Chevrolet Biscayne – photo courtesy Bortz Auto Collection Archives. Click image to enlarge
Pebble Beach, California – Fifty-three years ago, the LaSalle II Roadster and the Chevrolet Biscayne were among the concept cars that showcased General Motors’ vision of the future in its travelling Motorama. After their debut, these cars were not only discarded but destroyed.
Joe Bortz, who was a young boy when he saw these “dream cars” at the 1955 Chicago Auto Show, found their remains decades later in a Detroit-area junkyard and worked laboriously to resurrect them. Now Bortz will bring these rescued vehicles to the Aug. 17 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of GM.
The Chevrolet Biscayne was considered “one of the most desirable and beautiful concept cars of all-time,” said Bortz, who’s restoring all aspects of the Biscayne in collaboration with Kerry Hopperstadt and Fran Roxas. “It was called the ‘Miracle Car’ inside General Motors because it drew the largest crowds of any of the concepts shown in Motorama.
Lines from the 1955 LaSalle II Roadster can be found in such icons as the ’56 and ’57 Corvette, while lines from the 1955 Chevrolet Biscayne are visible in the 1960 Corvair.
The Motorama cars that will be appearing at Pebble Beach will be joined by a rare assortment of GM Woodies, Cadillac V-16s and GM-powered sports cars. Other featured marques for 2008 include Lancia and Lamborghini.
First conducted in 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has grown to become the world’s premier displays of classic automobiles.