General Motors Firebird Concept Model, 1952-1953

Summary

The dramatic Firebird concept car wowed audiences at the 1954 General Motors Motorama. Harley Earl took inspiration from jet fighter planes in designing the vehicle. Power came from a 370-horsepower gas turbine engine that drove the rear wheels. (The large exhaust nozzle at back was just for show.) When subsequent Firebirds appeared, the original received the retronym "Firebird I."

The dramatic Firebird concept car wowed audiences at the 1954 General Motors Motorama. Harley Earl took inspiration from jet fighter planes in designing the vehicle. Power came from a 370-horsepower gas turbine engine that drove the rear wheels. (The large exhaust nozzle at back was just for show.) When subsequent Firebirds appeared, the original received the retronym "Firebird I."

Artifact

Scale model

Date Made

1952-1953

Creators

General Motors Corporation 

Earl, Harley, 1893-1969 

Creator Notes

Designed by Harley Earl; made by General Motors Corporation.

 On Exhibit

On Loan - National Corvette Museum

Object ID

89.1.1734.14

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of the Family of William L. Mitchell.

Material

Fiberglass

Dimensions

Height: 6.5 in

Width: 8 in

Length: 22.5 in

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