1952 Chrysler d'Elgance

Front Left 1952 Chrysler d'Elgance Car Picture
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The 1952 Chrysler d'Elegance Concept car was the first of Virgil Exner's series of European influenced designs to be rendered by the Italian coachbuilder Ghia. Its sleek lines and spare ornamentation were the inspiration for a series of similar show cars. The d'Elegance featured custom fitted luggage to fit the space behind the front seats because there was no trunk. Instead, the car featured electro-hydraulic spare-tire deployment.

Rear fenders were noticeably bulged, with leading edges dropped down from beltline level to near the rockers, where they continued to the front wheel arches as a horizontal creaseline. If the Ghia-built D’Elegance looks familiar, it should. Though little appreciated for some years, Volkswagen acquired manufacturing rights to this design, which was then downscaled by Ghia to fit the chassis of VW’s small, 1930s-era Beetle sedan.

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