Dodge briefly thought of constructing a sports activities automobile within the early Nineteen Fifties, however the mission solely resulted in a single prototype. Right now, the 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250 is within the assortment of the Petersen Automotive Museum, which just lately produced a video on this distinctive automobile offered by Leslie Kendall, the museum’s chief historian.
Imported European sports activities automobile turned widespread within the U.S. after World Warfare II, main the Detroit automakers to ponder homegrown alternate 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, however it did ponder one.
1953 Dodge Storm Z-250
The Dodge Storm Z-250 was the brainchild of promoting government 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 truly 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 effectively. It made fairly a splash when Zeder parked it exterior his Manhattan workplace, attracting a lot consideration that police acquired concerned, Kendall stated.
Chrysler did contemplate a manufacturing model, however solely briefly, Kendall stated. 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 colour and added the present hubcaps throughout that second interval of possession. Finally, he donated the automobile to the Petersen.
That is no mere present automobile. Earlier than it was ensconced within the Los Angeles museum, Kendall stated Zeder took him for a experience round Palm Springs, laying patches of rubber and sliding by corners.
Chrysler did finally 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 achieved if Chrysler executives had made a distinct choice 4 a long time earlier.