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1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton

1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton

1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton - Over 10,000 classic, collector and current cars and trucks at RemarkableCars.com

1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton

1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton
AUCTION RESULTS: Car was Sold at a price of $687,500

A special 143hp 323 cu. in. inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed overdrive Vacamatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live axle rear suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase 145.5"

Four of the five Newports had their headlights recessed into the front fenders behind retracting headlight doors. A single Newport with a clean forceful front fender design and exposed headlights is immediately recognizable among its counterparts. It has the most important piece of history of all prewar Chrysler concept cars, having been honored to pace the 1941 Indianapolis 500 the last Indy pace car for five years and becoming the personal property of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. Carefully preserved both for its trendsetting design and unique history, it is the Newport offered here. Chrysler missed no promotional opportunities for the Indy 500 festivities on Memorial Day 1941 and brought other Newports to the Speedway for VIP transportation. Most important, contemporary photos clearly identify this car, with its exposed headlights, pacing the race at the head of a field of open-wheel race cars.

The performance of its powerful Chrysler eight in stock configuration was sufficient to pace the Memorial Day Classic without major modifications, particularly when backed up by Chrysler's innovative "Vacamatic" three-speed overdrive transmission which gives the Newport the performance of a four-speed with the convenience of clutchless shifting between standard and overdrive ratios in second and third.

This car, the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car with its distinctive open headlights was repainted in pastel green and reupholstered in dark green leather before the war for the use of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. It became Chrysler's representative among the signature cars of Detroit's design and styling leaders such as Edsel Ford's Continental, Ed Macauley's Phantom and Harley Earl's Y-job. Even among these stylish, handsome and historic cars the Newport's cutdown doors and dual cowl seating were unique, forming a visible stylistic link between the classic designs of the thirties and the fluid, streamlined designs of the late forties. To make it practical for regular use, Chrysler and LeBaron fitted this car with a top which folded under an integrated metal boot cover. To facilitate entry and exit the rear cowl was modified to be raised and lowered electrically.

It was then carefully maintained in remarkably complete and original condition and was acquired by its present owner in 2000. Its preservation is a tribute to its importance and to its legacy as the 1941 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car. Other than being serviced mechanically as needed it is almost completely original, including the pastel green paint and much of the dark green leather upholstery as installed for Walter P. Chrysler in 1941, including monogrammed badges on the front doors. Its condition is exemplary, as evidenced by its acceptance for display at the prestigious Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance this year.

In August 2003 this dramatic vintage automobile was chosen by Chrysler Corporation to lead laps at Laguna Seca raceway during the Monterey Historic races introducing the new Chrysler Crossfire, setting the pace just as it had done sixty-two years earlier at Indianapolis.

Carefully preserved by one of America's premier collections, the 1941 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Chrysler Newport dual cowl phaeton is one of the most important concept vehicles in the history of America's automobile industry. Its flowing fenders, seamless bodywork and freedom from embellishment or adornment signaled the beginning of a new era in American design. For Chrysler Corporation it was a breakthrough which immediately established them as a leader in design to complement the company's well-established leadership in engineering and manufacturing. It and its four counterparts were immediately accepted by the public, helping Chrysler Corporation build sales and earn profits.

The Newport's patina highlights its connection with the prewar Chrysler Corporation and with the small group of influential figures, Edsel Ford, Harley Earl and Ed Macauley, whose taste, eye and style were expressed in their individual automobiles and influenced the growth of a great American industry in its prime.

RM Auctions
Automobiles of Amelia Island
March 14, 2009
Website: www.rmauctions.com
Sold at a price of $687,500
Lot #270

1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton Additional Pictures

1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton

1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton

1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton

1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton

1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton

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1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton - Over 10,000 classic, collector and current cars and trucks at RemarkableCars.com