|"Last Hope" History
||[May. 3rd, 2005|02:54 am]
300M, Concorde, Intrepid, LHS, New Yorker, Vision
The year was 1988. The Viper was only a clay model. Lee Iacocca owned the rights to the Lamborghini nameplate. Tom Gale unveiled this new Chargold metallic styling study to the boss, a far fetched departure from the stately conservative K-car derived land yachts. It was also a market revolution in prototyping, officially billed as "the first fully-driveable concept car." This was the Chrysler Portofino By Lamborghini. The Portofino featured trademark Lamborghini's gull-wing doors up front while the rears opened in suicide fashion. An all-new 3.5L 225 hp 24-valve V6 engine was developed mounted amid ships powering all four wheels. The engine makes the cut on the assembly line for premium trim LH sedan models but installed in the nose rather motivating the front wheels. The all-wheel-drive, sadly, went to the scrap heap. Tires were 225/50-16, considered wide at that time. Although the show car never became a Lamborghini production vehicle, it clearly influenced future Chrysler designs and actually foreshadowed the cab-forward theme for the 1993 LH cars, especially the Intrepid. There is a strange story surrounding this car. While being transported, the semi-truck hauling the million-dollar concept vehicle was involved in an accident and the Portofino was nearly totaled. But it was lovingly put back together one piece at a time by the folks at Metal Crafters until it was in absolute flawless condition. The Portofino's new home is parked upstairs at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Michigan.