Back in the mid 1930′s Rust Heinz (yes, the ketchup guy) decided to design a high end supercar. He made a model out of clay, and had it built by Bowman & Schwartz (they were awesome car builders). The car was known as the 1938 Phantom Corsair. Rust Heinz wanted it to be a limited production car that would be sold for about $15,000, which was a massive sum of money at the time.
The car used a Cord engine in its original front wheel drive configuration. It had an automatic transmission, and they bumped the horsepower up to around 190. Not too shabby for the 1930′s! Once completed, Rust drove the car for a while and advertised it all over. Unfortunately, Rust died tragically at the young age of 25 in a car accident (not in this car), and the “push” for the car to become a success was lost. The car was stored for a few years after Rust’s death and then sold to a guy that modified it to be a more driver friendly vehicle. Better cooling, a bigger windshield, and a modified roof were all molded into the clean original body. It was then painted gold and driven by the new owner.
Decades later it came up for auction and landed in the Harrah Collection in Reno Nevada, which eventually became the National Automobile Museum. It was modified again back to its original design, and is currently on display in the museum today if you’d like to see it in person. My only thought is that it needs more “low”, like at least 5 more inches of it. Other than that, its bug eyed killer whale body is quite appealing to me.
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