Last Night’s Bad Dreams: Turboflyte and Imperial D’Elegance

Exner Turboflite

(first posted 7/31/2013)    Virgil Exner was a man of many dreams indeed, some better than others. His last one at Chrysler reminds me of some of the dreams I have at night, and I mean that literally. The most amazing “vehicles” appear to me in the depths of the night; if only I could have found a way to record them, I might have become a famous designer too. Exner’s Turboflyte of 1961 perhaps comes closest to one of my “dream cars”. Vivid dreamers!

Exner TurboFlite Concept_03

The rear wing is a predictor of things to come from Chrysler with the Superbird and Charger Daytona, although I doubt it had any genuine aerodynamic function here. Since the cars in my dreams most often also can fly, this one really hits the mark. At least with it, there’s something of an explanation. In my dreams, when the car I’m driving suddenly goes airborne, I always think “Aha!, why didn’t I figure out earlier that cars are capable of flight?” 

The white stripe in the tire tread is an odd touch. I guess if you’re going to show that much rubber, might as well make it more distinctive.

Exner Turboflite1

The roof lifts up for egress, but thinking about using this in a downpour is a bad dream. The front end does predict the 1963 Chrysler to some degree.

The Imperial D’Elegance is also unfortunate. Yet it was clearly a very influential design, given the many shapes and details that show up production Chrysler products. The 1960 Chryslers showed numerous influences.


And I see way too much 1960 Valiant in the shape of the rear. No toilet seat, though. It’s the batting average that counts, and Exner certainly left us with plenty of dreams I’d be glad to have had.