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History 1956 Chrysler Norseman

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by James Maxwell, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. James Maxwell
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 549

    James Maxwell
    Member
    from So-Cal

    Hey you Mopar nuts, do you think she's a bit rusty?

    :D

    It had a Hemi too no doubt.
     
  2. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,039

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    If she is still located at the bottom of the sea I think she is a little rusty yes.....
     
  3. James Maxwell
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 549

    James Maxwell
    Member
    from So-Cal

    Yes I wonder if the rust corrosion would be any worse than in the mid-west, where they dumped an a half-inch of salt on the roads for every three inches of snow, brutal on the metal.

    A Norseman clone would be rather unique, no?
     
  4. Probably doesn't look like this anymore:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  5. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,230

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    Maybe not, if the environment is anaerobic enough.
     
  6. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Yes, it would... still waiting for this one to get finished... scroll down at this HuffReport link

    LINK

    [​IMG]
     
  7. plodge55aqua
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,711

    plodge55aqua
    Member
    from Alberta

    You do those???
     
  8. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Nah... The same guy that recently did the Club De Mer
    And the smart thing is he does it in Fiber Glass.... So it will not rust!

    Some more info on the Norseman... In German

    LINK
     
    Hyfire likes this.
  9. kookee
    Joined: Jan 19, 2008
    Posts: 526

    kookee
    Member

    This has always been one of my favorites. I always wondered, what prevented this car, or its styling, from be put into production?

    Any interior shots? I have never found any.

    Does any information exist on how they built structure to support the roof without placint weight/stress on the A pillar/windsheild area?
     
  10. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,565

    73RR
    Member


    This probably one of the reasons it did not make it into production. Giant cantilevers only work for so long (some not at all) before they sag.
    Glass is not generally used as a structural component.

    .
     
  11. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Paul Kelly send me this photo of the buck they used to create the body...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,968

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    My favorite Exner quote came when he heard that the Andrea Doria went down along with the Norseman. He thought about it a minute and said, "Great, one of my cars went down in a big famous shipwreck." :D

    I have a book on Chrysler concept cars, and it has one other photo besides the three you always see - a shot of the interior. It may have been the highlight of the whole car.

    Very few photos were taken because Ghia didn't care - it was just another project for them - and they knew it was going to be photographed a lot on its show tour. The only photos that exist were to show Chrysler that progress was being made.

    If you don't see at least one or two styling cues that made their way to '63-67 Mopars then you're not looking hard enough. ;)
     
  13. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member


    Paul Kelly Scans...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  14. have you looked at the ass end (C pillar) of a 67-69 Charger?
     
  15. Cabbage
    Joined: Apr 17, 2006
    Posts: 729

    Cabbage
    Member
    1. S.F.C.C.

    what a shame...:(
     
  16. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,437

    landseaandair
    Member
    from phoenix

    If the Andrea Doria itself is any indicator, it probably hasn't held up to well.
    and2.jpg

    doriaOnBottom.jpg

    ADmarschall-728757.jpg
     
  17. hemifan
    Joined: Jun 9, 2006
    Posts: 24

    hemifan
    Member

    Old Cars Weekly had a feature on this very topic a few months back. They chronicled the efforts of a diver who had visited the Norseman thru a series of dives. Last report had the car nearly unrecognizable with only scraps still visible as the ships bulkheads continue to deteriorate. Seems as if time and the sea is winning that battle.
     
  18. Cabbage
    Joined: Apr 17, 2006
    Posts: 729

    Cabbage
    Member
    1. S.F.C.C.

    alright whos gonna step up and recreate her???
     
  19. Here's a decent little write-up on the Norseman (source: www.thecarconnection.com):

    You could think of the striking Norseman as handsome lad who never made it to his prom. Here's the story. Chrysler chief designer Virgil Exner was working overtime in the early 1950s to help transform his company's dowdy product styling. Among the steps taken, Exner began a relationship with the Italian design house, Ghia. The relationship resulted in several concepts and a handful of low-volume production models.

    During 1955-56, one of Ghia';s main projects was to bring the Norseman to life based on sketches and models created by Exner's studio. The body was to be fully functional and placed over a Hemi-powered Chrysler chassis. Working more than a year, the talented Italians handcrafted every element of the exterior and interior, struggling a great deal with the striking cantilevered roof. Nearly all of the roof's mass needed to be supported at the rear so that the leading edge did not to place any stress on the delicate wrap-around windshield. Completing the roof structure was further complicated by the innovative power-retractable sunroof (think Porsche 911 Targa).

    On schedule, the completed Norseman was carefully loaded onto the Andrea Doria, a modern and luxurious ocean liner. The Chrysler design team back in Highland Park, Michigan eagerly awaited the car's arrival. It was July, and the trans-Atlantic trip would deliver the Norseman to the states in plenty of time for the 1957 auto show circuit.

    The Norseman never made it. In an accident chalked up to human error, the Andrea Doria collided with a passenger ship, the MV Stockholm, off the coast of Massachusetts . The liner sank within hours, taking all of its cargo to the sea floor. Few Americans ever saw Exner's clean, nearly chrome-free design at full size. Perhaps, if the Norseman had completed its crossing, the design would have positively impacted Chrysler's styling as the company dealt inelegantly with the transition from the "fin" to "no-fin" era.

    ... my small collection of 1956 Chrysler Norseman pics (sorry for the repeats):

    Black & White photos

    1956 Chrysler Norseman Wooden Buck At Ghia.jpg
    1956 Chrysler Norseman At Ghia.jpg
    1956 Chrysler Norseman 3-4 Front B&W.jpg
    1956 Chrysler Norseman 3-4 Rear B&W.jpg
    1956 Chrysler Norseman Interior (2).jpg
    1956 Chrysler Norseman Interior (1).jpg
    1956 Chrysler Norseman Interior (3).jpg


    Color Artwork

    1956 Chrysler Norseman Color Artwork.gif
    1956 Chrysler Norseman Color Rendering.jpg


    Scale Models

    1956 Chrysler Norseman Model (1).jpg
    1956 Chrysler Norseman Model (2).jpg
    1956 Chrysler Norseman Model (3).jpg
    1956 Chrysler Norseman Model (4).jpg


    ... and this July 25th 1956 photo depicting the eventual fate of the Norseman:

    7-25-56 photo of the sinking Andrea Doria ~50 miles off the coast of Nantucket.JPG
    The SS Andrea Doria lists severely to starboard (as Exner lies in a hospital bed)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
    Hyfire likes this.
  20. From the side there's a lot of 60-61 Plymouth (the roofline and wheel arches, particularly the front), although you can see they revisited it for the 66-67 Charger to an extent too (the long fastback roof).
     
  21. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,418

    George
    Member

    Supposedly the windshield is in the SN95 Mustangs.
     
  22. I agree.

    To me, the '65 Dodge Charger II Concept (basis for the '66 Charger production model) and the '64 AMC Marlin Prototype (basis for the '65 Marlin production model) both look very "Norseman-esque".

    I also remember reading that the designer of the Charger based his design on the '49 Cadillac Fastback.

    1949-Cadillac-Club-Coupe-Fastback.jpg 1956-Chrysler-Norseman-Concept.jpg
    1964-AMC-Marlin-Prototype.jpg 1965-Dodge-Charger-II-Concept.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  23. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    Hey,

    It's doubtful, given Ghia's construction methods, and the fact that it was constructed as a show car i.e. no undercoating and barely finished benith the paint that had it survived to this day it would not need a major restoration. Even if it had not spent the last fifty plus years in sea water, burried in silt and crushed by cargo and the ships bulkheads and decks, it would still have major issues! Carrozzeria Ghia, the Italian coachbuilder who crafted the steel body, was still very much a ''handbuilt'' type of body builder in the late fifties. Instead of pressforming the body panels in multi-ton presses as was the standard even by the late fifties, Ghia's craftsmen would trim small pieces of steel, sometimes as small as 1'X1' and beat and form these to shape over crude wooden and metal forms. The wooden body buck pictured was for comparison purposes only, and not for beating panels into shape. When a panel was thought to be correct, it was held up to the buck and compaired to others already finished. When enough panels were finished they would be tack welded (by oxy/acet. welding) together to form sub assemblys. These welds would be finish welded off the buck, and hammerwelded to a rough finish. Once large enough panels were formed to sub assemblys they were mounted to the chassis, usually by welding! Ghia was imfamous for welding their bodies dirrectly to the frame/chassis without benefit of any body mounts; this becomes a real bitch at restoration time. Any of the early Ghia bodies I've seen, or worked on have all been roughed into basic shape and finished with a thin coat of putty and blocked to perfection, so much for ''old world craftsmenship!"

    Some have talked of what a shame that the car never made it into production- Chrysler Corporation was a mess from a management standpoint at the time of Virgel Exner's heartattack. Some of Chrysler's ''brass'' had grown tired of Exner's fins and his use of shape and form. They wanted something a little safer from a styling standpoint, they'd get that with Exner's replacement Ellwood Engle. Engle was the guy who did the '49 Ford and '61 Lincoln Continental. Exner would be fired for the sales disaster
    ,design wise the '62 model year became! The various lines of the Norseman that did return in future Mopar production designs were largely the work of Bill Bronlie and Morey Baldwin both who would work for Chrysler into the seventies.

    Swankey Devils C.C.
    "Spending A Nation Into Generational Debt Is Not An Act Of Compassion!"
     
  24. Koolade
    Joined: Feb 11, 2008
    Posts: 123

    Koolade
    Member
    from Illinois

    man, that's a cool interior!
     
  25. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    Hey HEMI32,

    Is that a die cast model, the green one you've pictured a Western Models or did you scratch build it? Seriously cool! Not that I need any more Mopar styling models!

    Thanx,

    Swankey Devils c.C.
    "Spending A Nation Into Generational Debt Is Not An Act Of Compassion!"
     
  26. James Maxwell
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 549

    James Maxwell
    Member
    from So-Cal

    It sure would be cool to see a re-creation of that gem!
     
  27. jimi'shemi291
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 9,499

    jimi'shemi291
    Member

    Hemi32 (excerpting the carconnection) wrote: Perhaps, if the Norseman had completed its crossing, the design would have positively impacted Chrysler’s styling as the company dealt inelegantly with the transition from the "fin" to "no-fin" era.


    (Can we get a big AMEN! on that "inelegant"?)
     
  28. The Norseman model was done by Great American Dream Machines in England and a few dealers occasionally have one for sale or one will show up on eBaby rarely. Pricey die cast item. Its 5" long - you call the scale.
     
    HEMI32 likes this.
  29. The door panels were the inspiration for the '66 - '67 Chargers, as was the roof line and the dash pods, among other things. The Norseman grille looks much like the '60 DeSoto grille, as well. Lots of styling cues from the Norseman landed on a LOT of Mopars up through 1968 or so.

    The '68 - '70 Charger has a MUCH different roofline than the '66-'67 cars do, fur biscuit!
     
  30. Prototype X
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 6

    Prototype X
    Member

    "Glass is not generally used as a structural component."

    On the contrary, it is quite common for glass to used as a structural component. Great examples of this are the GM A-bodies of the Fifties, most notably the '59's, with the bubble roofs and windshields that cut into the roof.

    The windows have to be removed with great care as they are under a tremendous amount of stress. Re-installing them without breaking them is nothing short of a miracle. Because of this, having the seals replaced is not cheap, since finding someone to do it properly is getting scarce these days.

    That's why I have not had mine done, everyone I've asked won't do it, for fear of having to replace my costly front and back windows if they break them.
     

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