Flint, MI / Greenwich, CT: General Motors Corp., Buick Motor Company / William Melish Harris Association Merchandising Displays, (1959). Presumed to be complete but we are unable to verify. 33 clear plastic transparencies, three upholstery sample catalogues: 3 leaves (graduated thumb tabs) w/ 19 samples; 4 leaves (graduated thumb tabs) w/ 22 samples; 3 leaves (graduated thumb tabs) w/ 20 samples. 33 color illustrated transparencies and three upholstery sample catalogues with a total of 61 sample fabrics (includes vinyl upholstery, faux leather, and synthetic cloth interiors in a range of colors). Cabinet (at largest sections): 19-5/8" (L) x 11-3/4" (W) x 16-1/4" (H). Transparencies: Oblong format 9-5/8" (+ thumb tab) x 15-1/4" Large wooden backlit display cabinet with front-facing backlit window. Blonde finish to wood, with top-doored well behind housing the thick plastic overlays. Moderate wear to case (rubbing and minor scuffing to edges, light soiling). Transparencies lightly scuffed and scratched (clearly worn). Sample booklet leaves worn and warping. Overall, a VG example. Item #40220
Includes: wooden lighted display cabinet (electrical cord to rear and switch located inside top right side of cabinet), three upholstery interior sample catalogues in three and two ring binders inside drawer (titled: Invicta & Invicta Custom Interiors; Invicta & Invicta Convertible Interiors; Electra 225 Interiors), 33 transparencies (14 displaying "Solid Color" exterior, 14 displaying "Two-Tone" exterior, 4 of interiors of the: LeSabre, Invicta, Electra/ Electra 25 & the Chassis, 1 introductory transparency) to be switched to the front (inserted down underneath front glass) in order to illustrate the different exterior & interior colors available.
These high-tech lighted displays were developed by the General Motors sales office as an update of their showroom sales flip board displays used (mostly) in the 1950s. Harris Associates was a division of Plasikorp at the time, and were known for their modern and sleek merchandising displays (even patenting one for carpet stores) which used plastic, and plastic transparencies, along with sample books. Potential Buick customers could come into the dealership, and try out various color combinations for trim, car & upholstery, by overlaying the transparencies and seeing, lit up, exactly how their car would appear.
Buick designers were trying to boost sagging sales for their division, so they revised the 1960 models from the 1959 which had been the most outlandish fin-heavy models yet produced. The Buick Invicta and Electra models (both featured in this display) lowered the hoods, placed the headlights side-by-side, installed a front grill with concave vertical slats with the tri-shield Buick logo floating in the center. The tailfin tips were rounded off, and they even revived the famous front fender porthole ornaments from the 1940s and 50s. Buick entirely redisgned the dash with a longer speedometer, lights for coolant temperature, generator and oil, and even installed a new a Mirromagic instrument panel mounted facing up, but reflected on a mirror that could be adjusted. One of the most significant changes was a strictly horizontal chrome strip running from rear bumper to the front wheel opening allowing Buick purchasers to make much easier decisions on two-tone paint treatments -- all of which are displayed here in the lighted case. The color combinations illustrate Turquoise, Chalet Blue, Midnight Blue, Lucerne Green, Silver Mist, Gull Grey, Cordovan, Verde Green, Tampico & Titian Red, and others. In addition there are a number of samples showing the possible convertible top materials.
As dealers typically disposed of the previous years' showroom material, dealer showroom materials are becoming more & more uncommon in the trade.