Walter Chrysler was a visionary. In a time of boring, bulky vehicles (the 1920s and 30s), he envisioned sleek new automobiles that would test the limits of existing technology, giving drivers a level of performance and sophistication they never knew could exist.
Unfortunately, people tend to resist change, even when it’s beneficial. This led to some unfortunate fiascoes, like the 1934-37 Airflow, which bombed despite offering huge advantages over other vehicles of the time.
However, it also led to amazing triumphs, like the 1941 dual-cowl Chrysler Newport Phaeton, one of the most innovative and beautiful automobiles ever built.
Of the five custom-built Newports, three were sold by RM Auctions in recent years, including the unit that served as the pace car for the 1941 Indy 500. The buyer paid $687,500.00 for it in 2009. Whoever he is, he got a helluva deal.