For sale: A transparent Pontiac!
The sale car is on display in St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb. 19, 1940.
The sale car on display in Spokane, Wash., in 1941.
But wait! A different transparent Pontiac is on display in Los Angeles in April 1941. ALSO from the World’s Fair.
Here’s the mystery of the see-through car. Hemmings Motor News has a feature on the sale of a transparent Pontiac. The story is a bit complicated but here’s what I found: According to The Times clips, General Motors built a transparent car for the New York World’s Fair and in April 1941 the vehicle was displayed in Los Angeles, as show in the ad above.
The vehicle was so popular that Fisher Body decided to build another transparent Pontiac for the 1940 Golden Gate International Exposition.
But as you will notice, there were actually two transparent Pontiacs, each of which toured the U.S. after the World’s Fair. The transparent car built for the Golden Gate exposition was apparently a third car. The estimated sale price of the transparent car is $275,000 to $475,000.
Photo: Transparent Pontiac Credit: RM Auctions
Odd that I’ve never heard anyone say, in the heat of an argument: “You’re as transpartent as a Pontiac.” Someone let a golden opportunity to enrich the language make a clean getaway.
They should have had Claude Rains and Virginia Bruce advertise it.
My father spoke of seeing it at the Golden Gate Exposition — he was mightily impressed.
I could see through Pontiacs years ago–nothing but an overchromed Chevrolet!
@Barry: We learned to drive in a 1959 Bonneville, so Ponches will always hold a special place in our heart.
My family had a 1950 Pontiac straight 8 – built like a tank. In that car, among other adventures, I (a) took out a gas pump at Avalon & Florence, (b) got my first ticket near Leimert Park, (c) got her up to 110 mph when the Long Beach Freeway first opened, and (d) spun donuts in the grass at South Gate Park. I inherited the car in the 1960’s and never appreciated it until it was hauled away to the graveyard of all cars.
There were three transparent Pontiacs. The first was a 1939 with an eight cylinder engine. The second car was either the reworked ’39 or a new version as the bodies were the same, what is commonly known as a “B” body. The final version was the “29” series or commonly known as the “Torpedo” styling. It was also of the 1940 front end design.
Thanks! I wrote this post two years ago, but it remains one of my most popular.