in length but only 39 inches in height. Many features from push-button power windows and seats to hydraulic jacks and de Dion axles.

The XP300 was designed by GM VP of Eng Charles Chayne with Ned F. Nickles. Chayne had previously assisted Harley Earl in designing the 1938 Buick Y-Job.

Charles A. Chayne, Harley J. Earl and Ned F. Nickles were three genuine automotive enthusiasts whose passion for beautiful cars led to the creation of the Buick XP300.

GM VP of Eng Charles Chayne with designer Ned F. Nickles. The car's name reflects the fact that it produced over 300 horsepower and was an experimental (XP) vehicle.

Part sports car and space ship the car had an electric shaver grille, a wraparound windshield, a tri-finned tail with the electric radio antenna protruding from the center fin.

In May 1951 Chayne granted approval for construction of the XP300 along with a counterpart GM concept car, the Le Sabre.

Claimed to have attained a top speed of 140 mph during testing, the XP300 was displayed at auto shows across the USA.

Buick XP300 dream car at the GM Motorama.

Buick XP300 dream car at the GM Motorama.

In 1966 the XP300 was refurbished and donated to the Alfred P. Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan, where it remains today.

The interior of the XP300 features pleated blue leather bucket seats, inflatable air bladders and center console. It also has a telescoping steering wheel and Tachometer. The gauges resemble that of a jet aircraft.

It boasted many safety features including dual brakes, power adjustable seats, adjustable steering wheel, seat belts and curved safety glass windshield.

The XP300 features a wraparound windshield, three tailfins, and a grille that resembles an electric razor, push button power windows and seats.

The XP300 was more in line with Chayne's conception of the future of Buick production cars, and its front end design ultimately foreshadowed the 1954 Buick line.

The XP300's body and frame were welded together into a single unit. It also had heat treated aluminum body panels.

Advanced 225ci 335hp V8 Compression 10 to 1. Same engine as in the 1951 LeSabre Concept Car. It also boasted a chain-driven camshaft and hemispherical combustion chambers.

Aluminum block V-8 featured a supercharger and alcohol injection to make 335 HP from its 225 CI V8. It is mated to a custom Dynaflow automatic transmission.

A chrome fin runs down the center of the car's trunk, hiding hinges for the twin deck lids.

A floodlight style, sealed beam backup lamp mounted in the center imitates the exhaust of a jet engine.

It has four hydraulic jacks that could raise either the driver or passenger side of the car for easier tire changes.

It features four coil springs and a hydraulic system which operates the car's cowl vents, door locking devices, hood, jacks, seats, and windows.

The car features heavy and wide drum brakes that necessitated two sets of brake shoes for each wheel.

The XP300 was painted Venus White, it has functional chrome louvers running down its rocker panels.

Both Buick dream cars had heat-treated aluminum bodies.

The XP300's engine could run on either gasoline or methanol, and the car featured two separate fuel fillers and fuel tanks, one for each fuel.

The car had a Bendix Eclipse 2 barrel carburetor one using gasoline and the other methanol. The methanol carburetor automatically cut in once the gasoline carburetor reached 40% throttle.

Chayne used the XP-300 as if it was his personal car. Chayne reported that he attained a top speed of 110 mph in the car, which bears his initials on the trim panels at each front fender.

Both cars stressed Harley Earl’s love of long, low, sleek and heavily stylized designs and the use of bright metal trim, which he had a taste for even when it became passé.

Together with the Le Sabre, the XP300 pioneered the wraparound windshield which was copied by all the manufacturers in the fifties.


Approximately 1.18 scale.

Battery operated lights and horn.


Video and audio clips

1951 Buick XP300 at the Sloan Museum

Dream Cars 1951 LeSabre and Buick XP300

XP300 at the 1953 GM Motorama


More Cars of the 1950s
More Buick Coverage

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Mario on May 21, 2021 said:

Another magnificent automobile from General Motors Design Team back in 1951.

GM was truly the Leader in automotive styling and improvements with one Concept car after another.

The XP300 was designed by GM VP of Eng Charles Chayne with Ned F. Nickles under the supervision of Harley Earl.

[Reply to this comment]

57timemachine on May 21, 2021 said:

GM really taught the world about concept cars and how to not only dream big but do big as well. GM put there money where their mouth was. It is sad to think where GM is today, considering the power house they were for at least 80 years. The leader with a capital C. All the other car companies put together, could not match the might that the mighty General was. Sadly ALL things do come to pass.

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Mario on May 22, 2021 said:

So true George. GM is no longer what it was and probably never will be.

But us Gearheads keep the memory of what was good alive by doing what we're doing. Restore and save the old cars that exist today for our sake and our future generations.

Each restored car is a museum unto itself. Cheers!

[Reply to this comment]

azmusclecar on May 22, 2021 said:

WOW........that is one huge hood especially for a front tilting model!!

This car literally DRIPS with design from the fighter aircraft of the day.

That clam shell trunk is a one I have never seen before.

I find it odd how thin the steering wheel looks in the cockpit but then again go back to the yoke of an aircraft and it seems to make sense.

And the brake and gas pedal resemble rudder pedals. takes many looks and squints to see all the nuances designed into this ride.

Chalk up another one for GM and Mario..........

It's a win win...........

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on May 22, 2021 said:

Yes Rob so many design features on this "rocket ship" car more like a jet aircraft than a car!

The long tilting hood is amazing as is the wing flipping trunk!

I would love seeing this car in person at the Sloan Museum and hearing the roar of the powerful engine. The dual exhausts are awesome and I can hear them rumble!

[Reply to this comment]

azmusclecar on May 22, 2021 said:

I just happened to see what resembles the bomb sights on the front of the fenders just above the headlight I said, you look and you look and look some more..........

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on May 22, 2021 said:

The twin bomb sights are really cool and I believe Buick kept something similar in the fifties.

[Reply to this comment]

DonGlover on Jul 8, 2021 said:

Great article with a lot of detail, and little known facts. When I was younger I had the plastic toy of the Buick dream car, working head lamps, and a horn. I believe it was made by Ideal.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Jul 9, 2021 said:

Don take a look at the pics I just posted on the Ideal toy 1951 Buick XP300 you had. Really sharp and I love the little tools that came with it!

Probably worth a lot today couldn't find its value, but it's precious to anyone who owned one as a child. Regards, Mario

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Apr 3, 2024 said:

I colorized the B/W pictures.

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