Pontiac's 1939 "Ghost Car" Has a Body Shell Made of Plexiglas

The 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six Ghost Car was not your average vehicle. While many automobiles had bodies made from metal, Pontiac decided to go a different route with this particular car. They collaborated with the chemical company Rohm & Haas, who had just developed a new product called “Plexiglas.” To promote the recent innovation, an entire body shell was constructed for the Deluxe Six using the transparent acrylic material.

Pontiac's car made its debut at the 1939-40 World's Fair in New York at General Motors' “Highways and Horizons” pavilion. As you'd imagine, it was a big hit. Most people hadn't seen Plexiglas yet, and it was a fun gimmick to have the car's inner workings exposed. All structural metal was bathed in a copper wash and the hardware and dashboard were chrome. They even made the tires white!

The car reportedly cost $25,000 to build, which was massive compared to the price of a new Pontiac at that time – $700. In 2011, the car was auctioned by RM Auctions and sold for $308,000.

RM Auctions website
via [Visual News]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content