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08/07/2010 746

Plymouth [2] - Explorer Special

The second of the 1954 dream cars was the Explorer coupe. Designed and built by Ghia on a 114in wheelbase chassis, the car debuted in the May 1954 Motor Trend. Despite its racy good looks, the Explorer was powered by the lowly 110hp 230ci 6-cylinder engine coupled to a Hy-Drive transmission.

Plymouth Explorer by GhiaThe Explorer had metallic green paint and the bucket seat interior was covered with white leather. The car also featured fitted luggage behind the seats and an unusual retractable radio tuner control concealed by a movable instrument panel section. The Explorer was 76.9 inches wide, 54.4 inches tall, and, at 185.2 inches, nearly 6 inches shorter than the Belmont.

Like the Belmont, the Explorer is now part of a private collection in the U.S. Along the line the Explorer has undergone tremendous changes, most obviously in the grille-gone are the open vertical bars replaced by a rather ugly Jaguar-looking grille. The front bumper was changed from a two-piece affair to a single bar. Even the windshield wipers have been changed, the originals tracked right and left, but now both track in the same direction.

The Explorer, with an “updated engine,” was offered for sale in the March 1990 issue of Hemmings Motor News with an asking price of $95,000. Its whereabouts are unknown at this time.







Virgil Exner

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