Concept Car of the Week: Pontiac ‘Ghost Car’ (1939)

HERO 1939-pontiac-ghost-car-4

The transparent Pontiac Ghost Car was unveiled at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York as part of General Motors Futurama exhibit

Visitors to the 1939 World’s Fair in New York were treated to a vast array of different visions of the world of tomorrow. One of the most popular exhibits – a whole world in miniature, really – was the General Motors Futurama. The vast exhibition was part theme park ride and part GM showroom.

Almost 30,000 visitors a day toured the Futurama, which included a ride through an imagined city of 1960 complete with forests of skyscrapers, futuristic highways and cars, houses and offices of the future.

In the Highways and Horizons showroom, various GM vehicles were presented, including one seemingly magical car – a transparent, Plexiglas-bodied Pontiac Deluxe Six.

At the time, Plexiglas was still a novel invention to the American public. Many had only seen the material in magazine photographs. Invented at the chemical company of Röhm and Haas in Germany, it was considered a miracle material in the 1930s. The company had already invented the first safety glass, Luglas, which had marked the firm’s entry into acrylic products in 1928

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