The Two Lives of the Cadillac Cyclone Concept Vehicle

Media


1959 Cadillac Cyclone Show Car

I was there...

Tell us your story >

Written by Bill Bowman

The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept was designed to test new styling and engineering ideas. The two- passenger automobile has a clear plastic top that fits snugly against the panoramic windshield to give the driver true 360 degree vision. When not in use, the power-operated canopy folds backward beneath the surface of the trunk deck. It automatically lifts out of the way when either door is opened.

Among its advanced engineering features is a radar-locating device, which scans the highway, and warns the driver electronically of objects in its path. Large, twin nose cones in the front of the car house the proximity-sensing units. They electronically alert the driver with both an audible signal and a warning light if an object is in its path.

At a touch of a button, Cyclones doors move outward from the car three inches. Moving smoothly on ball bearings, they can be slid back for easy entrance.

A 325 horsepowered engine that is positioned in the nose of the car powers the Cyclone. It features a low profile carburetor, cross flow aluminum radiator and twin fans. The muffler and exhaust are located in the front engine compartment with the exhaust outlets just ahead of the front wheels.

Inside, instruments are clustered like an aircraft dashboard before, and between, the two passengers. An intercommunication system allows passengers to converse with persons outside the automobile without raising the canopy.

This was Harley Earl’s last concept vehicle before his retirement in 1958. After Earl’s retirement, with Bill Mitchell as Vice President and head of design, the Cyclone’s fins were cut down, the taillights moved to the bumber ends, the hubcaps changed, the bubble top removed and the pearl white paint changed to silver. The car was then known as the 1964 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74 Concept.

Tag Cloud

1897-1909 Creation  1910-1930 Acceleration  1931-1958 Emotion  1959-1981 Revolution  1982-1999 Globalization  2000-Future Transformation  AC Spark Plug  Advertising & Marketing  Allison Engineering Company  Alternative Fuels  Alternative Materials  Alternative Propulsion  Anniversaries  Autoshows  Behind the Scenes  Beyond North America  Board of Directors  Brands & Products  Buick  Cadillac  Celebrities  Chevrolet  Color & Trim  Competitions  Concept Vehicles  Corporate Responsibility  DELCO  DELCO Electronics  Dealers & Distributors  Design  Design Centers  Detroit Diesel  Diversity  Education  Electromotive  Electronics  Emblems & Logos  Employees  Endurance  Energy Conservation  Engineering  Enthusiasts  Environment & Energy  Eras  Executives  Finance  Firsts  Fisher Body  Former Divisions  Frigidaire  GMAC  GMC  GMOO - GM Overseas Operations  GM Daewoo  HUMMER  Headquarters  Holden  Hughes Electronics  I was there...  Innovation & Technology  Innovators  Joint Ventures  LaSalle  Labor  Manufacturing  Mergers & Acquisitions  Methods & Techniques  Motorama  Oakland  Oldsmobile  OnStar  Opel  Operating Units  Pace Vehicles  Parade of Progress  People  Places  Plants  Pollution Control  Pontiac  Powertrain  Proving Grounds  Racing  Research  Retirees  Saab  Safety  Sales & Service  Saturn  Shows & Events  Specific Races  Sponsorships  Studios  Suppliers  Technical Centers  Ternstedt  The Business  Trends  United Motors  Vauxhall  World's Fairs