A very rare and restored 1954 Dodge Firearrow III Concept Car will be going under the hammer at Pebble Beach this friday, August 19th, and is expected to fetch a price tag between $800,000 to $1 million. Designed by Ghia stylist Luigi Segre, under the direction of Virgil Exner, the Firearrow III project had made a strong visual impact at launch, while mounted on a Dodge Royal regular-production chassis.
The Firearrow III generates its power from a V8 engine with a four-barrel carburetor that produced an output of 150 horses and mated to a Power-Flite automatic transmission. It also has an independent front suspension with coil springs and Oriflow, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, Safe-Guard four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes and a 119-inch wheelbase.
The 1954 Dodge Firearrow III Sport Concept was the Chrysler Corporation’s answer to the sports cars that were known to be on the drawing board for Ford Thunderbird and the already released design of the 1953 Corvette. The third in a series of four unique Firearrow concept cars made, it has been said that this concept car had the skillful blending of the best ideas from Europe and the American design studios of Virgil Exner, and brought an entirely new kind of beauty with a look of poised power.
Introduced at the 1954 Detroit Automobile Show, the Firearrow III was the company’s main attraction at all the major auto shows that year. Unlike other concepts, this example was built to ‘show and go’ thanks to its superb engineering, detailed design and of course the legendary Hemi engine.
The Firearrow III was used by the Chrysler Corporation at the opening of the company’s new Chelsea Proving grounds in June of 1954. Betty Skelton drove the car on the brand new banked oval, setting a new world record a woman on a closed course of 143.44 miles per hour. She did this in a dress and wearing high heels.
After the proving grounds, the car was put on the show circuit and eventually became the basis for the Firearrow IV. The result of these design studies later culminated into the famous Dual-Ghia convertibles offered in 1957 through Dodge dealers.
More recently the Firearrow III received a ground up restoration by Fran Roxas, who returned the car to its original appearance. Finished in its original Opal Blue metallic paint with a color-coordinated interior of matching leathers, it looks just as it did when Betty Skelton was behind the wheel.
In 2009, this Firearrow III Concept was offered for sale at the Automobiles of Arizona presented by RM Auctions. The lot was estimated to sell for $1,000,000 – $1,500,000. It was sold for the sum of $880,000, including buyer’s premium. [RM Auctions]