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Le Sabre Concept
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  Buick Le Sabre Concept

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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1951
Numbers built:1
Designed by:Harvey J Earl
Source:Company press release
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe Le Sabre's exotic presence has not diminished, nor will designer Harvey J Earl's spirit be embarrassed by the technical miracles of the last half century that have surpassed his creation. It is no less splendid to see in motion. A thing of details, the Le Sabre still delights amidst a wide selection of heritage vehicles available for display from the rich GM stable of concept, racing, experimental and production vehicles.

A 215 cubic-inch V8 ventilated by 90-degree, opposed valves in hemispherical chambers represented the best of racing technology. However, the valves are operated by an elaborate arrangement of pushrods from a single camshaft suspended under the intake manifold; new technology, old technology, and clever-solution technology meeting on a common ground. Induction is accomplished by a Detroit Diesel Supercharger of the Roots variety, with a pair of three-blade impellers augmenting fuel and air compression.

When Le Sabre was new, a pair of Bendix Eclipse side-draft Carburetors carefully metered two different fuels. At low or constant speeds one Carburetor drew premium gasoline from an aluminium fuel tank lined with a rubber safety bladder. When the accelerator was pressed over half its stroke a progressive linkage opened the second Carburetor, which drew from another 20-gallon-bladder tank filled with methyl alcohol (methanol). Presently, the Supercharger has to make do with the gasoline system alone.

A wonderful dichotomy that began with race-tech was Le Sabre's transaxle and DeDion rear axle. The concept has been developed through the entire automotive century, but in practice, in budget, and during the Korean war, a GM differential was simply attached to the rear of a Buick Dynaflow and torque-converter -meaning Earl wouldn't have to employ a manual box. The Dynaflow was replaced by a GM four-speed Hydramatic.

After it was featured on car shows all around the world it was extensively used by Earl as a daily driver and most of the 45,000 miles on it are his.

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  Article Image gallery (9) Specifications User Comments (1)