Sunday, March 13, 2011

1953 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe 6 Passenger Sedan

"These are the cars to see! . . . the best looking Chryslers of all time, introducing a new, breathtaking mood in Highway Fashion. You'll see it in every glamorous, well thought-out line . . . you'll see it in the impressive, one-piece curved windshield . . . in Chrysler's new, low, rakish profile . . . in the magnificent new rear deck. And you'll see it inside as well as out . . . for Chrysler interiors surround you with new Highway Fashion as does no other car. Comfort and luxury for you and your family, unequalled anywhere, as never before."

A bit of show-off is an essential part of latin culture, and glamorous brand names seem to be a good medium for self-expression. This is not different in Cuba, notwithstanding that Fidel Castro and his crew conjure up the formation of a new breed of the "hombre nuevo", the "new people", since decades. A small street market with counterfeit fashion is swiftly being set up in a village in central Cuba and the vendors arrive in a classy Chrysler Windsor Deluxe. Talkin' 'bout style...

Chrysler entered the 50s with the "Keller boxes", well-engineered and practical cars with ample head room, but somewhat stodgy looks. For 1953 and 1954, a softer silhouette, retouched by new Styling Chief Virgil Exner, should bring some revelation, but Chrysler really had a hard time to keep up with the flashy new designs of the competition, especially Harley Earl's inspired and flamboyant Cadillacs, Buicks, Chevrolets or Oldsmobiles. It should take until 1955, when Virgil Exner's new "Forward Look" cars should hit the road and Chrysler finally could catch up in terms of styling.

Yet, the new 1953 Chryslers sported strong inner values, in particular the revolutionary new "FirePower" Hemi V-8 engine with hemispherical combustion chambers. With 180 h.p. in the year of its introduction, this brilliant powerplant easily topped even the most powerful Cadillac engine, and gave the Chrysler cars a truly outstanding performance. Hence, for most consumers, the reason to buy a Chrysler in the early 50s was engineering, not styling. The only problem for Chrysler was, that car styling became an increasingly important decision factor for prospective car buyers, and many customers went shopping elsewhere. Despite being so well-engineered, Chrysler cars simply weren't a big success. With just over 170.000 cars in 1953, Chrysler only held the 9th place in the annual production statistics.

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