Why wasn’t this car put into production?!
From the invaluable en.wheelsage.org a picture of the 1953 DeSoto Adventurer I concept car. DeSoto did produce a car with the model name Adventurer from 1956-1960, but it didn’t look anything like this. Designed by the legendary Virgil Exner this was his “…favorite car always.” More from Exner courtesy of this and this, “If it had been built, it would have been the first four-passenger sports car made in this country. Of course, it had the DeSoto Hemi [a 1953 stock 273 with 170 horsepower]. It was my favorite car always…” From the same article, “Exner tried very hard to get the DeSoto Adventurer approved for limited production. But as Maury Baldwin, one of his staffers, later recalled, ‘Management at that point was very stodgy. A lot of people attributed it to the old Airflow disaster. They were afraid to make any new inroads.'”
No one knows, of course, how this car would have sold if it had been available. However, the 1950s were a time of ostentatiousness, at least to some degree, and this car certainly would have stood out. One can understand the notion of “Once burned, twice shy,” but it’s a shame Chrysler management couldn’t or wouldn’t understand how circumstances had changed since the 1930s when the Airflow was introduced. Like another Mopar product of the same vintage—the Chrysler Ghia ST Special—I simply can’t take my eyes off this car.
“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness…”
– John Keats
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