The Chrysler Group had an answer to the Corvette in 1954. It should have been Dodge Firearrow, but the sports car was never mass-produced. Now the first mobile prototype has been auctioned off.
With an expected proceeds of 900,000 to 1.2 million dollars (around 767,000 to 1.02 million euros), the auction house Sotheby's set the liquidity bar for the buyer of the Dodge Firearrow II quite high. This was understandable for a number of reasons, as there are only four Firearrows and each one is unique. Accordingly, this was a one-off, the first truly drivable one in 1954. Virgil Exner, then Chief Designer at Chrysler Corporation, created a series of concept cars that would later go into series production as an answer to the Chevrolet Corvette or intended for the Ford Thunderbird. The first Firearrow was still purely a show car for the stage – without an engine. After great applause, rumors quickly arose about a planned small series. The encouragement eventually led to the construction of that car. The Dodge has now been auctioned for $1.05 million at Monterey Car Week in California.
No mirrors, no handles
The second Firearrow received not only adjustments in terms of design, but also a beating heart. Under the hood sits a four-liter Hemi V8 with 150 hp, which the developers have linked to a four-speed automatic. However, this is not a real pre-series model either, which can be seen from a few missing details. Exterior door handles are missing, as are wing mirrors, side windows and a roof. Instead, a spare wheel is hidden behind the front of the two tailgates. The frameless windscreen, of which you only see the smallest part, is also spectacular. Around two-thirds of the glass surface is basically in the car – for reasons of stability. When transporting the vehicle, the crystal glass pane is removed to be on the safe side, because of course there is no replacement. All in all, the platform used is not a fantasy construct, because it comes from the Dodge Royal. The body, on the other hand, was made in Italy by Ghia.,
As you can probably imagine, the Firearrow II was also a hit with the public. The jet-age design was absolutely "en vogue". It was followed by the Firearrow III, a coupe and the Firearrow IV, again a roadster, but much closer to the series - with door handles, roof and exterior mirrors. However, for reasons no one can understand today, series production of the sports car was never approved. Instead, Dual-Ghia built a total of 177 examples of the D-350 and D-500 between 1956 and 1958. A car that took a big scoop of inspiration from the last Firearrow. The fame could have belonged to Dodge, as the Dual-Ghia's distinguished clientele included Richard Nixon, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Today only one person can be happy about this fact, namely the one who was awarded the contract for the Firearrow II. This means that not only is an impressive piece of automotive history moving into your home garage, but also a one-of-a-kind vehicle. If it had become a production model, it would certainly have less charm today.,
Sure, the Firearrow II can actually drive - but you can hardly imagine the nervous strain. A million-dollar car for which there is no spare part anywhere in the world shouldn't even fall victim to a rock chip. With this extravagant windscreen, that would be even worse than usual. However, such a vehicle does not really belong in private ownership behind closed doors, but in a museum.