How to Dream Up a Car (Sep, 1956)
How to Dream Up a Car
The creation of Pontiac’s Club de Mer dream car took years of work.
PONTIAC’S Club de Mer is the stuff that dreams are made ofâ€”dreams that result from years of painstaking planning and hard work by stylists and engineers at GM’s lush new Technical Center. A dream car begins when vice-president in charge of styling, Harley Earl, and other top executives decide what type of car is to be created. In
the case of the Club de Mer, the brass wanted a racing car which would embody comfort, safety, performance and beautyâ€”all in one sleek package.
Once the goal is set, Paul Gillan, boss of the Pontiac Styling Studio, and his staff go to work. Drawings of the proposed car are made by the thousands. No idea is too radical, no design too extreme. These drawings are then sifted by top experts and a basic design incorporating many features from the sketches decided upon. Then back to the drawing board for a final sketch. When this has been approved, a life-size rendering in color is made to show exactly how the completed car will look.
Next the basic car body is made of wood laths around which a clay shell is built. The metal or Fiberglas mold for the finished car will come from this.
While you won’t be able to buy the Club de Mer, the design and engineering features in it will help to set the standards for the car you will buy sometime in the future.