In 1956, Ghia built a concept car named the Chrysler Norseman. This prototype was anticipated to be a major attraction during 1957 auto shows. However, it subsequently vanished, never to be seen again. What happened to the Lost Norseman?
The SS Andrea Doria – The Last Resting Place of the Lost Norseman?
The Chrysler Norseman was designed by Chrysler stylists and built by Ghia, a coach-building firm based in Italy. The vehicle was fully drivable and featured a very unusual cantilevered roof.
On July 17, 1956, the car was loaded onto a New York-bound ocean liner named the SS Andrea Doria. All was well at first. Then on July 25, the Andrea Doria smashed into the MS Stockholm near Nantucket, Massachusetts. It managed to stay afloat for 11 hours, giving time for most of the crew and passengers to escape. However, the Norseman was not so fortunate. The following day, the ocean liner sank into 150 feet of water, taking 46 lives and the concept car with it.
“Given what your average car looks like after ten Michigan winters, after a near sixty year salt bath, it’s likely that little remains of the Norseman.” ~ Rob Sass, Legendary Lost Cars
Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis
The Norseman was never shown in public and indeed, few people ever saw the completed vehicle. Today, it lives on only in photographs. The Andrea Doria has been extensively salvaged over the years. At present, most of its valuable artifacts have been recovered. However, no one has rescued any of the vehicles contained in its 50-car garage. Thus, the Norseman is still down there, lost in 150 feet of cold, turbulent waters. Silently, it waits. It waits for an intrepid diver to recover it and restore it. It waits for one more chance at wowing the world.
“The Norseman was put into a wooden crate and placed in the number 2 cargo area. While looking for a lost diver, I had an opportunity to see the Norseman for myself in the cargo hold. The crate had disintegrated and the car was in very, very poor condition. The ocean’s salt water invaded the Norseman’s metal and most of the car is rust, corrosion and a heap of indistinguishable junk. The tires are still there and have assisted to its identification.” ~ David Bright, Prototype Car of the Future Lost on the Andrea Doria – Norseman