The Allure of the Automobile (page 3)
This 1954 Plymouth Explorer Sports Coupe was a one-off concept car built on the 114 inch wheelbase Plymouth chassis. The sleek Ghia designed and built body belied the unexciting 110 horsepower stock Plymouth L-head six-cylinder engine which resided under the hood. The Explorer made its debut in the May 1954 issue of Motor Trend magazine. Unlike the General Motors concept cars of the period, which made the rounds at the GM Motoramas and various auto shows, Chrysler Corporation's concepts were little seen and remain to this day relatively unknown to most auto enthusiasts.
Considered to be one of the most advanced racing cars of its era, this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR had many revolutionary engineering features, including an engine with desmodromic valves. This allowed for very high rpms without valve float; horsepower peaked at 7,400 rpm, producing 310 horses. Nine SLR roadsters were made. One of them won the 1955 Mille Miglia in Italy, averaging nearly 100 mph in the 1,000 mile competition - an unbroken record. This example normally resides at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany and was shipped to the U.S. especially for this exhibition.
The 1957 Jaguar XK-SS Roadster was a road-going version of the famous - and far more handsome - Jaguar D-Type racer. The XK-SS was designed to dominate SCCA production-class racing. The car was priced at $7,500 and had a top speed of 160 mph. Unfortunately, a disastrous fire at the Jaguar factory limited production to only 18 examples. This one was owned by actor/car enthusiast Steve McQueen and is normally on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. This XK-SS is valued at $5 million.

copyright 2011 - Joseph M. Sherlock - All applicable rights reserved