Volunteer at the Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen

One of the most famous experimental cars of the 1950s will be featured at this year's Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival on Friday, September 8, on the streets of Watkins Glen! The car is the GM LeSabre, a one-of-a-kind concept car built to specifications developed by General Motors Vice President Harley Earl in 1951.

LeSabre photos and video courtesy of the General Motors Heritage Center. Driver is Harley Earl.

Earl designed the car to include features of jet aircraft in its construction. The car's body is made of aluminum, magnesium, and fiberglass, and is powered by a supercharged engine that can run on gasoline or methanol.

This is not a Buick LeSabre; Buick picked up the LeSabre name some years later.

Harley Earl brought this car to Watkins Glen in 1951, where he watched that year's Grand Prix of road racing on the original 6.6-mile course through the village and surrounding hills. Earl combined his interest in the foreign sports cars of that race with features of the LeSabre to develop the Corvette, which went into production in 1953.

LeSabre photos and video courtesy of the General Motors Heritage Center.

The Grand Prix Festival is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Corvette and its history in Watkins Glen by putting this spectacular car on display in front of the Schuyler County Courthouse on Franklin Street, right at the historic Start-Finish Line for the Old Course. The LeSabre's visit is made possible by its owner, the General Motors Heritage Center, financial help from Dominic Testa and Watkins Glen Promotions, and logistics help from members of the International Motor Racing Research Center.

But that's not all! The LeSabre will be joined on the Courthouse Lawn by an original 1953 Corvette, one of only 300 built in the first year of Corvette production! This car is number 075 of that first run, and will be displayed by its owner and restorer, Alan Blay of Long Island, NY. And to help celebrate Corvette racing history, a group of Corvette racing cars will be on hand for display and to participate in laps of the original road course.

Watkins Glen will be full of Corvettes on Thursday, Sept. 7 and Friday, Sept. 8! Thursday, nearly 50 Corvettes will join together in the Lakewood Vineyards FLX Corvette Journey, featuring a car show at Lafayette Park from 10am-2pm. Friday, Franklin Street through the village will close at 12:30pm to allow hundreds of cars in Stone Bridge Driver groups to run Cayuga Health System-sponsored laps of the Old Course.

Starting at 5:00pm, the Festival will hold its Awards Ceremony for the Corning Concours d'Elegance, followed by ceremonies and tribute laps by Sportscar Vintage Racing Association cars from their trials at the Watkins Glen International track.

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LeSabre photos and video courtesy of the General Motors Heritage Center.

The Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen is presented by Chemung Canal Trust and is a production of Watkins Glen Promotions
209 N. Franklin St. - PO Box 332 - Watkins Glen, NY 14891 ~ Ph: (607) 535-3003
All Content Copyright © 1993 - Watkins Glen Promotions, Inc. All Rights Reserved