Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Roger Willbanks first became interested in cars at the Denver car show, in 1940, when his big brother lifted him up on his shoulders for a better look at the Chrysler Thunderbolt concept car, and right then and there, he decided he would someday own THAT car. He now does.


Not just a car LIKE that concept car, he owns THAT car. 

That's pretty amazing


  1. Perserverance pays off .

  2. The Chrysler Thunderbolt design is compliments of Alex Tremulis, the guy who gave us the Tucker. The car had a fully retractable one piece roof, hence the unusually long rear deck. I have to wonder if this feature was inspired by Harley’s Y-Job. Although the Y had a canvas top, it too folded into the rear deck completely out of sight necessitating a long aft deck as well. Tremulis was working for Detroit based LeBaron/Briggs Manufacturing at the time, an outfit that provided auto manufacturers with car bodies. At about the same time we were blessed with the Thunderbolt, LeBaron/Briggs also gave us the dual cowl Chrysler Newport.

    The timing of these cars raises my curiosity, a curiosity sparked by the 34 Airflow’s. Whatever the merits of the Airflow’s might have been they were marketing disasters, and there is widespread belief the cars almost led to Chrysler’s demise. I have to wonder then if the Thunderbolt and Newport were brought to us for the purpose of creating a more favorable design image. Even into the early 50s at least, one source offers that Chrysler board meetings were dominated by the haunting memory of the Airflow. “Remember the Airflow.” Every major automotive initiative was measured by that standard.