1953 Le Mans Concept A Recreation in Tribute to Harley Earl

Started by Jack Frank, April 20, 2007, 03:10:32 PM

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Jack Frank

Im looking for more info on this LeMans #2 where is it now who has it? what I know: (According to John Crowell again, the second owner of Le Mans #3 (that was acquired first by Harry Karl, the shoe store magnate, for his wife Marie The Body McDonald), was subsequently customized by George Barris, Barris added large, chrome-plated imitation tail fins, a la Buick, as well as a continental kit) If you know anything or can help.... thanks, Jack

Charles D. Barnette #1465

#1
Dear Mr. Frank, the stories of the 4 LeMans are confusing and until David Temple came on the scene were hard to understand. Let me attempt to summarize for all again as simply as I can where we stand after Davids book. There were 4 1953 LeMans Cadillacs built for the production year of 1953. The Orleans (Cadillac Show Car) had serial number 01. The first LeMans then had serial number 02, the second LeMans had serial number 03, and the third LeMans had serial number 04. The fourth LeMans was made late in the production year out of sequence and therefore its serial number has no relationship to the other three siblings. For the first three LeMans it is easy to get the number of the car and its serial number mixed up and that through the years has caused the massive confusion up till now. The first LeMans (serial number 02) is the Motorama car,customized by Barris, owned by Harry Karl and Marie McDonald, eventually sold to John Crowell, and lost by fire in 1985. The second LeMans (serial number 03) is the car that was owned briefly by Harley Earl, painted black, and after display in Oklahoma in late 53 disappeared off the face of the earth-probably destroyed or ended up as the basis for another show car (no proof on any of this outcome). The third LeMans (serial number 04) was painted Apollo Gold or yellow, sold to Akers,painted white while ending up in the hands of Coleman, then into the hands of a buyer in the Washington D.C. area who wishes to remain anonymous. He still has the car to this day hidden away from the public. The fourth LeMans was built for Goodman of Fisher Body, restyled in 1959 with fins and quad headlights, and is currently owned by GM in its Heritage Center Collection. I hope this helps. Charles D. Barnette

Jack Frank

#2
Your Info helped me a great deal, Thank you
      I just got back from Detroit Mi. meeting with
Greg Wallis at the GM Heritage Center, I been working with Rodney Green head of Design, Marcy and others for permission to document the altered #4 Le Mans and after months and months of talking to then they granted me a full day to do what ever I wanted with the Le Mans #4 so I did I have over 150 photos, drawings, Tracings, measurement's inside and out and even under it, it was so much fun being there and seeing the real car my assistant was documenting me with the car doing all that,
     I bought two 1954 coups and all ready started stripping and cutting one down, In January the main body and chassis will be started on, I'm rebuilding everything that I don't have from scratch, I'm only using the 50% of the frame, 80% of the nose. 90% of the doors, and 40% of the Quarters.
      Now this one is going to be a real as can be 1953 Le Mans What I need to do is decide on the color? the light blue or the Black with red leather like Harley Earls, another thing this car is going to be all steel no Fiberglass do you think that is a  -  or  +  ?
         Jack.

Barry

#3
Great undertaking ! Would be great to see some detailed interior pictures ! By all means, Black with Red Rules !
Barry Norman
1958 Biarritz
1961Biarritz
1976 Bicentennial
1976 Fleetwood Talisman
1961Continental Convertible

David Templ3, #22317

#4
Hello Mr. Frank. My research on the Le Mans show cars did not reveal the interior color of the car Harley Earl had, Le Mans #2. His car was repainted black presumably for Mr. Earl and the upholstery dyed or replaced to match. Clearly, red would match. However, the black and white photos I have seen indicate that red was not used judging by the amount of reflectivity of the upper seating surfaces. Only the uppermost part of the bench seat can be seen in all of the pictures I have. In other words the upholstery appears too bright to be red. This leaves silver, white, beige, or tan as possibilities. The impression with which I am left is that white was not used either - at least not a bright white. Red would look great with the black paint.
David Temple

Jack Frank

#5
Thanks David.... I will be starting a new post next month around the 10th to show the start of the new Le Mans so that every one can watch it be built, here is the first pic"the donor car" so thanks for all the feedback.... Jack

Charles D. Barnette

#6
Dear Mr. Frank, I am thrilled that LeMans #2 will live again in replica form! While the research was being done on the four LeMans for David Temple's book, we nicknamed LeMans #2 as "Raven" to keep the cars apart in our discussions. So good luck on Raven-the Motorama Gods are smiling! Charles D. Barnette

Roger Zimmermann

#7
Quote from: Jack Frank on December 20, 2007, 01:21:26 PM
     I bought two 1954 coups and all ready started stripping and cutting one down, In January the main body and chassis will be started on, I'm rebuilding everything that I don't have from scratch, I'm only using the 50% of the frame, 80% of the nose. 90% of the doors, and 40% of the Quarters.
      Now this one is going to be a real as can be 1953 Le Mans....
         
Interesting story! I have however a question: why do you use a 1954 Coupe for that revival? Would not be more wise to use a 1953 basis for that project as 1954 to 1956 belong to another generation?
Anyway, congratulation for that very interesting task.

Roger
Switzerland
1956 Sedan de Ville (sold)
1956 Eldorado Biarritz
1957 Eldorado Brougham (sold)
1972 Coupe de Ville
2011 DTS
CLCMRC benefactor #101

Jack Frank

#8
Quote from: Charles D. Barnette on December 21, 2007, 02:49:55 PM
Dear Mr. Frank, I am thrilled that LeMans #2 will live again in replica form! While the research was being done on the four LeMans for David Temple's book, we nicknamed LeMans #2 as "Raven" to keep the cars apart in our discussions. So good luck on Raven-the Motorama Gods are smiling! Charles D. Barnette
Thank you for the great compliment Mr Barnette, so what where the other three names of the Le Mans ?

Jack Frank

#9
Quote from: Roger Zimmermann #21015 on December 22, 2007, 06:43:58 AM
Quote from: Jack Frank on December 20, 2007, 01:21:26 PM
     I bought two 1954 coups and all ready started stripping and cutting one down, In January the main body and chassis will be started on, I'm rebuilding everything that I don't have from scratch, I'm only using the 50% of the frame, 80% of the nose. 90% of the doors, and 40% of the Quarters.
      Now this one is going to be a real as can be 1953 Le Mans....
         
Interesting story! I have however a question: why do you use a 1954 Coupe for that revival? Would not be more wise to use a 1953 basis for that project as 1954 to 1956 belong to another generation?
Anyway, congratulation for that very interesting task.

Roger
Switzerland
To answer your question, take a look at the 1953 LeMans Concept car then look at the 1954 coup, the 54 iharited its looks from the LeMans and the 54s fender are the only match 55 and 56 use a differant fdifferent base even thoe the tathoights are the same.

Jack Frank

#10
Quote from: Jack Frank on December 22, 2007, 05:48:34 PM
Quote from: Roger Zimmermann #21015 on December 22, 2007, 06:43:58 AM
Quote from: Jack Frank on December 20, 2007, 01:21:26 PM
     I bought two 1954 coups and all ready started stripping and cutting one down, In January the main body and chassis will be started on, I'm rebuilding everything that I don't have from scratch, I'm only using the 50% of the frame, 80% of the nose. 90% of the doors, and 40% of the Quarters.
      Now this one is going to be a real as can be 1953 Le Mans....
         
Interesting story! I have however a question: why do you use a 1954 Coupe for that revival? Would not be more wise to use a 1953 basis for that project as 1954 to 1956 belong to another generation?
Anyway, congratulation for that very interesting task.

Roger
Switzerland

   Spell check scrambled some words and deleated some word on my last reply?

   To answer your question, take a look at the 1953 LeMans Concept car then look at the 1954 coup, the 54 inharited its looks from the LeMans, the 54s fenders only fit 54s, the 55 and 56 are differant even thoe the tailights are the same. the 1953 Cadillac coup is intirely differant. Jack

Roger Zimmermann

#11
Quote from: Jack Frank on December 22, 2007, 06:12:57 PM
         

   Spell check scrambled some words and deleated some word on my last reply?

   To answer your question, take a look at the 1953 LeMans Concept car then look at the 1954 coup, the 54 inharited its looks from the LeMans, the 54s fenders only fit 54s, the 55 and 56 are differant even thoe the tailights are the same. the 1953 Cadillac coup is intirely differant. Jack
Oups! I should have given a look at the Motorama book before I wrote. Thank you to correct me; the front fender/hood/grille/bumper of the '53 LeMans car is looking indeed like a 1954 standard vehicle. I wonder if these parts are indeed from a 1954 car; mybe slightly modified.
Again, good luck with the project!

About the spell check: the last time I used it, the machine created some strange words. Since that experience, I prefer to write the way I can, I hope there are not too much errors...

Roger
Switzerland
1956 Sedan de Ville (sold)
1956 Eldorado Biarritz
1957 Eldorado Brougham (sold)
1972 Coupe de Ville
2011 DTS
CLCMRC benefactor #101

Charles D. Barnette

#12
Quote from: Jack Frank on December 22, 2007, 05:34:25 PM
Quote from: Charles D. Barnette on December 21, 2007, 02:49:55 PM
Dear Mr. Frank, I am thrilled that LeMans #2 will live again in replica form! While the research was being done on the four LeMans for David Temple's book, we nicknamed LeMans #2 as "Raven" to keep the cars apart in our discussions. So good luck on Raven-the Motorama Gods are smiling! Charles D. Barnette
Thank you for the great compliment Mr Barnette, so what where the other three names of the Le Mans ?
The nicknames we gave the other three were Motorama LeMans for the first LeMans, Wallflower for the third LeMans, and the Goodman LeMans for the last LeMans. Charles D. Barnette

Jack Franks

#13
Here is the start of the Le Mans, choped the roof off the donar car and getting it all gutted out down to a bare shell, just washed years of Orange County dirt out of it. next is to pull the trunk off and throw it away and take out the body bolts.

Peter H. Luft CLC#19778

#14
Well he goes another question.....................A few years ago I toured the Peterson Museum next to the Tar Pits in L.A.............and there was a Lemans there,  metalic Sebring Silver with a silver or medium gray interior, the seat had smaill 1/2 " rolls and pleats, quad headlights and Eldorado Brougham tail lamps 57/58 type fins...................which one of the four is this car, it was also for sale in Hemmings at about $300K by L.A.  car dealer Frank Corrette ( Not sure of the last name spelling)...............again where does this one fall ?.................Thanks, The 64 ELDO Guy.
  I think this one was also in an Elvis movie..............Lots of sectioning the car had, great lines........................Where is the FLORENTINE experts ?.

David Temple

#15
Quote from: Peter H. Luft CLC#19778 on January 03, 2008, 02:53:05 PM
Well he goes another question.....................A few years ago I toured the Peterson Museum next to the Tar Pits in L.A.............and there was a Lemans there,  metalic Sebring Silver with a silver or medium gray interior, the seat had smaill 1/2 " rolls and pleats, quad headlights and Eldorado Brougham tail lamps 57/58 type fins...................which one of the four is this car, it was also for sale in Hemmings at about $300K by L.A.  car dealer Frank Corrette ( Not sure of the last name spelling)...............again where does this one fall ?.................Thanks, The 64 ELDO Guy.
  I think this one was also in an Elvis movie..............Lots of sectioning the car had, great lines........................Where is the FLORENTINE experts ?.

The Le Mans displayed at the Peterson Museum was the fourth one built. It received styling and mechanical upgrades sometime during the 1959 model year. The car was never used in an Elvis movie but rather appeared in the movie, "The Buddy Holly Story," starring Gary Busey about 30 years ago. This Le Mans was built late in the 1953 model year for Fisher Body president J.E. Goodman. In the early '60s through about 1999 or 2000 the car was owned by his son, Jack. The car is now part of the GM Heritage Center Collection.
David Temple, #22317

Jack Frank

#16
Well here is an update, on my 1953 LeMans as you can see there is no turning back now with this much cut out I hope to have the rest of the doors the cowl and floor cut by this weekend, then send all the puzzel peices to sand blasting........... What should I call this car? .....  reborn, recreation, I need to start a new post cause its here............... 8)

The Tassie Devil(le)

#17
Quote from: Jack Frank on January 24, 2008, 10:57:54 PM
......... What should I call this car? .....  reborn, recreation, I need to start a new post cause its here............... 8)   
"Airy", very airy.   Oh, and light too.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Roger Zimmermann

#18
Quote from: Jack Frank on January 24, 2008, 10:57:54 PM
Well here is an update, on my 1953 LeMans as you can see there is no turning back now with this much cut out I hope to have the rest of the doors the cowl and floor cut by this weekend, then send all the puzzel peices to sand blasting........... What should I call this car? .....  reborn, recreation, I need to start a new post cause its here............... 8)
Very interesting Jack. I wonder how you will rebuild all the pieces together.
The view remembers my '56 convertible when I had to remove the rear fender to clean the rust. The floor you are showing seems in very good shape, much better than mine was.
Good luck,

Roger
1956 Sedan de Ville (sold)
1956 Eldorado Biarritz
1957 Eldorado Brougham (sold)
1972 Coupe de Ville
2011 DTS
CLCMRC benefactor #101

veesixteen

#19
Roger, Please show us a couple of pics of your car today ... it will show the naysayers what CAN be done when you set your mind to it !
__________________________________________________
Quote from: Roger Zimmermann #21015 on January 25, 2008, 02:28:50 AM
Quote from: Jack Frank on January 24, 2008, 10:57:54 PM
Well here is an update, on my 1953 LeMans as you can see there is no turning back now with this much cut out I hope to have the rest of the doors the cowl and floor cut by this weekend, then send all the puzzel peices to sand blasting........... What should I call this car? .....  reborn, recreation, I need to start a new post cause its here............... 8)
Very interesting Jack. I wonder how you will rebuild all the pieces together.
The view remembers my '56 convertible when I had to remove the rear fender to clean the rust. The floor you are showing seems in very good shape, much better than mine was.
Good luck,

Roger
Yann Saunders, CLC #12588
Compiler and former keeper of "The Cadillac Database"
aka "MrCadillac", aka "Veesixteen"