This concept car was built in 1959 by Ghia and was presented in 1960 as Virgil Exner's dream for a sports roadster. The red XNR, designed by Virgil M. Exner, was powered by a 170 Slant-Six engine prepared to NASCAR specs, which pumped out 250 horsepower. On Chrysler's testing track, the car had a top speed of 150 mph.
Naming the car after himself, Exner began with a modified 106.5-inch Valiant/Lancer chassis and the 'Slant Six' engine, so named as it was cantered over at a 30-degree angle within the engine bay. The chassis was shipped overseas to Turin, Italy, where Ghia's craftsmen followed Exner's designs and hand-formed the entire body of steel.
Though XNR rode the Plymouth Valiant's tiny 106-inch wheelbase, prominent overhangs stretched its overall length to 195 inches. Height was just 43 inches to the top of the fin.
The frame of the XNR's grille was constructed of heavy-duty materials and doubled as the car's front bumper. The 'X-motif' rear bumper was a visual reminder of the car's name and essentially asymmetric nature.
The driver sits behind a dramatically curved 'personal' windshield; a smaller, fold-down windscreen was available for the protection of a passenger. Additionally, the passenger sat somewhat lower than the driver - a design thought to minimize the negative effects of the wind.
Unlike most concept cars of the era, this one was meant to be driven. Barely 43-inches high, the car was ultimately clocked at Chrysler's high-speed proving grounds in Michigan at 152 mph. After making the auto show rounds, and the cover of Road & Track
and Motor Trend
magazines, the car was sold to a Swiss man who sold it to the Shah of Iran. It was later sold to a man in Kuwait and other in Beirut, Lebanon, before joining the care of its current caretaker.
Chrysler decided there was just no market; even if there had been, the styling would likely have seemed just too far out to sell well. Finally, Exner's abrupt firing in 1962 killed any chance the design might have had for being refined into something more practical for production.
This wedge-shaped 1960 show car, named after Chrysler design chief Virgil Exner, was one of the striking 'idea cars' of this era. It featured a grille frame that doubled as its front bumpers and had an asymmetrical design in which a hood air scoop began above the grille and tapered back to become the housing of the instrument cluster; then the driver's padded headrest flowed to the rear as a single fin.
Other features included a leather-covered glove box that doubled as a camera case, and a passenger seat set lower than that driver's seta, equipped wîth a separate removable panel. In closed course tests, its 200 hp six-cylinder engine pushed the car to over 140 mph.Source - Chrysler