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History GM Concept L'UNIVERSIALLE Van

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 100% Matt, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. 100% Matt
    Joined: Aug 7, 2006
    Posts: 2,564

    100% Matt

    I was flipping through a magazine yesterday when I stumbled upon an article on the GM L'Universialle concept van. Designed by Harley Earl and his team in 1954-55 the truck debuted at a few auto shows but never saw the light of day.

    I think its pretty damn cool.....

    Attached Files:

  2. NiteOwlChris
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 688


    wow thats cool, its like a nomad rear with a van front. Lets go vannin!!!
  3. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,614


    There are so many neat things in this design.
    Too bad it never made production.
  4. I would drive the piss outa' that thing!

  5. WildWilly68
    Joined: Feb 1, 2002
    Posts: 1,724


    The front end reminds me of the Corvair vans. Harley was on top of his game for sure.
  6. :
    My thoughts exactly. that thing is sweet!

    Where is John, if you squint, it kinda looks like the Boogie Van :eek:
  7. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,270

    general gow
    Staff Member

    somebody build it!
  8. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 6,922


    Hmmm, I've got an old Corvair Greenbrier here... Anyone got a spare Nomad ass??? hmmm...:rolleyes:
  9. guiseart
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 3,872


    neat lookin' van... did I just say that?
  10. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,270

    general gow
    Staff Member

    i know, right?! gets the mind rolling...
  11. Da Injun
    Joined: Dec 22, 2006
    Posts: 410

    Da Injun

    What an awesome era for GM.
    BTW...What magazine was that in?
  12. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,664


    Very cool indeed.

    It's especially interesting because none of the big three were even making vans at the time, and GM wouldn't produce one for another 6 (corvair) to 10 (fullsize) years.

    I think you could build a clone with 55 chevy passenger car (quarters), panel (roof), and COE (cab) parts.

  13. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,034

    Alliance Vendor

    Somebody should clone that car!! It has got to be the coolest GMC ever :)
  14. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    I'm really diggin' this about a stylish hauler.
    Very cool!
  15. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,664


    More info....


    1955 GMC L’Universelle Concept Vehicle
    Though Chrysler executive Lee Iacocca and his designers generally are credited with inventing the minivan in the early 1980s, Earl came up with a remarkably similar concept a quarter-century before them. The L’Universelle, a front-wheel-drive car/truck hybrid with the driver’s compartment in front of the engine, was nearly a foot lower than conventional panel trucks, yet had as much space inside as much larger vehicles
  16. One of my favorite concept cars(truck).Car Collector magazine did an article on it awhile back.The drivetrain is a Pontiac V-8 and Hydra-Matic turned around to facilitate the front wheel drive.I believe there were actually two built but have no idea what became of them.
  17. Zerk
    Joined: May 26, 2005
    Posts: 1,418


    The L'Universelle also had some of its driveline adapted from GM buses, but my memory fails me as to just what was used. The Pontiac engine was mid-mounted, though.

    It would be great to build a working version of this and use it every day.
  18. houseofhotrods
    Joined: Mar 16, 2005
    Posts: 673


    I like it. Wish I had the talent, time and patience to build it. :)
  19. wow. too cool. way ahead of its time.
  20. Pinstriper40
    Joined: Sep 24, 2007
    Posts: 3,368


    So If someone posted a build thread on this thing would it get bashed? It's definitely not a traditional hot rod...

    Sure is cool though. Looks like a good project for Kustom7777...
  21. JohnJoyo
    Joined: Feb 19, 2005
    Posts: 1,379

    Alliance Vendor
    from Austin, TX

    If anyone has anymore pics of this van, please post them. I'd love to see more....
  22. str8axle55
    Joined: Dec 19, 2006
    Posts: 355

    from MA

    That is really cool looking, I think I saw a few pics on here last month, same one`s posted here. Would be sweet if someone built it.
  23. jonnycola
    Joined: Oct 12, 2003
    Posts: 2,053


    I wonder if it's still in existance? Maybe in a GM warehouse somewhere?
  24. Kustom7777
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,183

    from Austin, TX

    lol,,,,i was just thinking that..:D
  25. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    Wow, if you study it with the date in mind, there's a lot of recognizable features on that van other than corvair. Tail lights, trim, and the body line all evoke tri-5 and the original vette.

    A quick google turned up this site with a decent sized picture
  26. opfredet
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 34

    from usa

  27. 100% Matt
    Joined: Aug 7, 2006
    Posts: 2,564

    100% Matt

    Here are some more pix I found:

    Attached Files:

  28. Choptop
    Joined: Jun 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,303



    Please tell me this still exists somewhere!!!

    I MUST have this on display at this years Concours d'LeMons!!!

    We are featuring the Mini-Van and the SUV.
  29. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,941

    from California

    great looking van... wonder how it would have sold if they had actually built them
  30. Sombody already did.

    Looks like a cross between a V Dubba Micro bus and a corvair. Pretty slick actually. Really unfortunate thing about concept cars is that they very seldom see the light of day. Its kind of like a custom show car that a select few of the factory guys get to build.

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