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Colorized Mario's Tribute to the 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250

Prototype Sports Car

The 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250 was the brainchild of advertising executive Fred Zeder a key figure in the early days of Chrysler and had worked on the Chrysler Airflow models.

The Dodge Zeder coupé was fitted with a 250 Hp Dodge Hemi engine and Dual 4 BBL Carbs. It was introduced at the 1953 Turin, Italy Auto Show.

The project was deemed too expensive to produce and the Dodge Storm prototype spent a couple of years in the factory's storage facility. The Dodge Storm was then acquired by Zeder outright. Zeder got the car and drove it for 16 years before loaning it to Northwood University. He received it back again in 1992.

Eventually, Zeder donated the car to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California where it is on display to this day.

This is my Tribute to the 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250. Enjoy, Mario.

1 Dodge briefly considered building a sports car in the early 1950s, the 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250. but the project only resulted in a single prototype.

2 The 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250 is in the collection of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and shown on display here.

3 The 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250 was the brainchild of advertising executive Fred Zeder a key figure in the early days of Chrysler and had worked on the Chrysler Airflow models.

4 Zeder specified a Hemi V-8 and a tube-frame chassis with interchangeable bodies—one for on road touring and one for racing with a 150-pound fiberglass body.

5 The Dodge Zeder coupé was fitted with a 250 Hp Dodge Hemi engine.

6 Dual 4 BBL Carbs on a Dodge Hemi V8 with 250 HP. The HEMI V8 engine was sourced from a truck.

7 The Bertone designed body was made to be removed by unscrewing just four bolts and replacing it with a lighter 150-pound fiberglass body for racing.

8 The Dodge Storm was introduced at the 1953 Turin, Italy Auto Show.

9 After the Turin Auto Show Zeder took the car to NY where it made quite a splash. He parked the car outside his Manhattan office attracting so much attention he caused a traffic jam and the police had to get involved.

10 Chrysler did consider a production version but only briefly, then decided not to go into production. The Dodge Storm would have competed with the Chevy Corvette, the Kaiser Darrin and eventually the Ford Thunderbird.

11 The Dodge Storm was placed into storage, but then later acquired by Zeder.

12 Zeder later donated it to a college, but then reacquired it replacing the original engine which was no longer working at that point.

13 He also had the car repainted to its current color Blue and added the current hubcaps during that second period of ownership.

14 Eventually, Zeder donated the car to the Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles where it is on display to this day.

15 Unlike Ford and GM, Chrysler did not jump on the sports car bandwagon, but it came close in 1953 when engineer and race car enthusiast Fred Zeder designed and built the one-off Dodge Storm.

16 Also known as the Z-250, the unique Mopar was envisioned as a dual-purpose car with swappable bodies.

17 A touring body for everyday driving and a lightweight fiberglass shell that would have turned the Storm into a sports car.

18 The 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250 is on display at the Petersen Auto Museum.

19 To create the Z-250, Zeder teamed up with Gene Cassaroll and created the Sports Car Development Corp. Beautiful top leather adorned the interior.

20 John Butterfield, who was one of Chrysler's top engineers at the time, also joined in with Zeder in designing the full gauge instrument panel as shown.

21 The Storm was put together using a long list of Plymouth and Dodge parts, including the brakes, clutch, fuel tank, steering system, and rear axle.

22 While the touring body was designed by Hank Kean and approved by Virgil Exner, Chrysler's head of design at the time, it was built in Italy by Bertone. Note the 3-piece rear glass window.

23 The Dodge Storm always draws a crowd of curious onlookers when on display at various car shows.

24 After Italy, Zeder parked it in front of Rockefeller Center in New York which caused a massive traffic jam. So much attention that the police had to come and ask him to move it.

25 Zeder took the car to Chrysler's design headquarters hoping that his uncle, who was the company's chief engineer at the time, would showcase it for a production run.

26 The project was deemed too expensive to produce and the Storm spent a couple of years in the factory's storage facility.

27 Zeder got the car back and drove it for 16 years before loaning it to Northwood University. He received it back again in 1992 and replaced the original HEMI engine with a 1965 Dodge Hemi V8.

28 Chrysler did eventually launch a Dodge branded sports car, the Dodge Viper in 1992, and kept the Corvette honest until the Viper’s discontinuation in 2017.

29 Picture of the 1953 Dodge Storm at the 1953 Turin, Italy Auto Show. The original color was White with a Blue top. It was repainted by Zeder later.

30 1953 Turin, Italy Auto Show introducing the Dodge Storm Z-250.

31 Fred Zeder is pictured here with his 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250 in California painted grey.

32 Rear view of Zeder’s Dodge Storm. Notice the license plate 53ZEDER.

33 They even made a Diecast Scale Model car of the 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250.

34 Rear view Scale Model car of the 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250.


Video and audio clips

1953 DODGE STORM Z-250


1953 DODGE STORM Z-250


1953 DODGE STORM Z-250


Jay Leno’s Garage showcasing the 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250


Dodge Zeder Missing Puzzle Piece


3D model by Hum3D.com



Related

More Cars of the 1950s
More Dodge Coverage

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Comments

Mario on Jan 28, 2024 said:

The 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250 was the brainchild of advertising executive Fred Zeder a key figure in the early days of Chrysler and had worked on the Chrysler Airflow models.

It is unfortunate the Dodge Storm never went into production. But we are fortunate the prototype car survived and is in good hands on display at the Petersen Auto Museum in California.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Jan 28, 2024 said:

Remember this is a 1953 car and I believe this car was 10 years ahead of its time. Just the writer's opinion.

[Reply to this comment]

Anonymous on Jan 30, 2024 said:

Hm, dual identities eh? It was ZEDER THIS, or ZEDER THAT but not both......bad attempt at humor.

That's not too bad of a concept. The passenger would have fun flipping all the toggles on their side of the car.

I like the color, it goes well with the lines.

I think if there is one thing I noticed, it's that the front seems extremely long compared to the rear. That is the only proportion I feel is not quite right.

But what do I know?

I know it's another thread for the THREAD KING MARIO on his march to 200. Keep it going Mario...

Rob Anonymously.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Jan 31, 2024 said:

Thank you Rob and yes flipping the toggle switches must have been fun for the passenger.

I'm glad you noticed the front being longer with a short rear. Like the 1965 Mustang right? So it really wasn't Lee Iacocca's idea!

That's one reason why I stated the car looked 10 years ahead of its time.

I like the overall lines of the car and the Forward look, especially the Hemi engine. Cheers my friend, Mario.

[Reply to this comment]

57timemachine on Jan 31, 2024 said:

I detect a little bit of 1955 Plymouth in the front head light brows area.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Jan 31, 2024 said:

Yes I see that too George. The 1955 Plymouth was one of Chryslers Forward Looking cars campaign started in 1955. Sales were very good for all cars in 1955. Cheers my friend, Mario

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Feb 11, 2024 said:

Added video on 3D model by Hum3D.com

[Reply to this comment]


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