An amazing tale of how a number of mid 1950 GM “Motorama” show cars were saved from extinction and now are with us today in 2013.
If not for the stick to it ness – or perhaps laziness of one well known “junker” auto junkyard owner these would be long gone.
It seems that the owner ( and father_ Harry Warholak Jr. acquired these classic one of a kind cars for “destruction” and either as you see it “saved them “ as unique classic car memorabilia or perhaps as an alternative tack was just to lazy to send them out for junk metal. Prices may of been low that low perhaps – or maybe it was a case that these vintage 1950 era Cadillac Town cars , Cadillac Le Salle Roadster, Chevy Biscayne as well as the Cadillac Brougham Town Cars were just to authentic , unique and exciting to let go to the “shredder”. Yet to many these were “old cars“ that had little interest or value. Even if the Cadillac were upper end luxury collectible vehicles.
Why not more cars saved ? Interestingly the story or legend goes that someone from General Motors GM head office – chanced to see some of the collection of “Motorama ” show cars were being toted around on a flat bed trailer and put the word out via corporate channels to put an end to it. These vehicles were unique , had unique styling and stylings that perhaps were not out in production models off or coming off in the future GM production lines – and it was best to keep under wraps.
Interestingly the question is – are these autos with their setups readily licenseable for road use or will it be a case that once fully restored they will be taken from auto show to auto show on flatbed trailers. Additionally will the younger generations treasure these automobiles as well ?
Interestingly enough it was a combination ,happen chance and determination that led to the “discovery” of this treasure trove of vintage 50 real American made vehicles . Its not as if you have to travel to Cuba to see these relics. While it was an open secret to the “G.M. Guys” in Detroit of the existence of these vehicles, it was only an urban legend of the existence of them. Why draw attention to the package and cause trouble – were the thoughts of the GM head office aficionados. In the early 1970′s GM Heritage Center’s vintage auto curator Mr. Wallace spotted them sitting in a semi-trailer at the yard while searching for motorcycle parts . Years later the young son of a GM employee Joe Bortz read an article “Then there was an article about dream cars and my collection—I’d really just gotten started—in Automobile Quarterly in 1988 [Vol. 26, No. 3], and there was this sidebar about this urban legend that there were Motorama cars in a yard outside Detroit” Michigan.
It was urban legend of these GM “Motorama” cars sitting in a yard “just outside of Detroit”. It was a phone call that followed and an old friendship between Harry & Joe Bortz – the father that cemented the results.