Skip to comments.Legendary Lost Cars
Posted on 06/01/2012 12:36:11 AM PDT by Impala64ssa
Most of us have had the experience of losing a rental car in a big parking lot. Maybe your cousin Eddie has had the experience of cutting his grass for the first time in five years and finding a car. Were not talking about those cars. The cars on this list are the holy grails of automotive lore. Theyre near-mythical cars that have disappeared, most likely never to be seen again.
1956 Chrysler Norseman: The Norseman was a concept car built by the Italian styling house of Ghia that demonstrated the feasibility of several unique styling features like a near free-standing hard top. Ghia understandably chose a fine Italian ocean liner to deliver the Norseman. Sadly, it was the ill-fated Andrea Doria, which sank off the coast of Massachusetts. Given what your average car looks like after ten Michigan winters, after a near sixty year salt bath, its likely that little remains of the Norseman.
(Excerpt) Read more at hagerty.com ...
In 1965 I bought a 1962 Grand Prix (same body/chassis as the Catalina) that had a 421 and a 4-speed. Drove it until I enlisted in 1968. Wish I still had it but to tell the truth, despite its ferocious, for the time, acceleration, they weren’t very good cars compared to today’s.
As a matter of fact, I’ll bet my Escalade would out accelerate it.
Still, cruising down Ocean Avenue in Carmel, trying to look cool with Lynn sitting in the other bucket, are memories to be treasured.
Great article. The Norseman was a new one for me—and that it was shipped on the ill-fated Andrea Doria.
Legendary Lost Car: My Triumph Spitfire, which I drove year-round in Canada. First the floorboards disappeared, then the wheel-wells.....
Thanks, Swordmaker—didn’t know about the Italia either.
Interesting how so many car makers looked to Italian stylists in the 1950s for inspiration and ideas.
This mentions the Aston-Martin from GF, so you might want to ping the JB list.
You contrast these cars with most of the ones of today, it just makes you sick. Cars may have all the neat gadgets and whatnot today, but they’re so ugly on the outside. No style, no class, no panache.
We had a friend in the 1970s in TX who made it big in oil trading and came into a LOT of MONEY. He bought a really fancy red, Italian sports car. Can't remember the name -- something unpronouncable -- but it was a head turner. He took my husband for a spin (which was terrifying) and told us a story. The car was in the shop ALL the time. When he complained to the mechanic (Italian, of course) he was told, "Theess eess Italian car. You wanta precision? You getta Cherman car. Lika washing machine. Precision, precision, precision. Butta Italian car mayka LUFF to you." We moved away shortly thereafter so we do not know what happened to Gary and his love-making Italian sportscar that was always in the shop.
Very cool car except it looks like it would generate lift instead of downforce. I wouldn’t trust that anywhere near 70 but it looks like it’s going about 200 just sitting there. Art on wheels.
Yes, Italian cars are very seductive.
After you drive one, you have to have a cigarette.
Thanks for sharing the story.
A body shop manager I knew in Iowa lifted the 421/4 speed and interior from a wrecked Grand Prix and put it in his Catalina wagon.
Now that would’ve been something...in retrospect. I don’t think a 19 year old would’ve seen the coolness of a setup like that at the time.
Okay, I’ll say it...
...what a butt ugly car.
“Yes, Italian cars are very seductive.
After you drive one, you have to have a cigarette.”
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