1955-56 Gaylord
The 1955 Gaylord Sport Coupe was designed by Brook Stevens for the Gaylord brothers. Both brothers, Ed and Jim Gaylord, inherited their father’s fortune which was derived from his famous bobby pin invention. While growing up, both brothers drove Packard’s, Cadillac’s, and Pierce-Arrow automobiles; however, both of them wanted something a bit more unique. Soon thereafter, they turned to Milwaukee designer, also known as classified businessman, engineer, and designer, Mr. Brook Stevens.

In 1935, Mr. Brook Stevens served as chairman of his own firm known for designing products along with architecture and other automotive related projects. His name was well known among many automotive enthusiasts for his personal interest was invested in a variety of car clubs such as Antique Automobile Club of America and America Sports Club of America. His design of the Gaylord body is still remembered as one of the most wild and different designs ever created.

1955-56 Gaylord

The Gaylord concept models were produced by Lufschiffbau Zeppelin in Freidreichshaven Germany and Spohn of Ravensburg. From 1955-56, there were two versions of the Gaylord that were designed and produced. Both models offered a shape classified as an ultra sports car design. The Gaylord body featured a long hood, short deck with tail-fins, and a wraparound windshield. The first Gaylord model used a Chrysler Hemi V-8 while the production models used a Cadillac 356 engine. Other engineering features included air conditioning, supercharger highway passing horn, emergency lamps over each wheel for necessary tire changes, tinted glass, and driver tonneau covers. The second version, known as the Gaylord Gladiator model, featured quad headlights and a retractable steel hardtop using only one electric motor.

Mainly due to the overall design, the Gaylord concept model was not popular among the buying public. Even the Gaylord brothers who contracted the firm were dissatisfied with its workmanship which eventually led to a long legal battle. In 1955, the Gaylord brothers desired a retail price of $17,000, which at the time was extremely high compared to the new Ford Lincoln Continental costing $10,000.

It is rumored that only 3 of the 25 Gaylord’s needed for the upstart company to survive were ever produced. Of the models produced, only two have survived and their whereabouts today are unknown. Nowadays, the Gaylord concept model will always be a mystery among automotive enthusiasts.

Mainly due to the overall design, the Gaylord concept model was not popular among the buying public. Even the Gaylord brothers who contracted the firm were dissatisfied with its workmanship which eventually led to a long legal battle. In 1955, the Gaylord brothers desired a retail price of $17,000, which at the time was extremely high compared to the new Ford Lincoln Continental costing $10,000.  It is rumored that only 3 of the 25 Gaylord's needed for the upstart company to survive were ever produced. Of the models produced, only two have survived and their whereabouts today are unknown. Nowadays, the Gaylord concept model will always be a mystery among automotive enthusiasts.Mainly due to the overall design, the Gaylord concept model was not popular among the buying public. Even the Gaylord brothers who contracted the firm were dissatisfied with its workmanship which eventually led to a long legal battle. In 1955, the Gaylord brothers desired a retail price of $17,000, which at the time was extremely high compared to the new Ford Lincoln Continental costing $10,000.

It is rumored that only 3 of the 25 Gaylord’s needed for the upstart company to survive were ever produced. Of the models produced, only two have survived and their whereabouts today are unknown. Nowadays, the Gaylord concept model will always be a mystery among automotive enthusiasts.

Story courtesy of www.motorcities.org
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A special thanks to Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher, for donating the story to the MotorCities Story of the Week program. Photographs courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection (NAHC) of the Detroit Public Library. (Bibliography: Scott Gerald (February 22, 1999), Detroit’s Mr. Packard Recalls Lifetime of Fun pg 6A Tech Center News) For further information please visit: http://www.detroitpubliclibrary.org/ or email nahc@detroitpubliclibrary.org. Please do not use any photographs without the permission of MotorCities. For further information contact Robert Tate at btate@motorcities.org