It started out as a 1999 Chrysler Concorde LXi, which was presumably minding its own business. But the guys at DiMora Designs, part of a larger coachworks company, lured the the four-door, front-wheel-drive, five-passenger family sedan into their machinists's lair and had their way with it. The result is the JX Coupe, a two-passenger, El Camino-like glossmobile with a covered bed and a 260-hp, 3.2 liter V6 built by ATK. They fused the rear passenger doors permanently to the body and chopped the factory roof so the rear glass assembly would fit. But don't bother asking the price. The company's only built this one as a show car. But if you ask nicely and wave your checkbook over your head in an attempt at semafore, maybe they'll build one just for you.
The DiMora JX Coupe
At DiMora Designs, a division of DiMora Motorcar, we take pride in thinking outside the box to create unique automobiles, yachts, motorcycles, and even entertainment attractions. Whether the need is for a car with a particular capability or there is a desire to carry a thematic style to its logical conclusion, we conceptualize and deliver remarkable one-off creations.
The JX Concept Coupe was conceived for the movies. Often a movie car is a stripped-down vehicle with a desired look, made to fill a particular role in a movie, and it is never seen again except by the prop man or at a museum. But we decided to build this movie car of steel and quality parts, so that it can be enjoyed on the road long after the ending credits roll at the local multiplex theater. This concept car is meant to be driven, not just admired.
The JX Coupe began its life as a 1999 Chrysler Concorde LXi, a four-door, front-wheel-drive, five-passenger family sedan with lively performance from a 235 HP V6 engine.
In late 2006, we decided to make it into a movie car, a two-passenger coupe with the longest trunk in town. It was to have the utility of an El Camino with an electric, lockable lid on the large trunk, and a boost in performance.
Alfred DiMora also decided to use this car to demonstrate the lost art of American coachbuilding in steel during the late 1930s and 1940s. This echoes the steel coachbuilding work he performed at Clenet Coachworks in the 1970s and 1980s. With hundreds of hours shaping the steel, we would add classic style to this typical mass-market car.
In American English, a coupe is "a closed two-door automobile." Since our word comes from the French verb "couper" meaning "to cut", we started the project by cutting up the Concorde! We sealed the rear passenger doors permanently to the body and then chopped the factory roof to accept the rear glass assembly.
To enhance the design of the rear of the car, we replaced the single-outlet factory muffler with a Camaro Z28 dual-outlet muffler. The rear facia was modified by cutting holes to accommodate the chrome exhaust tips.
We replaced the stock engine with a 260 HP 3.2 liter V6 from ATK, which is backed by a three-year unlimited mileage warranty. We added a "Tornado" vortex component to the air intake. MPG was increased 10% and horsepower grew by 10%. We have not had a dyno test on the engine, but we estimate the engine's horsepower was increased to 260.
The unique grille was designed and hand fabricated by Jim Willis, our Concept Car Project Manager. We freshened up the interior then added plush leather seats.
We swapped out the stock wheels for American Racing Euro-Chrome 18" wheels, surrounded by BF Goodrich 235/50ZR18 tires. We used Intrax lowering springs to drop the car an inch and a half in front and an inch in the rear to help give the car a new profile look.
The JX Coupe was completed to better-than-factory-quality using all steel fabrication. The paint is by House of Kolor in San Diego, California, and is called "Sunrise Pearl". This unique paint gives you the illusion of the color changing with the light at different times of the day or with different lighting conditions.
When Jim Willis drove the completed JX Coupe on the open road for its first time, he couldn't help noticing that people were photographing the car with their cell-phone cameras everywhere he went. When he parked, he drew large crowds and people even got up from their meals at restaurants to go outside and look at the car. People approached Jim everywhere he went, asking "When did they start making these? Where did you buy this thing? How can I get one? How much did it cost?"
Well, there will only be this one JX Coupe. But it has already been photographed extensively for CarVision, the premier automotive publication in the Republic of Korea. It was introduced at the Spring Rod Run in Temecula, California, where it was a true crowd-pleaser. You will soon see it on TV and on the multiplex cinema screen. And if you are lucky, you may see the owner driving this one-of-a-kind car with pride for many years to come.
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