Archive for the ‘Chevy’ Category

Resurrected Chevy Heads to Pebble Beach

Posted in: Chevy, General

biscayne1.JPGIn just over two weeks, car lovers will flock to the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where they’ll ooooh and aaaaah over some of the finest creations ever to roll across the ground. And this year, it’s possible that no other car will have quite the allure as the reconstructed 1955 Chevrolet Biscayne.

The Biscayne was a concept car built by GM back in 1955 as part of the General Motors Motorama tour. This engine-revving caravan of concept cars traveled the U.S., inviting the public to get a glimpse of their automotive future. The problem was, most of these cars were never road-tested, and when the Motorama tour ended, GM ordered most of the cars destroyed to avoid legal problems.

Three years later, Chevrolet produced a different Biscayne, loosely modeled after the sleek dream car – but worlds away. The Biscayne that hit the road from 1958 until 1972 was designed specifically for low-cost, no-frills transportation, and was the least expensive car in Chevy’s lineup of full-size cars.

The original Biscayne might have been completely forgotten, were it not for Joe Bortz, who was a young boy when he spied the GM dream cars at the 1955 Chicago Auto Show. Unable to shake their memory, Bortz tracked down the remains of the Biscayne and the LaSalle Roadster at a Detroit-area junkyard, and has worked tirelessly to restore these concepts to their original greatness.

On August 17, the Biscayne makes its first public appearance since 1955 as part of the showings at Pebble Beach. Bortz, a self-proclaimed automotive archeologist, will have a few other pieces of history that he’s pieced together as well. Those cars join an exhibit of about a dozen dream cars that GM saved, and they’ll be part of a display celebrating GM’s centennial.

It seems fitting that the Biscayne, which was unceremoniously put out to pasture in the late ’50s, resurfaces now: In the Motorama tour, it was nicknamed the ‘Miracle Car’ because it drew the largest crowds of any of the concept cars. And with soaring gas prices, slowed sales and concerns over fuel efficiency, I can’t think of a time when the auto industry has needed a miracle any more than it does today.