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1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt

Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941 - at Chicago Auto Show
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941 - at Chicago Auto Show
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941 - at New York Auto Show
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941 - at New York Auto Show
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941
Images: Chrysler Corporation; www.imperialclub.com; www.carculture.com; www.chuckstoyland.com
Rating:  16    -12    +28
1940/41 Chrysler Thunderbolt Retractable Hardtop Convertible Coupe
Дизайнер Алекс Тримулис (Alex Tremulis)
One of the most incredible looking idea cars ever to be built must be the Chrysler Thunderbolt. Designed by Briggs’ Alex Tremulis (formerly of Cord), there were in fact six of these beautiful machines built, all by LeBaron. The Thunderbolt was conceived as a sports car and was made using an aluminium envelope-type body which featured smooth contours, free of any protruding metal work like doorhandles, aerials, etc. The integrated fenders were almost a decade ahead of their time, but the most advanced aspect of the Thunderbolt was its fully retractable hardtop. It was electrically operated from pushbuttons on the dash, and when down, disappeared completely in to the trunk. Also advanced for the times were power windows, hidden headlamps, and door openings, all of which were hydraulically operated by pushbuttons, including a pushbutton radio!

They were mounted on standard C-26 chassis with conventional NewYorker running gear and fitted with the powerful 143bhp, 323.5cubic inch straight eight, taken from the C-27 Crown Imperial. Once completed, they were painted different colours and trimmed using leather and Bedford cord set around an aircraft-style dash. They toured dealerships throughout America to rapturous acclaim. Except for the 1938 Buick Y-job, the ’41 Thunderbolts are thought to be the first concept cars ever to be displayed to the public. Unusually, the cars were sold off to individuals in 1941, which is why they have such a high survival rate; all six are still in existence. Most concept cars from the 1950’s and 60’s were destroyed after their short tour of duty.

If you would like to see one in the flesh then I recommend a visit to the Walter P. Chrysler museum in Detroit, where they have a silver one on a huge revolving mast as you enter the main foyer.


В 1940-м Chrysler продемонстрировал концептуальный Thunderbolt с 2-местным алюминиевым кузовом и убирающейся жёсткой крышей, снабжённой электроприводом. Кабриолет, представлявшийся как «The Car of the Future», производил неизгладимое впечатление на публику. Первоначально Chrysler намеревался выпустить восемь экземпляров, но впоследствии ограничился пятью, которые были проданы в частные руки по астрономической для того времени цене — $8,250.
Source: Peter Grist; «Кабриолет, опередивший время» - CARS.ru
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