Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thoughts on a 54 Chrysler.

I sketched this up for the fun of it a while ago and wanted to submit this to R&C for their "Dreamcar of the month" segment, but since I haven't heard back from them, I guess I can show you!  Here's my thoughts:

I decided to take on a '54 Chrysler New Yorker as a starting point for a sled. Not the most common kustom fodder, I know. But with Chevy's of the same year being the object of so many peoples chopped smoothed and tail dragging fancy, I decided to switch it up. 
First things first, that top has to come down, but lets keep is subtle. Lets say 2.5" in the front and 3.5" in the rear. While we're at it, I would rework the C pillar/quarter window opening to get it to flow with the new roof lines a bit better. The hood would get peaked and loose a couple of lbs of chrome. A simplified stock grille would be flanked by frenched '55-6 Chrysler Imperial headlights as well as marker light bezels. Taking a cue from Cadillacs of the same era, I lowered and reshaped the front wheel wells and aligned the side trim to match the quarter trim height. The rear skirt would be a full length quarter skirt, separated where it meets up with the lower edge of the trim. To spice things up out back, I elected to use tail lights donated from a 58 Pontiac Bonneville, flipped 90 degrees outward, and grafted to mildly extended rear quarters. Some of the old tricks are a must, such as losing  handles and hiding the bumper bolts. Kelsey Hayes wires would look good, but in keeping with a late 50's style I chose to run caps, on wide white bias ply tires and since the original '54 caps look close, (but not too close) to the popular "Lancer" caps of the next year, I think they'd be a cool item to keep. Finally, for colors I chose a light apple green with a pearl white top and interior.
In 1954, all New Yorkers came off the line with 331 hemis, and finding some shiny dress up goodies shouldn't be too much of a problem. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a pearly white engine bay with the matching color on the mill, smoothered in chrome and wearing a 2x2 manifold up top. This won't exactly be running quarter mile passes after all.  So, in conclusion; a project for the faint of heart? Not exactly, but a swan in ugly duckling attire, just waiting for a second chance to shine? You decide!

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