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History 1954 Chrysler Concept Car

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HEMI32, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. Chrysler's La Comtesse concept car of 1954:

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    The La Comtesse was part of a pair of "His and " Her" show cars: the Le Comte and La Comtesse. These were among the first of Chrysler's show cars under the helm of Virgil Exner. Chrysler's Press Release had this to say about the car:

    Chrysler's exotic new plastic top car, presents a gorgeous two-tone exterior of dusty rose with a pigeon gray top. The interior is luxuriously finished in cream and dusty rose leather with seat back inserts of platinum brocatelle fabric. Interior appointments are set off by specially-designed chrome hardware. A long, low note is provided by heavy chrome molding running along the lower body of the car from the front wheel openings to the rear bumper. A continental tire mount and chrome wire wheels add to the car's smart appearance. La Comtesse is built on a New Yorker Deluxe Newport chassis and is powered by a 235-horsepower Chrysler FirePower V-8 engine and features fully-automatic PowerFlite transmission, power steering and power brakes plus Chrysler's high-roll front suspension for easier handling and improved roadability.

    All pictures and info from the IMPERIAL WEB PAGES (www.imperialclub.com)
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  2. After the 1955 show season, La Comtesse disappeared.

    Fast forward to 2008 ... the La Comtesse was located after years of storage (the license tag says last registration was 1970) in Southern California:

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    The show car has been purchased by the Chrysler Historical Foundation and will eventually appear in the museum.

    All pictures and info from the IMPERIAL WEB PAGES (www.imperialclub.com)
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
    kidcampbell71 and mgtstumpy like this.
  3. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,607

    Squablow
    Member

    Cool, looks like Ford wasn't the only one building glasstops. Wonder why Chrysler never produced any. I'm guessing the no-tint insert would heat the interior up something terrible, hope it has A/C.
     
  4. plodge55aqua
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,711

    plodge55aqua
    Member
    from Alberta

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  5. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,708

    Weasel
    Member

    So why did you miss the opportunity to post this as a 'barn find'?:D We need more 'barn finds'...:rolleyes:

    Awesome that it has been found in such unmolested condition and is going where it deserves. Any further info on how and where it was found in So Cal?

    Is the Le Comte still around?
     
  6. James427
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,740

    James427
    BANNED

    That would be SOOO cool to find something like that. Thanks for posting the pics.

    It's a shame that one escapes Chrysler (who would have had it crushed normally) only to be bought back by the same manufacturer. At least this time I don't think they will try and crush it when they are done with it.
     
  7. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 6,721

    noboD
    Member

    I love old Chryslers with wire wheels, the top is just icing on the cake!!
     
  8. alsancle
    Joined: Nov 30, 2005
    Posts: 1,556

    alsancle
    Member

    Any more details around how it was found?
     
  9. colts hotrod crazy
    Joined: Jan 6, 2008
    Posts: 40

    colts hotrod crazy
    Member
    from Apex NC

    wow that would make an awesome hotrod
     
  10. lostn51
    Joined: Jan 24, 2008
    Posts: 1,668

    lostn51
    Member

    Totally awesome find indeed!! I hope they document the build and keep everyone posted about its progress.
     
  11. I don't know any of the details of the "barn find" ... To be quite honest, I was browsing the Imperial Club's website yesterday ... and came across a couple of articles on the La Comtesse ... I had never heard of it (or the Le Comte) ... and thought it might be of interest to the HAMB community ... so, instead of just posting a link to a web page, I "borrowed" the pics and text from the Imperial Club website article for this thread (click HERE).

    I was really hoping a HAMBer in the So-Cal area knew more about the barn-find (ironically, my first thought was you @Weasel).
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  12. Again, I don't know ... all I could find was this pic:

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    ... and this:

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    The Le Comte was perceived to be more masculine with its macho black-and-bronze exterior.

    Very little is known about Le Comte. It was said to be identical to La Comtesse in almost every way except for the color scheme. Rumor has it that five La Comtesse show cars were built in Chrysler's Los Angeles plant and that at least one still exists in the Monterey, California, area.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  13. Although Chrysler never produced any La Comtesse's or Le Comte's ... the 1955 Dodge La Femme was said to be Chrysler Corporation's answer to the very favorable response the La Comtesse received from "the American Woman"...

    The 1955 Dodge La Femme was the ultimate car for the discerning lady. For those who wanted something a little special, the 1955 La Femme delivered it, and how. Featuring a Heather Rose and Sapphire White two tone exterior treatment, the car exhuded charm and sophistication. Inside, the standard Custom Royal Lancer interior was reconfigured with "La Femme Only" rosebud cloth fabric and white vinyl bolsters. Special seat backs contained spots for ladies to store the supplied rain hat and purse.

    from The Dodge La Femme website (www.dodgelafemme.com)
     
  14. D'oh ... I broke my own rule: "Always do a search of the HAMB before starting a new thread" ... @Gotgas already posted about the La Comtesse in the May 2008 "Has anyone built a fully functional copy of a fifties proto type car??" thread ... click HERE.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  15. Here's a pic of the La Comtesse as it appeared at the '54 Chicago Auto Show:

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    image from the Chicago Auto Show website (click HERE).
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  16. Here's a few more photos of the "Barn Find" ... the Walter P. Chrysler Museum brought their recent acquisition to the 12th Annual Ypsilanti Orphan Car Show (held June 1st, 2008):

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    images from sjb4photos' flickr photostream
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    images from the Motor Trend magazine website (www.motortrend.com)
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  17. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,708

    Weasel
    Member

    I was going to post a comment on Chrysler Corp's Dodge La Femme and the fact that they were the first of the 'big three' to have enough marketing savvy to specifically make a model aimed at the female buyer. This is something that apparently seems subsequently to have been largely forgotten by the marketing gurus even up to today. One might conceivably argue that the pastel colors of the late 1950s were also aimed at the female car buying public and it begs the question as to how many heterosexual men would deliberately buy a dusty rose pink car without female influence (that's 'influence' spelled p-r-e-s-s-u-r-e:)).

    Thanks Hemi32 for bringing us another piece of obscure but factual history - your reputation is intact!
     
  18. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    It'll be up for auction soon, I'm sure.
    Has everyone forgotten that Chrysler is in the tank, this time with YUK YUK Fiat?
     
  19. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,607

    Squablow
    Member

    Does the Chrysler company actually own the Walter P Chrysler museum? I'm guessing the museum is a separate entity.
     
  20. Scott K
    Joined: Oct 17, 2005
    Posts: 826

    Scott K
    Member



    No, Chrysler LLC does not own the WPC Museum. The Museum is a stand-alone, non-profit entity.
     
  21. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,094

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Owning a 54 NY deluxe, that is one coool car! Interesting top on the car, kinda square-ish. Like the C-kit at back.
     
  22. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,638

    Gotgas
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from DFW USA

    Unrelated...

    The '54 Dodge Firearrow coupe is at my dad's restoration shop right now. Beautiful car! It still runs REALLY good too, has a very healthy Dodge Hemi in it. It was clocked at over 143 when it was new.

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  23. @Gotgas -

    The Dodge Firearrow III Sports Coupe is a very beautiful car! ... and actually not as "unrelated" as you might think ... the Exner designed / Ghia built '54 Dodge Firearrow's toured the country with Chrysler's "New Worlds in Motion" show ... along side the Chrysler La Comtesse & Le Comte.

    Here's the Firearrow IV Convertible at the '54 Chicago Auto Show:

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    image from the Chicago Auto Show website (click HERE).
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  24. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,638

    Gotgas
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from DFW USA

    Good to know! Those pipes exiting the quarter panels have a great sound. :D
     
  25. Midnight 50
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 566

    Midnight 50
    Member

    So,.......... it is like Chrysler then.
     
  26. Gator Mc Klusky
    Joined: Apr 18, 2006
    Posts: 307

    Gator Mc Klusky
    Member

    Wow cool! I mean that Firearrow!

    @Cunningham: In u'r dad's shop? Even cooler! Any pictures?

    I'm actually searching for informations on the '54 Chrysler GS-1 which was also built by Ghia in Italy and was sold in France for the european market. Not in the USA! Also a very beautiful coupe based on a '54 New Yorker chassis with bumpers from it, and was styled after the '52 Special and the '53 "Thomas" Special.

    Older informations say that there were 400 units, but experts claim this is not true. Has anybody here more informations how many, how long, what versions etc. were built of this car?
    Was there also a '55 version with a '55 New Yorker bumper and lights? Or was there another european version of the New Yorker. It's said they sold 4 chassis-cowls for coach builders that year.
    Here's some pics. The first is the '52 then the '53 and then the '54 GS-1

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    kidcampbell71 and mgtstumpy like this.
  27. @Gator Mc Klusky - Checkout the "1954 Dodge Concept Cars" thread (click HERE) ... it's devoted entirely to the four Dodge Firearrows ... with lots of pics of the '54 Firearrow III Sports Coupe. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  28. Gator Mc Klusky
    Joined: Apr 18, 2006
    Posts: 307

    Gator Mc Klusky
    Member

    'Way cool! Do u also have more knowlege about the GS-1, or know somebody who has more?
     
  29. qool58
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 10

    qool58
    Member

    that is one dead sexy car!
     
  30. Here's @31Dodger's pics of the restored '54 Chrysler La Comtesse on display at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum:

    La Comtesse @ WPC Museum (1).jpg
    La Comtesse @ WPC Museum (4).jpg
    La Comtesse @ WPC Museum (2).jpg
    La Comtesse @ WPC Museum (3).jpg

    ... and some Steve Brown photos taken at the WPC Museum (circa 2014):

    1954 Chrysler La Comtesse @ WPC Museum - 2014 (1).jpg
    1954 Chrysler La Comtesse @ WPC Museum - 2014 (2).jpg
    1954 Chrysler La Comtesse @ WPC Museum - 2014 (3).jpg
    1954 Chrysler La Comtesse @ WPC Museum - 2014 (4).jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
    mgtstumpy likes this.

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