On sunny 90-degree day that felt like a lot more than 90 degrees, Autoblog made the trek to a park in Van Nuys, California for The All GM Car Show. Old mingled with new, with a 1911 Buick sitting across the aisle from a Cadillac Allante, and a 1950 Oldsmobile next to a Shelby Series 1 supercar. And age didn't stop anyone from winning prizes: in fact, a 2008 Pontiac G8 GT took home one of the day's awards.
The show also featured concept cars, customizations, and some absolutely superb hood ornaments and detailing. Follow the jump to get the scoop on The All GM Car Show, and be sure to check out the gallery of hi-res images below.
Photos Copyright ©2008 Jonathon R. Ramsey / Weblogs, Inc.
Well before the Corvette ZR1, there was a 1950 Oldsmobile Futurmatic 88 that had plexiglass panels in the hood so you could see its experimental, high-compression test engine. The gent who owned it said that the car was one of four remaining, from an original run of 30 or so.
There was also a '66 Corvette Stingray award winner called the Coupester that had an LS7 and a bespoke interior that was at once slickly retro and modern. And check out the photos of the engine bay in the Buick Grand National -- there should be a plexiglass panel in the hood of the car so you can always see it.
While they probably aren't the safest thing for pedestrians, the hood ornaments on some of the cars, again, especially the Cadillacs, were magnificent. A 1931 Cadillac V16 Sport Phaeton was one of the day's ultimate beauties (check out the rear seat instrument cluster in the hi-res gallery). The details on the 1950 Buick Series 3 Coupes, from the Buick logos on stalks on the rear taillights, to the steps up the rear fenders to the rumble seats, were certainly a bit more engaging than today's chrome fender vents.
And of course, cars this "mature," as with people, had plenty of stories. One gent had a 1937 Buick Century, and he had sloppily welded a tow hitch to it. He ended up giving the car away when he got married because the back end went out. The gent he gave it to towed it to Utah from Santa Monica, and then took the car to Wisconsin. The second owner sold the car in Wisconsin to a man who moved to Loveland, Colorado. Decades later, that man put the car up for sale. The original owner of the car had, by this time, decided he wanted another 1937 Buick Century, saw the ad for one in Colorado, and bought it. It wasn't until he got it home and saw the remains of the sloppy tow hitch weld -- the hitch was long gone -- that he did some research and realized he had bought his own car back.
Throw in there the odd Corvair Rampside van converted to electricity, a 1965 Chevrolet Bounty Hunter Buggy, head covers painted with names like "Buick Firebally Dynaflash 8", and the woman who made a Busy Bee trailer to match her 50's era Buick, and you have a great showcase of just how much GM has done and meant to the world of automobiles...
It's an old refrain, but having wandered through the rows of cars on display -- especially some of the Buicks and Cadillacs -- we'll say it again: if GM had never stopped putting that much care into the business of cars...