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The Chrysler K-300 Special by Ghia

Chrysler K-300 Special

The tale of the Chrysler K-300 Special Ghia unfolds against the backdrop of the mid-20th century, bringing together the creative genius of Virgil Exner, a luminary in the world of automotive design at Chrysler during the 1950s, and Luigi Serge, affectionately known as “Gigi,” the Director at the Ghia studio. Their collaboration birthed an extraordinary creation – a one-of-a-kind 2-seater coupe that epitomized the pinnacle of luxury and innovation.

The design of the K-300 Special bore the indelible mark of Virgil Exner’s distinct style, characterized by a long hood, a low roofline, and the iconic tail fins that had become synonymous with his creative vision. This automotive masterpiece emerged during a period when Ghia was expanding its global footprint, fostering collaborations with major automotive players like Chrysler. The K-300 Special was a manifestation of this era, encapsulating the spirit of dynamic creativity and technological advancement.

Commissioned by none other than the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the K-300 Special was intended for his second wife, Queen Soraya, adding an extra layer of prestige to this already exclusive vehicle. The car was meticulously crafted at the renowned Carrozzeria Ghia in Turin, where the talents of Exner and Gigi converged to create a vehicle that would not only embody opulence but also showcase avant-garde features.

The interior of the K-300 Special was a marvel of automotive luxury, featuring a discreetly placed record player within the glove box, a built-in drink fridge behind the seats, a cutting-edge radio phone, and an air conditioning system that exemplified the pinnacle of comfort. The gold-plated instruments within the cabin underscored the bespoke nature of this vehicle, tailored to meet the discerning tastes of royalty.

Chrysler K-300 Special
Photo By George Kotarba

To fulfill the Shah’s specifications, the K-300 Special was equipped with a robust 392ci engine, complete with a double 4-barrel carburetor. However, due to logistical constraints, the engine arrived unassembled, necessitating its final assembly at the Royal Garage in Iran, overseen by Reza Dardashti, the head mechanic.

Queen Soraya enjoyed the K-300 Special as her personal chariot until an unfortunate accident damaged its front section, temporarily putting a pause on its royal journeys. The car, however, would experience an extended period of dormancy, lying dormant until 1979, when the Iranian Revolution prompted the confiscation of all vehicles belonging to the Royal family. Stored alongside other confiscated vehicles in a hangar, the K-300 Special patiently awaited its eventual reawakening.

In 1991, a meticulous restoration effort was spearheaded by Mansour Kamranfar, an Iranian restoration expert. His dedicated team worked tirelessly to bring the K-300 Special back to its former glory, ensuring that every nuance of its historical significance and unique features was preserved. Post-restoration, the car found a place of honor at the National Car Museum of Iran in Tehran, where it stands today as a captivating symbol of automotive history, luxury, and regal splendor – a living testament to the enduring legacy of Exner, Gigi, and the Shah of Iran’s visionary taste in automobiles.

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LowRider
LowRider
2 years ago

Imagine seeing this one in a 90’s rap video

Paolo Pininfarina

On April 9, 2024, the automotive world lost one of its iconic figures as Paolo Pininfarina, President of the Pininfarina Group, passed away in Turin at the age of 65. His passing leaves behind a legacy of innovation, dedication, and excellence that has deeply impacted both the automotive industry and the wider design world.

Paolo Pininfarina’s journey with the Pininfarina Group was one of unwavering commitment and passion. Born in Turin on August 28, 1958, he graduated in Mechanical Engineering from the Politecnico di Torino. His professional career began in 1982 when he joined Pininfarina, following stints at renowned companies such as Cadillac, Honda, and General Motors.

Throughout his tenure, Paolo played a pivotal role in steering the Pininfarina Group towards new horizons. Under his leadership, the company embarked on a diversification journey in the 1980s, expanding its scope beyond automotive design to become a benchmark in various design fields, from industrial design to architecture, nautical, and aeronautical design.

In 1987, Paolo assumed the role of President and CEO of Pininfarina Extra S.r.l., a subsidiary specializing in industrial design, furniture, architecture, yachting, and aviation. His visionary approach and innovative mindset propelled Pininfarina Extra to new heights, solidifying its reputation as a leader in design innovation.

His contributions to the automotive world are equally remarkable. Paolo Pininfarina oversaw the creation of several iconic vehicles, including the concept car Sergio, a tribute to his late father, Senator for life Sergio Pininfarina, and the Automobili Pininfarina Battista, an electric hypercar unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

Beyond his professional achievements, Paolo Pininfarina will be remembered for his humility, kindness, and accessibility. Those who had the privilege of meeting him attest to his genuine warmth and willingness to engage with others, traits that endeared him to colleagues and industry peers alike.

“Paolo Pininfarina was an immensely significant figure, not only in his professional capacity but also on a personal level. Having had the honor of knowing him personally, I cherish memories of his kindness and approachability. I deeply appreciate his willingness to engage and his valuable contributions to our projects, notably the video endeavor showcasing the Ferrari Sergio.”
Andreas Scheidl, Founder of carrozzieri-italiani.com.

As we mourn the loss of Paolo Pininfarina, we also celebrate his enduring legacy. His indelible mark on the world of design and automotive innovation will continue to inspire future generations. Let us honor his memory by embracing his spirit of creativity, passion, and excellence in all our endeavors.

In remembrance of Paolo Pininfarina, a visionary leader and a true gentleman.