Sunday, February 10, 2013

1947 Chrysler Royal Luxury Brougham

"Chrysler Owners — owners of other makes who are looking forward to owning a Chrysler — automobile editors and automobile dealers — the Public in general — all have been generous and unreserved in their praise of the Beautiful New Chrysler. It is a Beautiful Car. And, combined with this beauty, is a mechanical excellence, a high quality of materials, and a superb performance that make it the finest as well as the most Beautiful car to ever bear the Chrysler name.

The smart, stylish, beautiful lines are distinctively different — different from pre-war Chrysler models — and different from post-war Models of other makes. From the windshield forward, the front end is new — and different — and generally acclaimed the 'most beautifully designed front end' of any automobile today. The hood flows into the fenders in graceful lines that give it a broader and lower appearance. The new Grille is a piece of beautiful designing, finished in gleaming Chrome, and entirely different from any other car. The new Bumper Guards are new, smartly designed, rugged, and spaced for greatest protection to the grille. And the top of the hood carries a beautiful new ornament — a modern interpretation of the famous Chrysler wings — the original radiator ornament introduced on the first Chrysler back in 1924. From the front, from the side, from the rear — from any angle, the Beautiful Chrysler is a Beautiful Car — a fine possession that looks the part."

Chrysler Royal Luxury Brougham – what a name! It implies utmost luxury and exclusiveness, but in fact the Royal was Chrysler's entry-level model. At least on cuban roads it bears an exclusive name, as we came across a two-door Chrysler Royal only once in all the years.

Like all big Detroit players, Chrysler kept on selling warmed-up prewar models until the new developed lineup was ready in 1949. These postwar Chryslers literally had a wall of chrome up front, wearing arguably the squarest grille in whole America. The rest was solid prewar construction, nicely wrapped into a renewed skin, and the fact that still quite a few beautiful postwar cars of the Chrysler Corporation are driving around in Cuba, speaks for their impeccable construction and quality. So minor were the changes between 1946 and 1947, that Chrysler even used the same sales brochures over two years.

Our encounter with the pictured Chrysler Royal from Cienfuegos, however, won't have a happy end. We found the massive car at a private taller, where all kinds of cars, no matter if American or Russian, are being repaired and restored. Inside the shop, we've seen handmade body parts of impeccable quality, made on simple machines that seemed to be older than the industrial revolution. The friendly owner, Miguel, explains: "The Chrysler is already worn out, and with just two doors, it isn't really practical, neither. Soon, I will modify it into a camioncito, a light truck. Hay que resolver..."

"Hay que resolver", you have to find a solution, is a phrase that perpetually circles through conversations on the island. After more than half a century of communism, life in Cuba is a constant "freestyling", looking for possibilities to get over the lack of everything that one way or another dominates all aspects of living here. We think it's a pity to destroy a historic car, but in Cuba's real life conditions, called socialismo, beauty alone doesn't seem to have much value...

1 Kommentare:

Caristas said...

A shame indeed, though I do admire some of the hand-built camioncitos!