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1938 Phantom Corsair news, pictures, specifications, and information

Coachwork: Bohman & Schwartz
Rust Heinz, heir to the Heinz 57 ketchup fortune, was a young designer who had the means to put into reality his car of tomorrow, better known as the Phantom Corsair. Based on a 1936 Cord Westchester Sedan with a Granatelli modified 192 horsepower supercharged Cord motor, the body was constructed by Maurice Schwartz of Bohman & Schwartz Body Company. Designed in a wind tunnel, the radical fastback body incorporates modern items such as a climate control system and crash padded dash. It starred in the 1938 movie The Young at Heart where it was called the 'Flying Wombat.' Originally intended to be produced in limited numbers for $12,500, the project ended with Heinz' untimely death in 1939.
The Phantom Corsair was designed by Rust Heinz of the Heinz 57 Ketchup fame, and Maurice Schwartz of Pasadena, California. Schwartz was one of the primary individuals in the Bohman & Schwartz Coachbuilding Company. The resulting design was amazing, aerodynamic and certainly bred from unconventional thinking. Its smooth surface was void of running boards and separate fenders allowing for the curvaceous body to gracefully flow undisturbed from front to back.

The chassis was from a Cord 810 and large enough to seat six individuals. To propel this rather large vehicle, a Lycoming V8 engine was fitted that displaced 289 cubic-inches and provided 190 horsepower allowing the Phantom to reach 115 miles per hour. Drum brakes on all four corners were necessary to slow the vehicle and keep it in the drivers control.

This was meant as a production vehicle. Heinz had hoped to sell these for $12,500, which was a very large fortune to most individuals at the time. Unfortunately, Heinz passed away in 1938 and the plans for production died with him. Only one example was ever produced.

This vehicle has played a starring role in the motion picture 'The Young at Heart.'

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2007

Phantom Corsair Making Rare Trip Out of Museum for Amelia 2009

California Coachbuilder Bohman & Schwartz's Creation Labeled Both Monstrosity & Marvel

The Phantom Corsair, a one-of-kind look at the future of auto design penned in the late thirties by Rust Heinz of the H.J. Heinz family food empire, will make its way to the 14th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, March 13-15, 2009. The vehicle will be on display courtesy of the National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection) in Reno, Nevada.

'There are certain what I like to call ‘once-in-a-lifetime' designs and the Phantom Corsair easily falls into that category,' says Bill Warner, founder & co-chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. 'When this car came out of Bohman & Schwartz, it was called outrageous and futuristic at the same time. It's a 70-year-old design and still generates a buzz wherever it goes, and still defies description today; just as it did when it rolled out of their Pasadena shop in 1938.'

Not Another One Like It In The World
The Phantom Corsair was ahead of its time and displayed a number of innovative design queues. The streamlined look from bumper to bumper gave the Phantom Corsair a distinct aerodynamic advantage enabling the car to reach nearly 120 m.p.h., which was impressive for a car its size back in 1938. There were several never-seen-before features in the car such as hydraulic impact bumpers, covered driving lights, climate control system, and
interior crash padding. After its stint at the 1939 World's Fair, it moved on to a new career in Hollywood as the mysteriously sinister 'Flying Wombat,' in the David O. Selznick production, 'The Young in Heart,' which starred screen legend Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

Bohman & Schwartz built the Phantom Corsair for an estimated $25,000, and Heinz had plans to build a limited number for about $12,500 per car, but his untimely death shortly after its completion ended any production plans. The vehicle was later sold to the famous comedian Herb Shriner and was displayed for a time at the Silver Springs (Florida) Museum before ending up in the hands of famed collector William Harrah, who restored the car to its
original configuration and displayed it as a showcase car in his vast collection. Bohman & Schwartz performed work for many of Hollywood's elite and customized a number of makes, including Duesenberg, Cadillac, and LaSalle. They remained active until ceasing operations in the early sixties.

'There will never be another one like it,' Warner says of the Phantom Corsair. 'I've often wondered what it would be like to drive that car around town; imagine the looks you would get. It's going to really surprise people when it appears on the show field and it will probably be one of the most photographed cars throughout the day.'

Source - Amelia Island Concours
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Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction Preview
Gooding & Company, the auction house acclaimed for selling the world's most significant and valuable collector cars, will hold its annual Amelia Island Auction on Friday, March 7 on the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. David Gooding, President and founder: 'Originality was the driving force behind our Amelia Island Auction. As always, our specialists have a keen eye for effective preservation of blue chip category cars. Many of the outstanding examples we selected for this sale are excellent ...[Read more...]
• 2014 Sierra gains fuel economy, quietness from time in wind tunnel
DETROIT – The all-new 2014 Sierra full-size pickup truck spent more development time in a wind tunnel than any GMC pickup before it, resulting in design changes that benefit both fuel efficiency and interior quietness. To achieve improved airflow, aerodynamic engineers like Diane Bloch examined every millimeter of the truck to find areas of improvement, debunking some popular myths along the way. To study...[Read more...]
Amelia Island Concours Video Born Of A Blue Sky Available Online
The 16-minute video Born of a Blue Sky, recounting the 18th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, is available now on the web through a link at or at 'Born of a Blue Sky has the same sort of visual presence as an impressionist painting,' said Bill Warner, Chairman and Founder of The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. 'The video captures that special quality of light Amelia Island has on an early spring morning that makes c...[Read more...]
There are limited production cars, there are rare cars and there are concept cars that never find their way to the showroom. A fleet of Cadillac's rare and mythic Motorama and Detroit Auto Show Concept Cars will take to the field at the 18th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance on Sunday March 10, 2013. Created under the supervision of GM's legendary styling chief, Harley Earl, the Cadillac Concept cars of the 'Fifties were created as the stars of GM's Motorama shows. All are blood anc...[Read more...]

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