The Detroit Trip
To set up the trip I contacted Chuck Jordan at GM design. He in turn set up several meetings with some of the people who worked on the 63 X400 as well as showed the car. In Aug 84 I traveled to Warren Michigan where the GM Tech. Center is located. There I met with Floyd Joliet. Floyd is the person I have been corresponding with on the car over the years. We then met with Dick Henderson. Dick drove the car to many of the shows. He described some of the interesting times they had driving the car to the shows. Once it froze a bearing in the blower. The part and mechanic were flown to the breakdown and the repairs made and the car was driven on to the show. At lunch I met Len McLay who is retired but still very active. Len was the project engineer on the X400. He did many of the GM show cars of the 50s and 60s. He spent a lot of time with me relating some of the stories about showing the cars. We did find some photos in his collection showing the loading of the 63 X400 into an airplane for shipment to LA for a show. In order to load the car they had to rent a flatbed truck find a loading dock, drive the car on the truck. They then took the car to the plane and backed it in to the loading compartment. Len rode with the car in the plane sitting in it until it arrived.
Images showing the X400 being loaded into a plane for shipping to the LA auto show.
During one of its stays in Los Angles, the X400 it was used in several programs of the My Three Sons TV shows. The car was driven to many of the shows in the east. The person who kept the car running was Art Carpenter. Art is now retired. I met Art later in the day. He was one of people who assembled the car. Art also worked on many of the GM show cars over the years.
At the styling studios I was introduced to Pierre Oilier a design engineer. He worked on a number of the GM show cars and remembered the X400. While looking at the photos I had he noted that the GM styling emblem was on the front fender end of the rocker moldings. This was an item I did not have. There was Pontiac 421 emblem on my car. I asked where could I every find this and he replied he had one and wanted to get it reproduced. We kept in contact for a several months, it turned out he was having a problem finding anyone that could do the castings. I had a casting company in Tucson that did artistic castings and I knew the owners. Pierre sent me the emblem and the colors chart for it. I had a number of castings done and plated, painted and sent the back to Pierre and I now had my castings. They turned out great, the castings were done using the lost wax process. So my trip to GM was a great success. I later found more photos of the construction of the car in the GM photographic collection.
The GM styling emblum.
While in the Detroit area I made contact with John Sawruk an engineer at Pontiac. John has been interested in the history of Pontiac show cars. He managed to turn up a set of photos showing the actual assemble of my car at the tech. center. These have been extremely valuable in the restoration. Since beginning the research on this project several years ago, I have met many people who have been both very interested in the car as well as extremely helpful. This has made this a very interesting and exciting project for me. In doing the research I have been surprised how many of the old Pontiac show cars still exist. Some of these are in Museums but a good number are in private hands.
These are the list of shows that the 1963 X400 was shown in.
1 Feb. 2, 1963 Los Angeles
2 Feb. 15, 1963 Chicago Auto Show
3 Mar. 1 1963 G.M.T.C. Employee show
4 June 20, 1963 Elkhart Lake -'June Sprints'
5 Sept. 23, 1963 Hollywood Calif. (for filming the My Three Sons TV program)
In most of the cases the car was air shipped to the shows