28 April 2023
GLM 1954 Chrysler Concept 'La Comtesse'
Collectors of high-quality 'Stateside' machinery, Cadillacs especially, will be familiar with the GLM range. Highly-detailed resin models, built in limited quantities, they are deservedly popular, despite their three-figure price tags. Two American enthusiasts, friends Tom Dirnberger and Dale Dannefer, have persuaded GLM to make either specific models or special colours of planned new releases. We have been fortunate enough to obtain a few of these over the last year or two, and have just picked up the very latest Dirnberger and Dannefer models, a pair of 1954 Chrysler concept cars, the 'Le Comte' (see below right) and 'La Comtesse' (reviewed here). By 1954, the American economy was growing back to prosperity following World War II, and two cars were within the realms of possibility and necessity for more and more families. Chrysler looked to explore this trend with a pair of concept cars for the show circuit that were similar in mechanical specification, but with colours and trim designed for what it saw as the different tastes of the man and the lady of the household. To add a note of glamour, and to accentuate the different interiors – and to add to the impracticality - designer Virgil Exner incorporated a fibreglass top with a large transparent panel inset, for each . The base cars chosen were the top-end New Yorker Newport 2-door hardtop models, with the V8 235 bhp Firepower engine. Besides those tops, the show cars were fitted with continental spare wheel mountings, chrome wire wheels, and whitewall tyres to add to the classy image. The new models of the concept cars are well up to GLM’s high standard of moulding, finish and detail, with all the plated trim, motifs and badging incoporated. Those Virgil Exner-designed transparent tops allow a full view of the detailed interior in both cases, with excellent fascias, doors and panels, and the unique seat patterns in the 'La Comtesse' being especially notable. Those wire wheels and whitewalls complete an excellent pair of models that hark back to a time of what we now might see as misguided, but well-meaning, marketing. Limited to a production of just 75 of each, they can be obtained direct from either Tom Dirnberger or Dale Dannefer (see emails above). Lovely models covering an interesting and amusing small part of automotive history.