The LeSabre was a follow-up to another beautiful Earl design, the 1938 Y-Job, which was the world’s first manufacturer’s concept car. Both were built to be road-worthy vehicles and Earl drove the LeSabre for two years after it made the auto show circuit. The body was aluminum, magnesium, and fiberglass and it was powered by a supercharged V8 engine.
It was capable of running on either gasoline or methanol, mimicking Indy roadsters of the time, and had a rear-mounted Buick Dynaflow automatic transmission. This was later changed to a GM Hydramatic. Its slick, jet-inspired design was complemented by slick new features. It had a 12-volt electrical system instead of the usual 6-volt, heated seats, electric headlights hidden behind the front bumper, and bold dagmars that would gain fame for their use in Cadillacs.
This concept LeSabre was the first time GM used a rear-mounted transmission and the first use of the aluminum-block 215. The transmission found its way into the Pontiac Tempest while the engine would appear in numerous cars including the Buick Special, Skylark, and even in British marques like the Rover P5B.