1956 Chrysler Plainsman Concept Car

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The 1956 Chrysler Ghia Plainsman Concept Car is the only known 50s station wagon concept car/dream car that exists today. This piece of Chrysler history led quite an interesting life before ending up on eBay.


As you can see from the pictures included, the Chrysler Plainsman Station Wagon concept, although amazingly complete is starting to show its age. Believed by many to have been designed by the great Virgil Exner, it was actually designed entirely by Dave Scott. Scott worked at Plymouth Studios during the time Exner was doing some of his best design work. Dave Scott was previously employed by Ford as a designer and it isn't hard to see a bit of the influence in the final design of the Plainsman.

The Plainsman is the only known 50s concept car station wagon to exist today. The station wagon featured the first rear facing third seat ever in a station wagon, power rear window, and a power rear seat that folded flat. The interior on the Plainsman is made from unborn calfskin. You read that right. My guess is when someone does eventually buy the Plainsman, this feature might not be replicated during the restoration.

Because the Plainsman was bodied by Ghia in Italy, it was taken out of the country after it was shown within 18 months so Chrysler could avoid paying duty on it. Initially the Plainsman was given to the President of Cuban banks, but upon his untimely death it was returned to Chrysler. The Plainsman ended up in the hands of Chrysler's Cuban export manager. When Castro came to power the Export manager and the Plainsman managed a safe escape.

The Plainsman traveled to Australia with the Cuban export manager. During this time it was upgraded to the 440 V8 that currently sits under the hood and was briefly converted to right hand drive to comply with Australian law. The Plainsman was converted back to left hand drive when it eventually made its way back to California, where according to Ebay, it resides today.

The Plainsman has been for sale since the beginning of the year. It seems that needing a complete cosmetic restoration is making it a bit of a tough sell for some. A $160,000 bid was refused at auction in January. This August when it made a second auction appearance, the top bid was only $90,000. Currently, with less than a day left on Ebay, the bidding is just over $50,000.




This is nice, glad it survived. Another Ghia creation was the 1956 Chrysler Norseman that featured a cantilevered roof. Unfortunately it was being transported to the States on the Andrea Doria, which sank off the coast of Massachusetts. The car and 46 lives were lost. The public never saw it. Shame.