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Gaylord (1956): A Gran Turismo In The American Manner

The first Gaylord concept car bowed in 1955 as a modern sports car with classic touches. It was styled by industrial designer Brooks Stevens.
The first Gaylord concept car bowed in 1955 as a modern sports car with classic touches. It was styled by industrial designer Brooks Stevens.
Extremely deep side sculpting on the 1955 Gaylord concept car allowed for fully exposed front wheels.
Extremely deep side sculpting on the 1955 Gaylord concept car allowed for fully exposed front wheels.
Gaylord (1956): A Gran Turismo In The American Manner
Gaylord (1956): A Gran Turismo In The American Manner
Gaylord (1956): A Gran Turismo In The American Manner
Gaylord (1956): A Gran Turismo In The American Manner
Gaylord (1956): A Gran Turismo In The American Manner
Gaylord (1956): A Gran Turismo In The American Manner
1955 Gaylord concept car
1955 Gaylord concept car
1955 Gaylord concept car
1955 Gaylord concept car
Stevens also designed the Gaylord's sword emblem: later look the theme for his Excaliburs.
Stevens also designed the Gaylord's sword emblem: later look the theme for his Excaliburs.
The second of two Gaylord concept cars, this 1957 prototype, wore every trendy styling element of the day, including tailfins and quad headlamps.
The second of two Gaylord concept cars, this 1957 prototype, wore every trendy styling element of the day, including tailfins and quad headlamps.
Though it was better-looking overall, the rear end of the 1957 Gaylord concept was fairly similar to that of the original 1955 concept.
Though it was better-looking overall, the rear end of the 1957 Gaylord concept was fairly similar to that of the original 1955 concept.
1957 Gaylord prototype
1957 Gaylord prototype
A retractable hardtop, shown here on the 1957 concept, was one of the Gaylord concept cars' most striking features.
A retractable hardtop, shown here on the 1957 concept, was one of the Gaylord concept cars' most striking features.
1957 Gaylord prototype
1957 Gaylord prototype
1957 Gaylord prototype
1957 Gaylord prototype
1957 Gaylord prototype
1957 Gaylord prototype
1957 Gaylord prototype
1957 Gaylord prototype
1957 Gaylord prototype
1957 Gaylord prototype
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Special Interest Autos, February 1981
Images: shorey.net; blog.hemmings.com
Rating:  1    -1    +2
Gaylord Gladiator Sports Touring (1955-57)
Brothers Jim and Ed Gaylord, in a quest for the ultimate sports car, commissioned the famed Brooks Stevens for the 1950s Gaylord concept cars design. Stevens was an industrial designer, and the brothers asked him to build the first of their Gaylord concept cars for the 1955 Paris Auto Salon. His prototype was hastily completed and arrived just in time.

A garish, finned affair with de rigeur wrapped windshield, it carried a vertical grille opening reminiscent of the Classics of the 1930s. The grille was flanked by two huge headlights of the sort one would expect to see on a prewar Rolls-Royce, but in a front that was thrust rakishly forward at the top. Front fenders were angled to match, and were also cut back around the front wheels to leave them fully exposed.

A contrast-color panel swept back from the fender hollows to the bottom and trailing edges of the doors, an effect Stevens called the "Washington Coach Door Line." This was finished in ivory to contrast with the black used elsewhere — Stevens' favorite color scheme.

The rear end was topped by moderately tall fins, which were coming into fashion when the car was designed. Taillights were nestled into chrome bezels that capped the ends of the fins. Vertically ridged bright trim suggested rear grillework, which housed additional rear lights.

Dual exhausts exited just above the narrow rear bumper. Seven chrome strips rode on top of the rear deck, a feature DeSoto would adopt later for its hot Adventurer. Extremely deep side sculpturing allowed for fully exposed front wheels and tires.

A second, somewhat cleaner-looking car was soon constructed with smaller headlights but conventional fenders instead of the cutaway type. The biggest change in the rear was that the rear bumper had disappeared; in its place was a two-piece bumper that housed the exhaust outlets and left the entire center section of the car vulnerable.

A retractable hardtop was again on hand per Jim's instruction, with a recessed rear window and integral air-extractor vents, thus pioneering "flow-through" ventilation.

At the touch of a button, the rear deck lifted and a chain drive pulled the top back into the trunk. In this, the Gaylord was a full year ahead of Ford's 1957-59 Skyliner, which was considerably more complicated.

The chassis was Jim Gaylord's own design, a strong chromemoly tube type with coil springs and A-arms in front and a beam axle on leaf springs at the rear, all very well damped.

The first prototype carried a 331-cubic-inch Chrysler Hemi, but Cadillac V-8s were installed in two later cars (which also had full front fenders) as well as in one unibodied chassis. The chosen transmission was GM Hydra-Matic, modified so that full-throttle automatic upshifts came at peak revs.


Gaylord Gladiator — это плод работы двух братьев Джима и Эдда Гилродов. Оба молодых человека были наследниками богатого отца, однако, в отличие от современной золотой молодежи, деньги их не испортили, они оба были весьма талантливыми инженерами, испытывающими тягу к быстрым и роскошным машинам. Их инженерные изыскания были весьма успешны и в 1954 году они пришли к выводу, что способны построить спортивный автомобиль, который добьется успеха.

Итогом их деятельности стал прототип спортивного родстера премиум-класса, увидевший свет в 1955 году. Дизайн концепта разработал известный промышленный дизайнер Брукс Стивенс (Brooks Stevens). Автомобиль планировалось изготавливать с исключительным упором на качество, все материалы подбирались путем строгого отбора. Предполагалось, что цена на авто будет в районе $10 000, однако скоро Джим Гилрод понял, что этим не покрыть затраты на производство и цена должна быть не менее $17 500 (по сегодняшним меркам это более $150 000).

Первый прототип оснастили двигателем 331 Chrysler hemi, однако позже братья пришли к выводу, что более подходящим будет мотор Cadillac 365, который был намного легче.

Стоит отметить еще одну особенность конструкции — жесткий убираемый верх с электроприводом (это минимум за год до Ford Skyliner, первого серийного автомобиля с подобной крышей).

Изящество линий кузова, высочайшее качество изготовления и насыщенность современными инженерными решениями делали Gaylord Gladiator поистине машиной премиум-класса, но к сожалению его, как и другие подобные авто, постигла безвестность. Было собрано лишь три прототипа, после чего проект закрылся, и нам остается лишь наслаждаться этим прекрасным авто.
Source: auto.howstuffworks.com
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