1939 "Ghost" Pontiac
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The 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six "Ghost Car," first displayed at the New York World's Fair
and later at the Smithsonian Institution, was sold recently at an RM Auction for $308,000.
Originally built for $25,000, the car with a Plexiglas body was the first
transparent car built in America .. Another was built the following year, but its
whereabouts are unknown.
"This is the only one known to exist," said Alain Squindo, a car specialist for
RM Auctions, which held the auction for the "Ghost Car" and other specialty
vehicles in Plymouth , Mich. "It's a very original car."
The Ghost Car was first displayed at the 1939/1940 New York World's Fair, Squindo said. It toured a number of dealerships, and then was at the Smithsonian in Washington , D.C. for a number of years.
to see their beloved car go," Squindo said. He could not disclose the name of the buyer.
The car has 86 miles on it, picked up by being driven in and out of dealerships
for displays. It was a collaboration between GM and Rohm & Haas chemical company, which made the Plexiglas. Structural metal underneath was given a copper wash and all hardware, including the dashboard was chrome-plated.
Billed as a vision of the future, it was made for the 1939-40 New York World's Fair, where it became a sensation at General Motors' 'Highways and Horizons" Pavilion; and it continues to cause a stir today. Just two were ever made.
A spokesman for RM Auctions said: "The car is in a remarkable state of preservation. It's a testament to the longevity of Plexiglas in an era when automotive plastics tended to self-destruct within a few years." Although it has acquired a few chips and cracks, it is structurally sound and cosmetically clear, showing off the Ghost Car's innards as it did in 1939. This motor still turns heads as much as it ever did. It is not, obviously, suited for touring but as a unique artifact from automotive and cultural history."
The material went on to be used in military planes during World War II and then expanded in to signs, lighting, fixtures, trains and other cars. Rohm & Haas used drawings for the Pontiac four-door Touring Sedan to create an exact replica body out of the transparent acrylic. It was completed with structural metal underneath, which was given a copper wash, and chrome-plated hardware.
Following a dealership tour, it went on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and was reportedly there until 1947. It was later owned by a succession of Pennsylvania Pontiac dealers. It appeared at the first annual meet of the new Pontiac-Oakland Club International in 1973 and was purchased by Don Barlup of New Cumberland , Pennsylvania . Barlup commissioned a partial restoration from S&H Pontiac of Harrisburg and sold it to collector Leo Gephart in 1979.
The current owners father purchased it from Gephart in the early 1980s, and it has remained in the same family ever since. Not surprisingly, it has no conventional vehicle identification number; even themachined boss for the engine number is blank.
Ultra Modern VW Factory
Hat tip to "Dr. Mc"
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