Dodge briefly thought of constructing a sports activities automobile within the early Fifties, however the challenge solely resulted in a single prototype. As we speak, the 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250 is within the assortment of the Petersen Automotive Museum, which lately produced a video on this distinctive automobile offered by Leslie Kendall, the museum’s chief historian.
Imported European sports activities automobile turned common within the U.S. after World Struggle II, main the Detroit automakers to ponder homegrown options, together with the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Thunderbird, which launched in 1953 and 1955, respectively, together with some lower-volume fashions. Chrysler did not produce an equal, but it surely did ponder one.
1953 Dodge Storm Z-250
The Dodge Storm Z-250 was the brainchild of promoting govt Fred Zeder, whose father (additionally named Fred) was a key determine within the early days of Chrysler and had labored on the Airflow fashions. The youthful Zeder specified a Hemi V-8 and a tube-frame chassis with interchangeable our bodies—one for on-road touring and one for racing.
The Bertone-designed physique proven right here was designed to be eliminated by unscrewing simply 4 bolts and changed with a lighter fiberglass physique for racing. It is unknown if the fiberglass physique was really constructed, Kendall famous. The automobile was initially white with a black roof, with totally different hub caps than those at the moment fitted.
The Storm appeared on the 1953 Turin auto present, however it could have made different undocumented present appearances as properly. It made fairly a splash when Zeder parked it exterior his Manhattan workplace, attracting a lot consideration that police obtained concerned, Kendall mentioned.
Chrysler did take into account a manufacturing model, however solely briefly, Kendall mentioned. The Storm was positioned into storage, then acquired by Zeder outright. He later donated it to a school, however reacquired it, changing the unique engine, which was now not working at that time. He additionally had the automobile repainted to its present coloration and added the present hubcaps throughout that second interval of possession. Ultimately, he donated the automobile to the Petersen.
That is no mere present automobile. Earlier than it was ensconced within the Los Angeles museum, Kendall mentioned Zeder took him for a trip round Palm Springs, laying patches of rubber and sliding by means of corners.
Chrysler did ultimately launch a Dodge-branded sports activities automobile, albeit with out the interchangeable our bodies. The Dodge Viper launched in 1992 and stored the Corvette sincere till its discontinuation in 2017, simply because the Storm Z-250 may need performed if Chrysler executives had made a unique resolution 4 many years earlier.