Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chrysler Satellite Hatchback coupe—This is my 3-door version of the recently introduced 5-door Chrysler Delta. The Chrysler Delta is a badge-engineered Lancia Delta, but I would still love to see it imported to the USA. Besides losing the two rear doors, I modified the C pillar, giving it an even more dramatic upturn, and I widened the front Chrysler grille. Chrysler placed its new corporate grille in the same space as Lancia's shield grille, but it's too narrow for my tastes, looking like it's a bit puckered up, so-to-speak. By widening it, I think it looks a bit more "American." I also simplified the under bumper air inlet, making the car appear wider, too. Original press photo here.

I fell in love with Lancias back in the mid 1970s when I was lucky enough to drive a brand new, loaded, Beta coupe for the summer. Lancia is owned by Fiat, which in turn, now owns Chrysler. Most future Chryslers will be based on Fiat platforms. including those from the Fiat brand, Lancia and Alfa-Romeo. In turn, some Chrysler platforms, including its minivan, are currently being sold as Fiats in Europe. There is even a future Maserati crossover SUV that will use a Jeep platform (Jeep is owned by Chrysler). Economies of scale!

N O T E  —  Please make sure to check out Peter De Lorenzo's Autoextremist.com this week. I have several chops featured in his "On the Table" column. I am always extremely grateful, and humbled, to have a space in such a respected, and well-read, weekly news site for the automotive industry and cognoscenti.

Planet Claire, by the B52s, first released in '79, the year I graduated from Vassar. Link to their video on YouTube. Lyrics:


She came from Planet Claire
I knew she came from there
She drove a Plymouth Satellite
Faster than the speed of light

Planet Claire has pink air
All the trees are red
No one ever dies there
No one has a head


Some say she's from Mars
Or one of the seven stars
That shine after 3:30 in the morning


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