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1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept Coupe Vehicle Profile

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept photograph

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept
Following the 1934 introduction of the aerodynamic Airflow model, one might think Walter Chrysler would have been anything but quick to introduce another streamlined automobile. Regardless of its advanced engineering and sleek styling, Chrysler spent four years trying to convince the public to buy it. They didn't. Nonetheless, his forward-thinking spurred him to contact legendary designers Alex Tremulis and Ralph Roberts of the LeBaron studio to design and construct two different show cars called 'Golden Arrow' and 'Thunderbolt.'

The 1941 Thunderbolt was Chrysler's response to GM's Y-Job Idea Car from 1938. Designed by Ralph Roberts and Alex Tremulis, the Thunderbolt featured a streamlined body with a retractable hardtop. It was a two-seat roadster; the Golden Arrow (its name later changed to Newport) was a modern interpretation of the classic dual cowl phaeton. Short of time, just five of each made the transition from drawing board to operating automobile in just nine months, all with flowing aluminum bodywork.

The Thunderbolt appeared in the 1940 Car Show circuit as an 'idea' car, the idea being good aerodynamics. Chrysler somewhat revisited streamlined design, previously used on the 1934 Airflow, and named it Thunderbolt. The name was chosen because of its association with a previous land speed record holder at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

The LeBaron-built body is aluminum, except for the structure for the hood and deck lid, and sits on a New Yorker chassis. The engine is a 323.5 cubic-inch inline-eight that delivers 140 horsepower. The power is transmitted to the wheels by a smooth Fluid Drive transmission with an overdrive unit that allows speeds of up to 100 mph. Four cars survive of the five that were reputedly built.

Chrysler called its Thunderbolt roadster 'The Car of the Future.' It was no exaggeration. There had never been a car like it. Beneath the smooth aerodynamic body were electrically operated concealed headlights and retractable one-piece metal roof that stored beneath the decklid just behind the passenger cockpit. Doors operated via push-buttons and the leather-covered instrument panel featured edge-lit Lucite dials.

Following successful promotional tours with its sister car, the Newport, all five were released for sale to private owners at a then astronomical $8,250 each.

When the US entered World War II in 1941, auto manufacturers turned to wartime production, putting most automobile development on hold. If the Thunderbolt had reached production, how different would the automotive world of today be?

The Chrysler Thunderbolt, designed by Alex Tremulis, was a technological tour de force when introduced in 1940. The body was aluminum, the roof was an electric retractable hard top, door buttons replaced handles, the headlights were concealed, the wheel wells fared over and there were no A pillars.

Tremulis the designer of the Cord 812, worked in the Briggs design studio. Briggs also employed ex-Le baron stylist Ralph Roberts, who had been sketching pontoon bodied fully enclosed scooters. The two collaborated on a proposal for Chrysler. The car was designed to erase the stigma of the failed Airflow and yet still casting streamlining as the way of the future. Those proposed designs, known as the Newport and the Thunderbolt, debuted at the 1940 New York Auto Show.

Six Thunderbolts were built and ultimately viewed by an estimated six million people. The car broke with Chrysler designs of the past and predicted future trends such as concealed headlamps and push button doors. Even today, the car still appears twenty years ahead of its time.



No auction information available for this vehicle at this time.

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept Auction Sales

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1941 sales)
1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept Car
Chassis#: 7807943
Sold for USD$935,000
  2011 RM Auctions at Monterey
 
1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt
Chassis#: 7807976
Sold for USD$1,320,000
  2008 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona
1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept image  1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept image  
1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt
Chassis#: 7807976
Sold for USD$1,210,000
  2006 Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona
1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept image  1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept image  

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept Car By LeBaron78079432010 RM Auctions Automobiles of Arizona$1,175,000  

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1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept vehicle thumbnail image  1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept vehicle thumbnail image  


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