Monday, December 12, 2016

1954 Cadillac Park Avenue Concept

The 1954 General Motors Motorama traveling cars-plus-entertainment show was particularly rich in terms of show cars / dream cars / concept cars (take your pick).

Cadillac exhibited three such cars, two of which (El Camino, La Espada) were variations on a two-passenger theme.  The other was a comparatively conservative four-door sedan, the Park Avenue.  It is the subject of this post.

The 1954 model year was when General Motors startled the buying public with completely restyled Oldsmobiles, Buicks and Cadillacs.  These cars featured low hood and trunk lines (compared to previous designs) and panoramic (or wraparound) windshields.  The effect was quite futuristic at the time.

The next Cadillac redesign would be for 1957, so when the Park Avenue was conceived, 1957 styling was still somewhat in flux while the market reaction to the new '54s was being evaluated.  Even so, the Park Avenue anticipated several features found on the 1957s.

The Park Avenue was more rounded than 1954 Caddies, a feature of the '57 redesign.  1957s also saw the low hood and matching front and rear wraparound shapes.  The Park Avenue was fairly compact, something definitely not the case in 1957.

Here is a 1957 Cadillac -- a coupe, not a sedan, however.  Another Park Avenue carryover is the rear fender design.

A not-so crisp image of the Park Avenue's front.

And this is the front of a 1954 Cadillac, photo by Owls Head.  Headlight housings, upper grille shape, grille grid pattern and bumper styling are in the same spirit.  Front styling for the '57s had most of the main theme features, though details were different.

Rear three-quarter view of the Park Avenue. No rear bumper, but show cars often featured sketchy protection.  All things considered, the Park Avenue was a nice design for its time, and was nicer looking than the too-large 1957 line it anticipated.

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