Saturday, February 7, 2009

1955 Chrysler New Yorker Deluxe 4-door Sedan

"For the 1955 Models, Chrysler designers, engineers, and stylists have created a bold new concept of design that has style, beauty, symmetry and grace, an inherent sense of balance, and a feeling of motion that gives the cars a distinctive and smart appearance quite unlike any other cars on the market today."

It was already late, when we catched this beautiful Chrysler New Yorker in the twilight on it's way through the narrow streets of La Habana Vieja. Introduced as "The 100-Million-Dollar Look", a catchy slogan that referred to the costs of development, the new Chryslers certainly did look expensive.

In the early 50s, Chrysler didn't have a lucky hand with the design of their cars, and an order of Chairman K. T. Keller, who declared that a man should be able to sit in the back of any Chrysler without taking his hat off, resulted in boxy and dull cars, nicknamed "Keller boxes". Things should change with the appointment of new design chief Virgil Exner in 1949, and the 1955 lineup was the first proof of his talent. The new Chryslers were long, low and very elegant, and their styling signaled: Powerful!

And without doubt, Chryslers were fast cars, especially if you had the pleasure to drive the high-priced "New Yorker". This car was powered by a toned-down version of the same "Hemi-V8" engine with hemispheric combustion chambers, as the legendary Chrysler C-300, then the world's most powerful production car and one of the early muscle cars.

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