This is the story of my daily driver in pictures...
I went searching for a Chrysler 200 convertible in early fall of 2014 only to find that collectors had snapped up what few were left. Fiat had signaled an end of an era for Chrysler blaming slumping sales of ragtops. A salesman friend said he knew of one... some assembly required???
Just for legal reasons, let's just say this whole story is fiction (ahem)
The images below are B I G to begin with and are meant for BIG monitors... even so, they can be clicked on to E-N-L-A-R-G-E them even more.
In fact they more than succeeded to the point where the "aero-style" cars became so dominant in races that in 1971 NASCAR had no choice but to either ban them or invent an entire new class for them to compete in. The problem was compounded into a safety issue when tire companies were unable to keep up with the increased speeds and new down force stresses.
The logo below appeared at the base of that insane fin. its horn even mimicked the "meep meep" sound the cartoon bird made.
The project was canceled halfway through 2013 when Fiat changed the 2015 Chrysler 200's body style and angered many customers (and rental fleet owners) by deciding that Chrysler would stop selling convertibles altogether beginning with the 2015 model year.
Headquarters Campus In Disguise
What killed the street-legal civilian '69 Dodge Daytona and the '70 Plymouth Superbird?
What else? ...*#X+$!?*& insurance companies. It got so bad that dealerships had to resort to selling the cars without the fins on them.
Why was the 1970 version's fin so TALL?
At the time they said it was engineering for airflow and stability and that the fin caught "unaffected" air...
Now remember this was before computer-designed cars in wind tunnels... so why?
...Enlarge the picture of the red one below. The truth (though Chrysler denies it) later turned out to be that it's that tall and canted back so that the "civilian" trunk lid could just barely be opened without pinching the owner's fingers in the process, or it hitting the horizontal component... LOL.
Thanks to a little complicated engineering, the new concept car's trunk actually opens normally too, spoiler and all, thanks to sturdy springs - much like the ones that hold the hood up!
A Forlorn Little Puppy Rescued From "The Pound"
AKA "Some Assembly Required!?!"
I went searching for a 200 convertible in late 2014, only to find that collectors had snapped up what few were left as they signaled an end of an era for Chrysler. A salesman friend said he knew of one stored near Pittsburgh International Airport. When I found it in a anonymous warehouse waiting to be crushed so that it couldn’t be “reverse engineered," it had been repainted its aforementioned original "Deep Cherry Red," it had a different (and pathetic) unattached spoiler sitting on the deck lid-its bolts digging into the paint, the stock rear bumper cover had been slapped back on, there was no dashboard, the engine bay was vacant and there were no body components forward of the doors… The custom parts it turns out were in wooden and cardboard crates waiting to be destroyed along with an impressive list of stripped-off parts they also wanted protected from being "reverse engineered."
Note: The name and year of this project changed several times. After 18 months my sister said if it took that long for one of her cars she’d go down there and have a “conniption fit” at them… hence the final name. Though it's titled as a 2014, I didn't take possession of it in pieces until the fall of 2014 and it wasn't finally complete enough to be warranteed until May of 2016.
When asked what year it is, my stock answer is "That depends on what part."
I've been forbidden to so much as touch the engine or even mention it's specifications... needless to say it'd be very expensive to replace, some one-off parts have to be fabricated, and only one dealership in the whole country is authorized to even change the oil and do maintenance on it. The owner's manual/test driver book is over two inches thick.
The nearly life-sized, majestic and very patriotic bird is patterned after the famous "Dad & Mom," Decorah Eagles, its talons extended as if it's about to grab you up as prey. I've been a fan of them for years and they're well worth checking out using this link DECORAH EAGLES. There's a live camera(s) feed to the nest in the wild and tons of info on two of the greatest parents you'll ever admire and fall in love with as they raise their young.
Custom Body & Paint
Test fitting and reconditioning
L.E.D. Lights For The Custom Air Dam
Installation of lower spoiler lip.
Walnut Interior trim
Chip Foose Wheels
Custom Goodyear 18" raised white letter tires (my nickname is "Jet")
Making It Official
Worth waiting a year and a half for!
Bonus Images (in no particular order)
Tell me of someone who hasn't taken a picture of their thumb at one time or another?
I promise mine won't wind up like this!
These images can be clicked on to E-N-L-A-R-G-E them.
THEY MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION!