Like his Austrian forbear, Herr Doktor Niedermeyer has graced us with his personal interpretation of some wild dreams, specifically those of one Virgil Exner. As head designer of Chrysler in the late 1950s and early ‘60s, Mr. Exner is a fascinatingly troublesome analysand; or, in plain English, he often drives us to ask, “What was he thinking?!” But with all due respect to our shrink-in-chief, let us welcome the triumphs of Virgil’s epic, not just its grotesque sorrows. (Yes, I’m mixing and mangling references and metaphors here. What dream doesn’t?)
Exhibit A: The 1955 Chrysler New Yorker convertible. I won’t even pretend to analyze this dream categorically. (For a proper treatment of the species, see JP Cavanaugh’s CC about a minty green ’55 New Yorker sedan here.) I’ll just present a contrasting example as I saw it, this past Sunday. How Stuff Works claims that 946 New Yorker ragtops were made in ’55, and only some of those had this St. Regis 2-tone treatment. The owner told me it came from storage in Arizona, and the restoration was completed just last week. I wish I could close my eyes and drift into its company right now.