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Gary Sullivan's Antique Clocks and Furniture Blog
Aug
01
2011

1939 Pontiac "Ghost Car" sold at auction.

Posted 3 years 84 days ago ago by Gary Sullivan     0 Comments

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Ghost car ready for auction
I'm sure that like me, many of you think that classic and antique cars are extremely cool! This weekend, the coolest of the cool was sold at RM Auctions in Plymouth, MI. Known as the “Ghost Car”, this 1939 Pontiac was produced for the 1939 New York Worlds Fair in order to showcase an amazing new material called plexiglass. The entire body is constructed of clear plexiglass, with all of the structural and internal parts being visible. With it’s bones showing, It’s easy to see why this futuristic auto was dubbed the “ghost car”. It was on display in the General Motors pavilion and gave visitors a look toward things to come. Before long, plexiglass was in use everywhere. After the Worlds Fair ended, the car went on a nationwide tour, then spent some time on view at The Smithsonian. It only has 86 miles on it and still rides on the original white tires. What did it sell for? Read on.

Ghost car on illumiated display in 1939
First, a little history of the 39 Worlds Fair with a personal twist. remembering that my 91 year old Mother had worked at the Fair, I called her to see if she remembered seeing the “Ghost Car”. Having no interest in automobiles, she did not, but did remember examining a sample of this new material called “plexiglass”. She proceeded to fill me in on some fun family facts. She reminded me of a newspaper clipping that I saw long ago. She had posed for a Worlds Fair promotional photograph with NYC Mayor La Guardia, which was published in The New York Daily News. She also told me that the President and founder of the New York Worlds Fair Committee, was former NYC Police Chief, Grover Waylen. He was a patient of her Father, my Grandfather. Such connections!

Anyway, the “Ghost Car” sold at the auction for $308,000., but that was not the most expensive car at the sale! Four vehicles sold for more, including the top lot, a 1932 Packard 12 cylinder custom sedan, originally owned by entertainer Al Jolson. It rolled out for a cool $1.1 Million!

Ghost car on illumiated display in 1939 Ghost car ready for auction


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