We included the 1955 Chevrolet Biscayne concept in our 2008 feature on General Motors' Motorama dream cars -- but at the time, owner Joe Bortz was still in the process of restoring the sedan to its former glory. The fully restored Biscayne will make its first public outing at the 2010 Concours d’Elegance of America at Meadow Brook.
GM’s Motorama was more than just an auto show. It was a chance for GM’s design staff to stretch its imagination and craft some amazing concept cars. One particularly interesting example was the Biscayne, which served as a showcase for Chevrolet’s new small-block V-8 engine. The car bore some resemblance to the Corvette, albeit its sedan profile and suicide-hinged rear doors made it a completely different animal.
Styling elements from the show car were incorporated into later GM products (notably the Corvair), but the Biscayne wasn’t long for this world. Per GM’s corporate mandate, the Biscayne -- along with three other Motorama show cars -- were sent to the scrapper in 1959. Luckily, the Biscayne wasn’t completely destroyed. The scrap yard that received the show car cut the car in half and scrapped the frame, but never completely demolished the car.
Bortz purchased the Biscayne’s remnants in 1989, and worked to piece the car back together again. The fiberglass body was mended and a new frame -- designed from archival photographs -- was fabricated. The reconstructed Biscayne was shown at various shows, including the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, but its restoration was still in progress.
The 2010 Concours d’Elegance of America -- formerly known as the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance -- will mark the first occasion that the fully restored Biscayne is shown in all its glory. Three other Bortz-owned Motorama cars, including the 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special, the 1953 Buick Wildcat and Pontiac Parisienne, will accompany the Biscayne at the show.
For more information on the Concours, which is scheduled for July 25, visit www.meadowbrookconcours.org
Source: Concours d’Elegance of America