Blenheim, Ontario. May 6, 2008 –A one-of-a-kind 1957 Chrysler Diablo concept car handcrafted by Ghia will steal the spotlight at Monterey’s famed classic car weekend this August as it crosses the RM auction block.
Considered the most valuable concept car of the late 1950s, the revolutionary Diablo will be the star attraction of RM Auctions’ multi-million dollar Sports & Classics of Monterey auction event, to be held August 15th and 16th in downtown Monterey, California.
Conceived by Chrysler’s design head, Virgil Exner, arguably America’s most influential stylist, this rare example was built by Italian coachbuilder Ghia for the Chrysler Corp. on a 1955 Chrysler 300 series chassis A featured concept car for the 1957 US auto show circuit, the car is one of the largest and most impressive concept cars ever built, stretching an impressive 22 feet in length.
In 1957, the Diablo was Chrysler’s star concept car of the year. With an investment from Chrysler of over $250,000, the Diablo was showcased to the public at the 1958 Chicago Auto Show, before being returned to Ghia in Italy for their corporate promotion. The car eventually found its way back to the United States and has been under the careful care of its current owner for over 25 years. The sale of this important American concept will be accompanied by extensive documentation, detailing its history and restoration.
The ultra-rare Diablo will join several other European styled sports and racing cars and several classic American luxury automobiles at RM’s world-renowned Monterey auction.
“RM has assembled the greatest collection of sports and classic cars ever brought together on the Monterey Peninsula,” said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Auctions.
“The Diablo is simply the holy grail of all concept cars in its era. Its upcoming auction in Monterey has received considerable international interest due to its rarity and the fact that concept cars are a featured highlight of this year’s world famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance,” he added.
The Diablo has been an attraction at such prestigious museums as the Cleveland Auto and Aviation Museum, the Petersen Automotive Museum and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, as well as at such events as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and New York’s Louis Vuitton Classic.
Adding to its fascinating history, the car nearly sealed its fate along with the legendary Chrysler Norseman, when it was scheduled to be shipped aboard the ill-fated Andrea Doria. Luckily, for dream car enthusiasts, last minute work delayed its shipment, preserving it for the enjoyment of future generations.
“Our Monterey sale marks the first time the Diablo has been offered at auction, making for an exclusive ownership opportunity,” added Kelleher.
RM Auctions’ Sports & Classics of Monterey auction event will be held August 15th and 16th at the Portola Hotel and Spa and Monterey Conference Center, in Monterey, CA. Coinciding with the famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Sports & Classics of Monterey auction has and will continue to attract thousands of automobile enthusiasts and participants from around the world.
Admission to the Sports & Classics of Monterey auction event is $40 per person, with children 12 and under admitted free of charge. An auction catalog is available for an additional $100 U.S., including shipping and handling within North America.
For further information, call (800) -211-4371 or visit www.rmauctions.com