This 1938 Buick Y Jobconcept car is the feature car on my Custom and Classic Car News Facebook page. I came across this car quite by accident and immediately thought this is what I want.
The Buick Y Job was the first true General Motors concept car from the well known and respected chief designer Harley Earl and his team. Harley used the Buick as his daily transport for some time and the car is now housed in the General Motors Museum and now very seldom is seen outside of the museum.
Accompanying the Buick is Michael Simcoe, VP of Global Design and Jay gets to drive the first concept car ever, but as you will see it wasnt on a public road.
No doubt wherever the car was required to go it would be in the back of a transporter.
Jay Leno must have twisted some arms to get the Buick Y Job for a day, and to take it for a drive. Recently he managed to do this with the late Steve McQueen’s 1956 XKSS Jaguar and it is said the insurance for the day cost a whopping $70,000. This drive was on a hi-way and the insurance cost represented the value of the car, considered to be worth$40 million and the potential risk of damage.
Looking at the Buick Y Job forward of the windshield it is easy to see the influence the Y Job had on later model Buicks right up to 1954.
Not only Buick’s but other Genral Motors brands as well, some can be seen in the museum.
It is good to see GM have preserved many of their concept cars, generally these were wrecked after being put on show usually to gain public opinion on the idea. Cadillac in particular have late 40’s early 50’s concepts that Harley Earl was responsible for, and very interesting to study. Especially so the ‘war of the tail fins’ between Cadillac and Chrysler until common sense finally prevailed
A great review of the first concept car to be built, and thankfully preserved.
Thank you to Jay Leno and Michael Simcoe for this review.
Photos are screen shots from the video.