Tuesday, November 09, 2010

General Motors Display, NYWF April 1964

The General Motors pavilion at the New York World's Fair is largely remembered for the amazing FUTURAMA attraction. But there was more to it than that! First, let's take another look at the impressive façade on a rainy April day. That canopy is just plain awesome. And I love seeing those wonderful World's Fair street lamps turned on! Even the leafless trees add a graphic element to this photo that I find pleasing.


You wouldn't have a GM without cars, would you? And just like the yearly auto shows at the local convention center, my favorite displays are the ones featuring futuristic concept vehicles. Check out this neat little 3-wheel "Runabout"! Stylish and attractive, I'd say.


The vehicle had a front wheel that could turn 180 degrees to allow parking in the tightest of spots and the rear end of the car contained two detachable shopping trolleys with wheels that would fold away when the trolley was parked in the vehicle. The Runabout had space for 2 adults in the front and 3 children in the rear.


I'm not sure where I would put my groceries, but with a car like this, who needs groceries?? This is the GMX Stiletto, and it is about as super-sleek as can be. Fire engine red is nice, but I'll get mine painted in tangerine metal flake. Oooo, sparkly.


The GM-X Stiletto concept car was an advanced, high-performance car with styling strongly influenced by aerospace design. It featured aircraft-type steering, a maintenance monitoring system with toggle switch controls, and a three-way speaker system for inside and outside communications.


Here's the Firebird IV, and it looks both sexy and classy. It was to have a prototype gas-turbine engine. There's something about that silver/gray color that is so elegant. Why can't I have one of these?


The Firevird IV was ..."focused toward the day that automobiles would be controlled on highways not by the driver, but by automatic programmed guidance systems that would ensure absolute safety at more than twice the speed possible on expressways of the day. Control would then be restored to the driver once exiting the highway and continuing on surface streets."

9 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

WAY COOL! Love the model of the city in that last photo.

Thufer said...

If only......

JG said...

We'll get these at the same time we get honest politicians.

Thanks for a glimpse of the future of the past. Great photos.

JG

Connie Moreno said...

I can sure see myself in a Runabout!

Chiana_Chat said...

I'm with Connie. :)

Also I like the Firebird IV. Very sleek and classy.

Rich T. said...

Sigh. The world needs to have World's Fairs again.

Major Pepperidge said...

The Runabout is cute, but the other two cars are pretty hard to beat for sheer coolness.

Rich T., there are still World's Fairs, but as a rule they are shadows of the old fairs. However, the recent fair in Shanghai was the largest World's Fair ever. If you look for photos on Google, you'll see some pretty spectacular buildings and sights. I've heard that the lines for some of the more popular pavilions could be three or four hours!

Viewliner Ltd. said...

An awesome post Major. What a place, what a time. Beauty!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Hey, these are some of the best photos (short of factory pics) that I've ever seen of these amazing cars! WOW! Pure Eye candy - thanks!