It’s hard to pick only a few, but there have been some truly incredible designs over the years inside General Motors. Velocity’s television series, Americarna, attempts to highlight some of the best over the years.
The episode goes inside the GM Design department, escorted by the one and only Ed Welburn, where Welburn carefully selects some of his personal favorites. First up, reaching far back into the archives, is the iconic Buick Y-Job. Regarded as the industry’s first “concept car”, the design was spearheaded by Harley Earl, head of GM design during this era, who also happened to be the first head of design.
GM was the first automotive manufacturer to utilize clay sculpting to create a full-scale model of what designers were dreaming up in their sketchpads, and it allowed concepts like the Y-Job to really come to life.
The striking concept looks decidedly 1950s, even though the car was dreamt up for 1938. It featured future mainstream technologies far from production in 1938 including power windows, flush-mounted door handles, disappearing headlights and a concealed convertible top.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Welburn visits the stunning Elmiraj concept from 2013. The car was described by Cadillac as “a grand coupe expressing the pure enjoyment of driving and exploring new dimensions for Cadillac’s ongoing expansion.” Building on Cadillac’s ongoing “Art and Science” design stigma, the long wheelbase and sharp creases create a pretty picture of a proper Cadillac flagship, something we hope trickles down to the upcoming CT6.
Of course, styling is subjective. We invite you to let us know: what are some of your favorite designs from GM over the years? Talk to us in the comments, and check out Fastlane‘s full write up here.