Beginning the Research


In order to do an accurate job of rebuilding the car I decided to spend time finding what information I could on the car. All I had to begin with were the photos from a number of magazines showing the car. In making a comparison, I found the car had undergone a number of changes since the 1963 version. The front end was that of a 1964 Grand Prix and the seats· looked like 65 Grand Prix seats. The rear end also appeared to have been changed. When inspecting inside the body panels, I could see where the metal had been cut out and reworked. You could identify many of the holes where trim from the original body had been filled. All of the changes in the car had been carefully fitted and any filling done used lead for filler. So it looked as though the work had been done in the factory. The original engine was missing; It was a Pontiac 421 with a 4-71 GMC blower and 4 side draft carburetors. Since all I had were the photos from the magazine, it was difficult to see any details. I decided to try General Motors to see if anyone there knew about the car and could give me some help.

The car had been built in the styling studios at GM by Bill Mitchell for show and his use. I decided to try to contact him.  I did get an address and phone number. He was retired but had a design studio in Mich. I made a call and his secretary answered. I told her what I wanted. She said that Bill Mitchell was out of town and would not be back for several weeks. I told her I had the X400 and needed information to restore it. She gave me the name of a person at the GM Tech Center in Warren Mich. I called the number and got a secretary.  I told her what I was looking for and why. She connected me with Irwin Rybicki, Vice Pres. of GM. He was suprised and interested that the car existed, as very few of the "dream cars" had survived, and at this time any in public hands was unknown. He said he would see what could be done. Several days later I received a call from Chuck Jordon, head of GM design. He had photographs that were taken of the car when it was being built and offered to send them to me. Several people who built the car were still at GM. Several days later I received the photos. These proved to be extremely valuable for the restoration. Now I could tell what had been done. All of the people at GM had been extremely helpful in provid­ing information on the car. From the photos and what there is of the car I knew I could rebuild the car. One major problem was the engine. All I had was a photo from the GM with hood open and no other details. It was built for GM by Mickey Thompson. When I began the research on the car I was not sure how I would ever find the engine, blower and all the parts. Since no one knew what had happened to the engine, I had hopes of finding that it had been removed by one of the owners. Later in my investigation I found that the car did not leave the Styling Studio with it. (see details on history of the car). Some of the special body parts are missing from the car, but from the photos and what material I have it will be possibly to remake the parts. All of the trim parts were handmade. The exhaust system is missing. There were two levers in the console. One for the transmission shifter and one for the exhaust cut out control to allow open pipes out the side ports. All the parts to the cutout system were removed a long time ago and the hole in the floor covered over.