CHASSIS NO: 8356384
• A stunning tribute of the first GM Dream Car by Harley Earl
• Hand formed, all steel body
• Constructed over a four-year period
• Modern GM LS V-8 engine, Corvette suspension and brakes
• From the renowned collection of Gary Wales
Addendum: Please note that this car is titled as a 1941 Cadillac.
1941 Cadillac chassis, GM LS V-8 engine with automatic transmission, Corvette suspension, front disc brakes
Harley Earl is widely considered by many historians to be the first automotive stylist. After making a name for himself custom styling cars in Hollywood for many of the movie stars of the era, Earl’s designs caught the eye of Lawrence P. Fisher, General Manager of General Motors Cadillac division. Fisher commissioned Earl to apply his talents to the 1927 LaSalle, which became a critical and commercial success. The success of the LaSalle motivated General Motors Chief, Alfred P. Slone, to create the industry’s first styling department in the late 1920s, naming the young and talented Harley Earl to head the new department named the “Art and Colour Section” and becoming the industry’s first automotive stylist. Before the start of the Art and Colour Section, American automobile manufacturers did not think the appearance of their automobile bodies was of much importance. The big automobile manufacturers built bodies designed by engineers, whose only concern was functionality and cost. Many luxury car manufacturers, including General Motors, did not produce bodies at all, choosing instead to ship chassis to a coachbuilder of the buyer's choice. Earl’s design ideas changed the industry forever, and it took years for the other manufacturers to catch up. In 1937, the Art and Colour Section was renamed the Styling Section. Sloan eventually promoted Earl to vice president, making him the first styling person to be a VP of a large corporation.
In 1938, the Styling Division, under Earl's direction, styled and built the Buick Y-Job, the American automotive industry's first concept car. While many one-off custom automobiles had been made before, the Y-Job was the first car built by a mass manufacturer for the sole purpose of determining the public's reaction to new design ideas. A styling marvel clearly ahead of its time, the Y-Job was one of the most futuristic looking cars ever assembled. GM went on to incorporate many Y-Job design elements in a host of other models, whose design features were quickly mimicked by other competing car makers. Some of them include hidden headlamps, electric windows, flush door handles and the vertical waterfall grille design, still in use today. After being shown to the public, the Y-Job became Earl's personal daily car until 1951.
As a tribute to the first and most significant American concept car ever produced, this beautifully-crafted 1938 Buick Y-Job was partially constructed over a four-year period by its idea man and creator who subsequently passed away before completion. Gary Wales, a noted classic car enthusiast, collector and revered custom car builder, obsessed with recreating this ultimate dream car to perfection, acquired the car and completed the project with a simply stunning result. To that end, he studied each detail of the original Y-Job that now resides in the General Motors Museum in Detroit to replicate the famous car in every detail. Starting with a period-correct 1941 Cadillac frame, the metal body was hand-formed over the course of many months, working for countless hours to achieve the correct shape, curves and proportions of the Y-Job’s revolutionary body design. To make this Y-Job a more reliable and comfortable car to drive, a modern and powerful GM LS engine and automatic transmission were installed, as well as a modern Corvette suspension system, giving the dynamic car power and handling capabilities never imagined in 1938.
The most recent accolades for this fabulous car was the presentation by noted builder John D’Agostino, of the Best of Show Crystal Award at the July 2020 Wheels and Waves Exhibition in Malibu, California. A consistent Best of the Best and Best of Show winner under Gary Wales’ stewardship, this stunning tribute to the Y-Job is a one-of-a-kind car that captures the attention of collectors and enthusiasts everywhere. It represents a unique opportunity to acquire one of the most interesting and striking automobiles inspired by and built by some of the most noted automotive visionaries in America.
Please note that this car is titled as a 1941 Cadillac.