Mar 16 2016

Hemmings Blog:Concept Styling: A pair of prototypes scheduled to attend the 2016 Hemmings Concours

Hemmings Blog has reported that two unique concept cars will be participating in the 2016 Hemmings Motor News Concours d'Elegance at Saratoga Springs, New York on September 25, 2016.


Howard Kroplick

coachbuilt cars

Hemmings Blog
Concept Styling: A pair of prototypes are scheduled to attend the 2016 Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance
Matt Litwin on Mar 15th, 2016 at 8am

Whether you want to believe it or not, the Fifties and early Sixties were a mystical era of automotive design. The sights and sounds of multiple science fiction mediums were quickly being thrust into reality by the brightest engineers, who were heeding the needs of the nation’s leaders to stay one step ahead of our neighbors. It was the rocket age, and while flying cars were still dreamy schematics and movie magic, that future-is-now influence was being sculpted into the cars we drove. It was an era when design studios were given unbridled liberty to explore the extreme possibilities in styling exercises, the golden age of prototypes and concept cars. Although lore persists of the disassembled fate of many after their usefulness waned, numerous concepts survived, including two that are scheduled to appear at the 2016 Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance

By the summer of 1958, Dual Motors founder Gene Casaroll had stopped production of his first-generation Dual-Ghia convertible – essentially a production version of the Dodge Firearrow IV – due to exceptionally slow sales; however, he did not believe that the public had lost interest in the marriage between a Chrysler chassis and a Ghia-designed body. In an effort to keep the union alive as a production entity, he commissioned Ghia, of Turin, Italy, to fabricate a new body based on Chrysler’s 1956 Dart concept car. While the Dart employed an Imperial chassis, what would become known as the Dual-Ghia 400 Coupe instead utilized a smaller ’57 Chrysler 300-D chassis. Much of the Dart’s original styling was carried over, with the exception of a retractable roof, while a new hood and grille design were installed. To shave costs, several key Chrysler parts were used beyond the chassis.
While the new Dual-Ghia concept was on display at the 1958 New York International Auto Show, Casaroll was persuaded to sell it off the floor to Alex Freeman. While in New York, the Dual-Ghia had also caught the attention of Fred Kanter, of Kanter Auto Products, who later purchase the one-off coupe from Freeman in 1977.

Scheduled to join the Dual-Ghia 400 Coupe on the concours show field will be the 1963 Ford Mustang III prototype now owned by Howard Kroplick. Starting life as one of 15 S-coded pre-production Mustang chassis, Howard’s – the ninth of the 15 – had a convertible body when it was sent to Dearborn Steel Tubing where it was converted into an experimental two-passenger prototype for the Ford Custom Car Caravan, as well as the 1965 Sports Cars in Review exhibit at the Henry Ford museum. Modifications included a 16-inch reduction of the wheelbase and the addition of a specially-crafted fiberglass fastback body.
After its tour, the Mustang III was famously stolen by its stylist, Vince Gardner, in an effort to prevent its scheduled destruction. After its recovery, the prototype became the property of Aetna Insurance, which in turn sold the car to one of its executives in 1969. In 2013, it was given a comprehensive restoration and was then displayed at the 2014 Ford Product Development Center Car Show, showing less than 15,300 miles.

The Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance is presented by Gullwing Motor Cars. HMN and our partner, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, are also proud to welcome supporting sponsors McCollister’s Transportation, Restoration & Performance Motorcars, Restoration Parts Unlimited Inc., Stewart-Warner Genuine Parts, Magic Creeper, and Colonel Crawford Eagles All-Sports Booster Club.
The Concours d’Elegance will be held on Sunday, September 25, in the picturesque Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs, New York. The automotive gala will be preceded by the Hemmings Rally to Lake George on Friday, September 23, followed by Saturday’s Cruise-In Spectacular and Concours evening banquet, the latter headlined by a keynote address from this year’s Honorary Chairman, automotive legend Lee Holman. Joining us throughout the weekend once again will be Master of Ceremonies Ed Lucas.
If you would like to have your vehicle considered for this event, please send photos and a brief write-up about it to Hemmings Motor News Concours, Attn: Matthew Litwin, 222 Main Street, Bennington, Vermont, 05201, or by email at
For more information about the 10th Annual Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance presented by Gullwing Motor Cars, including tickets and accommodations, visit A portion of the Concours proceeds goes directly towards the Saratoga Automobile Museum’s educational programs focused on safety and distracted driving awareness. To learn more, visit


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