1953 Chrysler "Thomas Special" Coupe Fetches $858,000 at Meadow Brook Auction

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A unique 1953 Chrysler "Thomas Special" coupe with coachwork by Ghia, far bettered its pre-sale estimate of $350,000 to $500,000 bringing a top bid of $858,000 at this past weekend's RM Auctions Vintage Cars of Meadow Brook sale in Michigan.

One of Chrysler's first "Idea Cars" of the 1950s, the dazzling coupe was designed by Virgil Exner and crafted by famed Italian coachbuilder and stylist, Ghia. Only six of these vehicles were produced for Chrysler, while Ghia built another 12 examples for themselves.

Underneath the slick bodywork, the coupe shared its chassis and drivetain with the regular production 1953 Chrysler New Yorker, with power coming from a 180HP, 331-cubic inch Hemi V8 linked to Chrysler's fully-automatic PowerFlite transmission. Only a handful of exterior components were borrowed from the standard New Yorker, including the tail lamp assemblies and bumpers.

Although it was originally named the Chrysler Special, the car soon became known at the "Thomas Special," having been presented - after its motor show obligations ended- to C.B. Thomas, then-President of Chrysler's Export Division.

Source: RM Auctions