Buick Le Sabre  1951 as seen 1954

 
 

 
 

by

 
 

Best Of Show (BoS-Model)

scale 1:18

Model number: BOS199

 
     
 

Review of the model:

Imagine you drove a car that was unique –one of a kind, as your own personal car. Imagine in a near future, the car of tomorrow was hybrid and run on different fuel. Imagine when it starts to rain the soft top of the car automatically pups up! Because of the sensor installed in the car…….. Imagine you are back in 1951…. All of the above is real and not fantasy. Welcome back to the future. Welcome to the Buick Le Sabre 1951 concept car. The car, the designer Mr. Harley J. Earl later drove everyday to and from work! 

This is one of the most iconic cars of the 1950´ and thanks to the producer of BoS-Models, you can own a fine model in scale 1:18 and enjoy this masterpiece in miniature in your own garage, or whatever you want to display this little gem.

Every serious model car collector, knows the feeling of un-boxing a new purchase! There are always a bit of high expatiations mixed with a small degree of anxious. Will the pictures of the model live up to the real model soon in your hands? …….. Most times we can be relaxed and say yes.  In this case I was luckily satisfied and overwhelmed by the finish this model car delivered. Best Of Show model cars are absolute fantastic, but they are a bit pricy.

To whom that yet is unfamiliar with the brand. BoS-Models are resin model cars, that had no frills of spring suspension, no turning steering wheels and absolute no openings doors or lids what so ever! But they have impeccable prep and paint work. Here is fantastic quality- control and high attention to scale.

Let’s kick some tires and take a closer look of the model:

As mentioned above, the paintwork is impeccable! Likewise is the cast quality, with no flaws and flakes. The color of the model is spot on to the real car. In many photos the real car take color balance from its surroundings, therefore the real car can looks like it have a tint of green or blue, when photographed out in the nature – The same is the case of the model! If I shall give a name of the color, it will be: Silver metallic. High quality paint, with small metallic flakes - true to scale! All of the small emblems and flags on the model are painted.

The car will not be the same without the chrome panel trims. Here we have a lot of chrome and all shines as the real thing! The windshield is made of fine plastic and the surrounding chrome trim is well made. Large metal panels reside on the side of the car. They are true to scale, with hundreds of perforated holes as the real car. Very well done! BoS-Model.

It will have been a fine feature, if the bonnet and trunk lid, could have been opened. But okay; resin castings have limited capabilities. On this particular convertible model, the missing features will offset it to some aspect. Just look in the cabin or cockpit will be a more correct word to name the place, were all the controls are adjusted. Remember it was planned to have instruments like altitude gauges and compass etc. All the bells and whistles are found on this model! The two black leather seats are as real as they can be!    

No car without wheels; the tires and hubcaps is flawless and the model runs well on the wheels. License plate in folded metal and radio antenna is details that give this model its exclusive looks and feel. I most say I’m pleased with the realistic statement the 1951 Buick Le Sabre concept car give. Good job and my hat off to BoS-Model, for making such a fine 1:18 model of a rare car. 

I will give this model 6 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and a little movie clip for the real car. So please enjoy!

 

 

   

  Buick Le Sabre 1951 as seen in 1954  
  Small directional lights on the fins  
  Its hard not to fall in love with this car  
Afterburner brake light
Note the small flags on the fin
BoS-Models have made a fine job here
Side trim panels with small perforated holes
Hubcaps like turbine blades, oh yes we are in the jet age
Big Dagmars bumper guards a design that Cadillac will inherited later
Very detailed instrument panel in this model
The seats in this model are made of plastic, but looks like real leather!
Imagine this was your personal car!
The cabin looks more like a cockpit in a jet fighter
Only one integrated rear mirror in the instrument panel
 
 
 
     

 

 

History:

GM Le Sabre 1951

 by Karl Smith

Some cars are destined to define a decade. In the US, the Ford Model T defined the 1910s and 1920s, the Willys Jeep the 1940s, and the Ford Mustang the 1960s. These designations are usually made in hindsight, and are often the subject of considerable debate. And, of course, in Europe and elsewhere, the cars selected would be different.

The car that defined auto design in the 1950s in America was the General Motors Le Sabre of 1951. Conceived by the flamboyant GM design chief Harley Earl, it was meant to set out the programs for the cars of the new rocket age.

Earl had conceived of the idea several years before, while still driving his iconic 1938 Buick Y  Job.  In a 1946 meeting with Harold Curtice, chief of Buick at the time, there was mention of retiring the Y Job and creating a new 'halo car' for the brand. Earl, never one to miss an opportunity, convinced Curtice to build two cars: the XP-8 which would emphasize styling, and the XP-9, which would focus on engineering and be completed under the leadership of Buick’s senior engineer Charles Chayne. The two cars were developed in tandem over the next few years at the then-astronomical cost of a million dollars (roughly 20 million in today’s dollars)

The XP-9 would become the Buick XP-300, a sporty roadster that resembled a sleek extension of the early 1950s styling themes but with an emphasis on Buick’s future identity. The XP-8 would become the Le Sabre, Earl’s personal car for a while, and a statement about where GM styling would be going in the new decade.

Harley Earl was a great bear of a man: nearly two meters tall and built like a linebacker (fullback, if you're into rugby). The Le Sabre was thus just as long and wide as Earl was tall. It was not a light, nimble roadster for touring the English countryside or snaking through the Alps; the Le Sabre was built to be seen blasting down Woodward Avenue in Detroit, a full-blown boulevard cruiser like the Y Job before it.

It also heralded designs to come: massive proportions, acres of chrome, buxom 'Dagmars' (projections nicknamed after a popular, curvaceous actress of the time) at the front bumpers, and aircraft/rocket ship styling themes throughout, echoing its muse, the F-86 Sabre jet fighter, from the jet-like snout at the front to the flame-spitting tail fins at the rear.

Yet despite its immense size, the Le Sabre concept was only a two-seater - one more seat than Earl needed, as it was always his show when he was in the car. Indeed, the seat and the steering wheel were set in place for Earl himself and were not adjustable.

The remainder of the interior was like that of a fighter jet. Multiple banks of dials and gauges surrounded the steering column and across the instrument panel. The rear-view mirror was integrated into the cowl of the IP, so as not to disturb the sculptural beauty of the wraparound windshield, the first of its kind, and this destined for production a few years later. The windshield alone was a costly addition to the car, but had been on Earl’s wish list for a long time.

Exterior styling, by Earl with legendary GM designer Edward Glowacke, was a mash-up of rocket, jet fighter, and racing car themes, many found in other cars of the period, but brought together here in a bold new expression. The most prominent feature of the front was the 'kiss-mouth' grille that projected from the hood. Emulating the turbine jet intake of the F-86, the Le Sabre’s grille actually hid a pair of headlights that swiveled into place when the switch was pressed. Below the grille was the pair of Dagmars, another Earl innovation that appeared on the 1948 Cadillac.

Along the side of the Le Sabre, one can appreciate the great length and low stance, enhanced by the great sweep of chrome stretching along the flank behind the front wheels. And, of course, the side composition terminates in the great upsweep of the tail fins.

Tail fins were another Earl invention, as he admired the beautiful twin-boomed Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter that was so devastatingly effective in World War II. He had managed to incorporate fins into the 1948 Cadillac’s design (over top management’s objections). But earlier tail fins were only minor terminals in the overall composition of the design: on the Le Sabre, they were an announcement to the world that the tail fin was to be a major design element of the car of the future, not just a little nub at the end of a fender. And between its enormous fins was a circular terminus that emulated the exhaust of a jet fighter, here containing a large taillight.

The Le Sabre was powered by a 225 cubic-inch aluminum block V8 with two superchargers. It achieved 335 hp, far ahead of its nearest passenger car competitor, the Chrysler Hemi, rated at 180 hp. But the Le Sabre’s engine was a bit of a fragile hothouse orchid, and had an unfortunate tendency to overheat - especially when Earl was at the wheel.

It went on to tour with GM’s Motorama show and was displayed at the Paris auto show, and after several more appearances, was consigned to daily service as Earl’s personal car. Its flamboyant presence perfectly matched its driver and it was a great showcase for GM design.

Harley Earl enjoyed an outsized presence in Detroit in the 1950s, and retired in 1958 having overseen the design of the last and most flamboyant tail fin-era cars, the 1959 designs including the Cadillac Coupe DeVille and the bat-winged Chevrolet Bel Air. The Le Sabre name made its introduction that year on a production Buick.

The Le Sabre concept still tours on occasions, and is a reminder that a design can not only sum up an era, but predict it as well. It is a good lesson for contemporary designers to keep in mind as we enter a new era of highly automated and connected cars.

 

                                                                                                                                                    Technical specification:

 

Engine

 

Configuration 90º V8
Location Front, longitudinally mounted
Construction cast aluminium block and head
Displacement 3,523 cc / 215 cu in
Bore / Stroke 83.0 mm (3.3 in) / 83.0 mm (3.3 in)
Compression 10.0:1
Valvetrain 2 valves / cylinder, OHV
Fuel feed 2 Bendix Eclipse Carburettors
Aspiration Roots-Type Supercharger
Power 335 bhp / 250 KW @ 5,200 rpm
Torque 517 Nm / 381 ft lbs @ 3,650 rpm
BHP/Liter 95 bhp / liter
 

Drivetrain

 

Chassis aluminium / magnesium body on chrome molybdenum box-type chassis
Front suspension unequal length A-arms, torsion bars, tubular hydraulic dampers
Rear suspension DeDion axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs, tubular hydraulic dampers
Steering Saginaw recirculating ball
Brakes finned drums, all-round
Gearbox 4 speed Automatic
Drive Rear wheel drive
 

Dimensions

 

Weight 1,723 kilo / 3,799 lbs
Length / Width / Height 5,127 mm (201.9 in) / 2,014 mm (79.3 in) / 1,270 mm (50 in)
Wheelbase / Track (fr/r) 2,921 mm (115 in) / 1,473 mm (58 in) / 1,524 mm (60 in)
 

Performance figures

 

Power to weight 0.19 bhp / kg
Top Speed 193 km/h (120 mph)
0-60 mph 8.0 s

 

 
 

Old brochures of the car

 
 

     

     

     

     

     
     

     
     
     
     

     
     

 

 

 

     
     
     

     

 

 

 
     

     
     
     
     

     

     

     

     

     

 

 

 

     

     
     
     
     

     

 

     
 
     
 

Video of the real car from Youtube

 
     
     
  Buick Le Sabre 1951 commercial  
     
     
  Buick Le Sabre concept car as seen in 2017 Eyes on design car show  
     
     
     
 

 

If you have any question or comment your are free to contact me at: aeronautic@stofanet.dk

 

 

Dealers are welcome to get their models reviewed too.

 

 

 

 

 

Aeronautic Nov. 2017

 
 
 
     
     
     

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