Friday, December 27, 2013

1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept

Based on the Chrysler Crown Imperial and named after Captain George Eyston's 1938 land speed record accomplishments, the Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept, built by then coachbuilder Le Baron, introduced a new wave of designs and industry technological accomplishments. The body was comprised of aluminum and the roof was a retractable, electrically controlled hardtop. The retractable top was so revolutionary; it would not be until 1957 before the Ford Skyliner had a similar feature. There were no door handles on the Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept; rather they were operated by the push of a button. The windows were controlled by hydraulic power. The headlights were also carefully concealed in the bodywork. The aerodynamic design continued to the fully enclosed wheel wells. There were no A pillars. The design was courtesy of Alex Tremulis, an individual who introduced many inspirational industry designs such as the Tucker. The interior of the Thunderbolt was adorned in leather. The two-seater was powered by a 323.5 cubic-inch straight-eight engine capable of producing 143 horsepower. A total of six examples were produced with four existing in modern time, one residing at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Each Thunderbolt was given their own unique color scheme. (

(Photos from,,, &

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