Upscale Automobile Auction: The 1957 Chrysler Diablo, a muscle car that was a decade ahead of its time, is going to be the featured attraction at RM Auctions' 2008 Sports & Classics of Monterey. This will be the first auction for the classic red convertible. The current owner of the car has held title to it for more than 25 years.
Chrysler is rumored to have invested $250,000 in 1957 to bring this vehicular masterpiece to fruition. From its debut at the 1958 Chicago Auto Show and subsequent appearances on the auto-show circuit, many industry pundits touted the Diablo as the concept car of the late 1950s. Several other European-style sports and racing cars and several classic American luxury automobiles also will be offered at the Monterey auction. It is a safe bet that many collectors are keeping abreast of this event.
"We have assembled the greatest collection of sports and classic cars ever brought together on the Monterey Peninsula," said Ian Kelleher, managing director of RM Auctions.
The Diablo is simply the holy grail of all concept cars in its era. Its upcoming auction in Monterey has received considerable international interest due to its rarity and the fact that concept cars are a featured highlight of this year's world famous Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance," Kelleher added.
The Diablo has been on the road and showcased or displayed at the Cleveland Auto and Aviation Museum; the Petersen Automotive Museum; the Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry; the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance; and New York's Louis Vuitton Classic.
Built onto the chassis of a shortened 1955 Chrysler 300 model, the 22-foot long two-door devilishly attractive automobile is both a looker and a performer with a 375 horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine under its elongated hood. The vehicle's glaringly red exterior, blunt front end and grill, tapered fins, and soft convertible top are compliments of Ghia, the preeminent Italy-based coachbuilders. Chrysler's engineer Virgil Eyner is the designer who built the then-futuristic Diablo. Black was the original exterior paint color chosen for the vehicle.
RM Auctions' Sports & Classics of Monterey will be held August 15-16 at the Portola Hotel and Spa at the Monterey Conference Center, in Monterey, Calif. The event coincides with the world-acclaimed Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. For further information, visit RM Auctions at www.rmauctions.com.
For LxM James Rothaar
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