Pictures Of The Pontiac Club De Mer, The Jet Age-Inspired Concept Car Which Was Built In 1956 – Design You Trust

Pictures Of The Pontiac Club De Mer, The Jet Age-Inspired Concept Car Which Was Built In 1956

The Pontiac Club de Mer was a purpose-built, experimental car that was built by Pontiac for the General Motors Motorama in 1956 to celebrate General Motors’ commitment to futuristic design.

The brainchild of GM engineer-designer, Harley Earl (Paul Gillian was also involved being the Pontiac Studio head at the time), the “de Mer” was a two-door sport Roadster that incorporated innovative breakthrough styling like a sleek, low-profile body encasing a large powerplant, a design trend used widely in LSR (land speed record) trials at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah during the 1950s. One Club de Mer prototype was constructed and unveiled, along with another ¼-scale model, in Miami, Florida. As per GM’s “kill order”, it was reportedly scrapped in 1958.

h/t: vintag.es

The design of the “de Mer” drew its visual impetus from contemporary aircraft construction of its day, employing a stainless steel monocoque, individual wind screens similar to those on the 1955 Lincoln Futura (later TV’s Batmobile), aerodynamically fashioned fascia that flowed down from the hood skin to cover most of the grill, concealed headlights, and a single rear-deck dorsal fin.

Also featured were twin “silver-streaks” that flowed into low-profile hood scoops, a carry-over from Pontiac’s Bonneville Special two years prior. The overall styling of the body was a smooth, non-undulating profile, similar to an American supersonic jet fighter, with virtually no protrusions or recesses of any kind save for the out-vents on the leading edge of both doors, and the fin.

The vehicle had no bumpers, a common feature on most concepts, and the door handles were quite small. On a human scale, its most alarming feature was that it had a very low profile at just under 39 in (990.6 mm).

The interior styling in the “de Mer” had a barebones functionality to it, more in keeping with its speed trial “airs” than the flashier production vehicles available in showrooms at the time. Instruments were low key, with triangularly configured gauges mounted well behind a three spoke, GT-style steering wheel, around the steering column.

The speedometer was positioned on top, and a smaller gauge on either side, each enclosed in its own pod. The interior was finished in red, while passengers gained entry through conventional doors.

The design of the aerodynamic wind screens was carried over to the 1955 and 1956 Corvette race cars. In the years that followed, the model kit maker Revell made a 1/25 scale Club de Mer that actually came with 1950s-clad driver and passenger.

Only the model exists today, which was owned by Joseph Bortz[3] of Highland Park, IL. until it was sold to noted car collector Ron Pratt at the 2007 Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction for $75,000. A running replica based on a 1959 Pontiac chassis was also built by Marty Martino. Taking three years to complete, it sold for $110,000 at the 2009 Barrett-Jackson Auction in Arizona.








If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Innovative Bike Doubles As Washing Machine To Clean Your Clothes As You Exercise
Beautiful Photographs of Cheap Motels in 1970s America
IKEA Store in Bloomington Has Gone Solar
A $2 Million Porsche-Designed RV Has A Full Bedroom And Bathroom
Soviet Jet Train Able To Reach 160MPH Was Supposed To Change The Future
The Superb Retro-Inspired Illustrations by Alexey Kot
Before The Computers: Looking Back On Typewriters Era
Amazing Photos Of “Luxurious” Lada Stretched Limousines
Little Girl Declares Her Love For Abandoned Water Heater On The Street That She Thinks Is A Robot
Portraits of Lovely Ladies Featured on the Covers of Radio Control Modeler Magazines From the 1970s and 1980s
Chinese Man Makes Power Bank Able To Charge 5,000 Smartphones
For Some Strange Reason Russians Love To Turn Their Cars Into Tanks
Camera Van: The Art Car by Harrod Blank
70's Style And Soul: Amazing Candid Photographs Taken In Soul Clubs In Memphis And New York, 1973
The Dream Collector: Photographer Used His Camera to Recreate Children’s Nightmares From the 1960s
A Teenager’s Photos of 1970s Brooklyn NYC: Led Zeppelin, The El, snow and All the President's Men
Chevy Vega And The Vert-A-Pac Rail System In The 1970s
"View from the Top": A Historical Look at The Beautiful Stewardesses of The 1960s-1980s
BioVYZR: Upgrade Your Mask For Powered Air-Filtration N95 Protective Shield
Polish Stalkers Turned The Lights On In Pripyat, 31 Years After Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
In the 1970s, American Luxury Cars Were Bursting With Velour and Velvet
"Back To The Future Past": The Superb Digital Art Collages of Dario Darius
16 Bizarre Inventions From The Victorian Era
Glamorous Vintage Camper Is Your Midcentury Dream Home On Wheels