EXNER clas­sic up for auc­tion

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

the ex­haust. Ghia, in Italy, shaped the e asym­met­ric steel body, which was styled to re­sem­ble an off­set, In­di­anapo­lis road­ster.

Al­though it has the look of a sin­gle seater, the pas­sen­ger seat is lower in the car and can be con­cealed with a metal ton­neau cover.

The em­phat­i­cally thick, one-piece chrome grille sur­round es­tab­lished a de­sign mo­tif which would re-ap­pear in var­i­ous forms on many Chrysler cor­po­ra­tion cars in­clud­ing the 1970’s Aus­tralian Valiant.

But it is the rear end which caught ev­ery­one’s at­ten­tion. A large in­te­grated chrome cross slashes through the body, with the ver­ti­cal line of the cross start­ing at the top of the fin and reach­ing down be­low the ex­hausts out­lets. The hor­i­zon­tal line forms the low-slung bumper bar.

It is both el­e­gant and strik­ing and, had they pro­duced it, Chrysler would have had a style icon equal to the split win­dow on the 1963 Corvette.

The XNR was pa­raded around the US mo­tor show cir­cuit and al­though Exner wanted it for him­self, Chrysler sent it back to Ghia to avoid US cus­toms taxes. Ghia then sold it to a pri­vate in­di­vid­ual in Geneva, Switzer­land, who later sold it to the Shah of Iran.

By 1972 it was in the hands of a Kuwaiti car dealer and then it went to Beirut, just in time for the war in Le­banon.

It was hid­den in un­der­ground fa­cil­i­ties for more than 15 years while war raged and was then slowly re­stored. It re-emerged in the US in 2011 at the Peb­ble Beach Con­cours d’El­e­gance and re­turns for the auc­tion on Au­gust 18. >> David Bur­rell is the ed­i­tor of www.retroau­tos.com.au

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