In the heyday of the American automobile industry, General Motors decided to stage a series of extravagant Motorama car shows.

The idea of these Motorama events was to demonstrate its superiority to rivals and consumers, with an unparalleled display of technical and engineering capabilities — together with styling and leadership.

From 1950 through to 1961, GM staged eight of these lavish, touring car shows which became one of the major public drawcards in the United States.

It was here that GM revealed its ‘dream cars’, one for each division — GMC, Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Chevrolet — and positioned them alongside upcoming production models.

Starting this Thursday, our resident historian David Burrell takes us behind the scenes of the Motorama juggernaut, with a look at these fabulous dream machines.

With an ‘All-Access’ pass to GM’s archives, Mr Burrell reveals previously secret files that show how some of America’s most revered nameplates originated and were designed.

The 1955 Motorama show is considered GM’s best effort.

Over the coming weeks we will take a closer look at these dream cars:

  • Chevrolet Biscayne
  • Cadillac La Salle Roadster and Sedan
  • Pontiac Strato Star
  • Buick Wildcat III
  • Oldsmobile Delta 88
  • Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
  • GMC L’ Universelle

CHECKOUT: GTO started whole muscle car thing

CHECKOUT: Mustang was almost called Cougar

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.