Wednesday, June 15, 2011

1961 Buick Convertible Top Design Concept


Text by David W. Temple
Photos from author's collection

Styling was the number one factor in selling cars in the 1950s and 1960s. Its importance justified the countless man-hours expended on a variety of ideas. Thinking outside the box was job one at GM Design.
With that in mind consider this idea for a fashionable convertible top. Was it a good idea or a bad one? Regardless of one’s personal taste, beauty was and always will be in the eye of the beholder. In this case the beholder was evidently expected to be a woman.

 Whether this was a serious proposal for production or for a series of show cars is not known. In the '60s, Bill Mitchell was the head of GM Design, so this was done under his watch. Other than the obvious, the author has no other information on the convertible top fabric ideas; these were not real convertible tops, but rather cloth stretched over what was likely a fiberglass form.
Can any reader provide some additional details?
UPDATE February 2016... Facebook provides an answer... Facebook member Jeff Stork provided the answer regarding these unusual convertible tops. On his "Buick Town" page he stated that the late Blaine Jenkins, a designer for GM for many years, stated these tops were simply done "for fun." Thus, they were not a serious proposal for production. Too bad, I think a couple of them might have been popular.

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