The 1954 Dodge Firearrow III concept car will go under the hammer once again, this time at RM Auctions Monterey on August 19, 2011. Its claim to fame occurred in 1954 when Betty Skelton, an at-the-time-well-known aerobatic pilot, set a world top speed record for a woman on a closed course of 143.44 mph. The car’s history includes three trips across the Atlantic, 30-plus years with a French owner, and a complete restoration.
The original Firearrow debuted in 1953 as a non-running show car. Public interest caused Dodge to build two more running copies. Both were based on Dodge Royal running gear but utilized the latest weight distribution knowledge for superior handling. Power came from a 241 cu. in. Hemi V-8 engine creating 150 hp.
After Skelton’s record-setting run at the Chelsea Proving Grounds, the Firearrow III was placed on the show circuit and served as the basis for the Firearrow IV, an open-top variant. Although Dodge decided it wasn’t going to build the car, a deal with Eugene Casaroll made a similar car available for purchase through Dodge showrooms in 1957. He purchased the design rights from Dodge and hired the concept car’s original designer, Italian-coachbuilder Ghia, to produce the car. Eugene Casaroll called his car the Dual-Ghia Convertible.
Dual-Ghia Convertibles normally fetch between $200,000 to $300,000 at today’s auctions but the Firearrow III concept is expected to sell for $800,000–$1,000,000. It was sent back to its country of origin in 1955 to avoid hefty fines by U.S. Customs, returning it to Ghia in Turin, Italy. From there it was purchased by a private individual in France and remained in his collection for 30-plus years. An American collector, upon hearing about the car’s whereabouts, contacted the owner, purchased the car, and returned it to the U.S. It was then completely restored. In 2009, it sold for $880,000 at the RM Auctions’ Automobiles of Phoenix and is now preparing to go under the hammer for a second time and for a similar price.
Follow the link for more information on the Dodge Firearrow III concept.
Provided by duPont REGISTRY