1952 Chrysler D Elegance news, pictures, and information
Chassis Num: 321953
|Sold for $946,000 at 2011 RM Auctions.|
Aerodynamics wouldn't be limited to aviation, however. In the early 1930s, Chrysler would introduce its 'Airflow' models. Chrysler had built the automotive industry's first wind tunnel and would create some truly advanced streamlined bodies. Chrysler's Newport Parade Phaeton and the Thunderbolt would be some of Chrysler remarkably stunning concepts. Though the science of aerodynamics was sound, the timing of the introduction of the cars was not. The country was still gripped by the depression. Buyers would not go for the futuristic but the practical. Therefore, sales would be terribly unsuccessful.
World War II would accelerate the focus on aerodynamics in aviation. Chrysler would recognize this and would keep its troubled Airflow models. However, the automotive industry remained staunchly conservative. Chrysler was desperate to change its image and believed it was on the right track. It wouldn't give up without trying avenue possible. Chrysler had struck up an alliance with Fiat at the end of the war and C.B. Thomas would utilize the relationship to design some truly remarkable concepts.
Thomas had spoken with Pinin Farina and it was concluded Farina and Ghia would be employed to build a custom 1950 Plymouth. Mario Boano at Ghia believed it could be made better. Therefore, Ghia would be hired to build some classic concepts for Chrysler.
Desperate to find that spectacular concept that would redefine Chrysler's image, Chrysler would also retain the services of designer Virgil Exner. By retaining Exner's talent as a designer, Chrysler believed it had the combination necessary to build a truly spectacular car that would take Chrysler an almost entirely different direction.
The third concept, the SS, would be very enthusiastically received. In spite of its drawbacks, even C.B. Thomas would be so impressed by the design that he would order one for himself. The success of the third concept would eventually lead to two others.
The first of the two would be the Adventurer. The second would be the dramatic D'Elegance. More sensational than the Adventurer, the D'Elegance would debut in Paris in 1952. The very same chassis that would make that debut in Paris would make its appearance at the RM Auctions in August at Monterey.
The opulent Chrysler D'Elegance would feature a beak-like bumper, an arched grille and recessed headlights. The front fenders would be narrow and peaked. The rear fenders would seem to expand out the sides of the rear of the car and would have a leading edge look that would seem to extend from the front wheel wells like a crease back to the rear fenders. On the top of those rear fenders would rest a couple of interesting gun-sight taillights. Part of the opulent design of the D'Elegance would also include features that weren't exactly real, including the dummy decklid spare. The interior seated four in very close quarters.
In spite of Ghia and Exner's intriguing designs the car would never catch on. Instead, these concepts, like 321953, would become mostly one-off historical pieces.
Although it would debut in 1952, chassis number 321953 would actually have 1953 Ghia designed bodywork. It would come finished in red metallic paint. Its engine would be upgraded to a 354 cu. in. Hemi V-8 producing 280 horsepower. This would be over a hundred more horsepower than what it had originally debuted with back in 1952.
The car's interior would be where the obvious differences between the 1952 and 1953 designs would be found. Ghia would build the 1953 model on a shorter wheelbase; therefore making the car truly a two-seater. The car's interior has been finished in black and cream leather. This particular D'Elegance would be built on a shorter New Yorker chassis. The interior would also feature a Ghia-inspired instrument arrangement in which the speedometer is located to the left of the driver along with the dash-mounted gearshift for the Torqueflight transmission (a later addition as well).
The design of the D'Elegance exudes the blending of American and European opulence and artistry. Being the first and only Chrysler D'Elegance, 321953 was expected to reach between $1,000,000 and $1,300,000 at auction. The Chrysler D'Elegance certainly deserves its place of honor in Chrysler's history. It also remains one of the most striking and elegant amalgamations of multi-national influence and design.
At auction, the lot was sold for the sum of $946,000 including buyer's premium.
'Featured Lots: Lot No. 143: 1952 Chrysler D'Elegance by Ghia', (http://www.rmauctions.com/featurecars.cfm?SaleCode=MO11&CarID=r191&fc=0). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/featurecars.cfm?SaleCode=MO11&CarID=r191&fc=0. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'History of Chrysler', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 31 July 2011, 18:49 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=History_of_Chrysler&oldid=442391511 accessed 18 August 2011
'Car Models: 1950s Chrysler Concept Cars', (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1950s-chrysler-concept-cars2.htm). HowStuffWorks: A Discover Company. http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1950s-chrysler-concept-cars2.htm. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
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