Ever hear of the 1956 Chrysler Norseman Coupe? Some say it could have buoyed Chrysler’s fortunes forever. But the car sank in the ocean. Now it’s a scale model.
Believe it or not…
Let’s start with the famous sinking of a ship. In this case Italy’s iconic luxury cruiser, the SS Andrea Doria. In addition to the tragic loss of 51 souls, a special Chrysler car destined for 1957 US car shows was trapped in the holds of the ship.
Back up to 1953. Virgil Exner lead a team of Chrysler designers on a dream car. 50,000 hours later, they turned to Ghia to create a fully working prototype of their revolutionary design.
The *Chrysler Norseman* had an unusual cantilevered roof, secured to the body only at the rear C pillars. There were no side pillars. A particular challenge was the power sunroof, which had to be integrated into a slim roof without any structural support from a fully frameless windshield. I’ve also read it described as “a 12-square foot rear window that could be retracted forward into the roof via an electrical switch. ”
Hidden headlamps and door handles, shortened rear fins, low-cut wheel openings and stacked rear lamps made the fastback 2+2 a real joy to look at. The interior boasted power assisted seats and instruments were all trimmed in contrasting leather, chrome or satin finish metal.
Of course, they christened this dream car, “the Chrysler Norseman”?!? From the people that would later come up with the brand name “Chrysler Cordoba”.
BIG NEWS is that scale modeler Minichamps has created a 1:18 precision scale model of this bold automotive spirit lost at sea. Purchase at our good friends, Legacy Motors. Their service is top tier.