Mighty tailfins and yards of chrome highlight Eisenhower Era special class
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As promised, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has sprung a surprise on us for its upcoming show, just a little over three weeks away on August 26.
The surprise is another special class, Eisenhower Era Dream Convertibles, a first for the 68-year-old California concours and which joins the other special and continuing classes featuring about 200 vintage automobiles on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links.
The Eisenhower Era class will focus on the chrome-laden luxury barges of the exuberant decade when U.S. cars strutted their stuff in gleaming style.
“The 1950s in America were a time of unapologetic optimism, excess and seemingly unlimited prosperity,” according to a concours news release. “This mindset was mirrored in everything and anything, but quite literally in the chrome-covered Michigan-made dream convertibles that defined an era.
“During this time, manufacturers aimed to make a car for any and every American dream, and as a new motoring ideal replaced wartime necessity with plush opulence, big-body convertibles were for those that dreamt a little harder.”
Nine cars will be shown in the Eisenhower Era Dream Convertible class, including a 1953 trio from General Motors that toured the country in the famed Motorama shows.
They are a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado convertible that was used in the inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower, possibly festooned with American flags; a 1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta convertible, one of just 458 produced; and a 1953 Buick Skylark, an iconic piece of GM design, fitted with Dayton chrome wire wheels.
John H. White of Sacramento, California, the owner of the Skylark, said he has admired those evocative droptops since first spotting one at the New York Auto Show at the age of 13.
“GM was unveiling something that had never really been seen before,” White is quoted in the news release. “All of the chrome and bright colors really wowed the public – everyone wanted one.”
The other six Eisenhower Era Dream Convertibles are:
• 1953 Packard Caribbean
• 1956 Packard Caribbean
• 1957 Imperial Crown
• 1958 Continental Mark III
• 1959 Chrysler 300E
• 1959 Cadillac Eldorado
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, one of the word’s greatest automotive events, is the Sunday culmination of the famed Monterey Car Week car shows, concours, parties, events and collector car auctions.
For information about the Pebble Beach Concours, visit the event website.