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1962 Ghia L6.4

1962 Ghia L6.4

The Ghia L6.4 was just about as exclusive as you could get in the 1960s, as it was designed and built only for actors and other high rollers in Hollywood. The final of the 26 Ghia L6.4s ever built was built for one of the largest stars of that era, Dean Martin. Martin was not the only Rat Pack member to own a L6.4, as Frank Sinatra also owned one, as did other Rat Pack members.

Recently, one of the 26 Ghia L6.4s built, the one owned by Dean Martin, was put up for auction on eBay as Hyman Ltd. got its hands on Martin’s old L6.4. For a car of its age, the modern features are plentiful, but it still wasn’t enough for Dean Martin, as he shipped the car off to George Barris, “Hollywood’s King of the Kustomizers,” to have even more customizations performed on this already rare vehicle. This customization turned Martin’s L6.4 into a one-of-a-kind vehicle.

Update 08-19-2016: This article has been updated with new images from RM Sotheby’s Auction at Monterey Car Week in 2016.

Click past the jump to read the full review on this vehicle and see how it has held up throughout the years.

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Chrysler Launches "Custom Challenge," SEMA Invite One of the Prizes

Chrysler Launches "Custom Challenge," SEMA Invite One of the Prizes

Automakers are known to come up with contests for their fans that are launched to get the latter more involved in the inner workings of the industry. We’ve seen it before and we’ll see it again.

This time around, it’s Chrysler that has taken that role, opening up a new online contest to encourage its fans to show their customized Chrysler vehicles.

To drive up the interest in the contest, which has been dubbed the Chrysler Custom Challenge, the automaker decided to roll out a number of prizes that are too cool to pass up, including attending the 2013 SEMA Auto Show with their customized Chryslers, as well as a trip to the 2014 NAIAS and a lease of a Chrysler vehicle.

That last part alone would’ve gotten us interested.

As far as entering the competition is concerned, interested participants are invited to visit Chrysler’s Facebook page and submit an image of their customized Chrysler brand vehicle to go with a brief description of the customizations.

All entries will then be subjected to public voting until July 1st at which time three finalists and ten runner-up winners will be selected by a combination of judges’ scores and public votes.

So if any of you have any Chrysler-modded vehicles in your garage, stand proud and show them off. Who knows, you might be rewarded with a trip to SEMA with your baby for your efforts.

Click past the jump to see some of the past Chrysler aftermarket programs that would make for good contenders in this contest

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2013 Chrysler 300 SRT Concept

2013 Chrysler 300 SRT Concept

While the rest of the auto world has its eyes set on New York - and Seoul, for that matter - Chrysler took to an event across America to unveil a unique special-edition 300C.

At the eighth annual Spring Festival of LXs, a conceptual model of the 300 SRT was introduced to the public, one that SRT proclaims as having been "conceived and constructed in-house over the course of one month." It also marks the second custom 300 SRT to debut at Spring Fest.

Dressed in a non-metallic "straight shade" paint finish, the 300 SRT Concept appears to look straight out of a modern-day classic magazine. Adding to the appeal of the special-edition model are blacked out details throughout the vehicle, including the window moldings, the mirror caps and taillamps, and most distinct of them all, the new matte-finish Black Vapor Chrome wheel that could potentially be a preview of the next generation of wheel finishes coming out of SRT.

SRT has promised studio photos of the new 300C SRT Concept in the near future. For now, though, these photos from the event will have to make do.

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2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Edition

2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Edition

Earlier this year, Chrysler and Detroit-born fashion designer John Varvatos collaborated to build a unique, one-off 300S that was eventually auctioned off at the John Varvatos 9th Annual Stuart House Benefit with the proceeds going to benefit The Rape Foundation in support of Stuart House.

We’re saying this because as it turns out, Chrysler and Varvatos’ collaborative endeavors weren’t just limited to a one-off model. That’s because the two have also built a pair of bespoke luxury sedans together based on the 300C. The two models, called the John Varvatos Limited Edition and the John Varvatos Luxury Edition, show what happens when you get two of Detroit’s finest to build a car together.

Given the credibility and respect John Varvatos commands in the fashion industry, these pair of special edition 300C models bearing his name prove that when it comes to perfectly blending his hometown’s blue-collar appeal with the luxury of a car like the 300C, the man has the pulse of the action.

UPDATE 3/25/2013: We are eagerly anticipating the release of the John Varvatos Edition of the 2013 300C and Chrysler has just released an ad teasing its release. The press release also unveiled a rough release date. Find out the release time frame after the jump and you can see the video above.

Find out more about the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Edition after the jump.

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Video: Chrysler promotes new Batman flick with "Imported from Gotham City" ad

Video: Chrysler promotes new Batman flick with "Imported from Gotham City" ad

Capitalizing on the hype being generated by The Dark Knight Rises, Chrysler has partnered with Warner Brothers on a new commercial that takes the reigns from the automaker’s highly-popular "Imported from Detroit" campaign with something a little more appropriate to the movie’s setting.

The ad takes us to what we can only assume is Bruce Wayne’s BatCave where a number of engineers are piecing together a concept version of the 300C that fits more into Batman’s wheelhouse. We don’t know a whole lot about the car, but the jet engine thrusters on the rear are as good an indication that this isn’t just another 300C sedan.

Towards the end of the ad, the tagline "Imported from Gotham City" is shown, taking the place of Chrysler’s "Imported from Detroit" tag. It remains to be seen if Batman’s 300C will make a cameo in the movie itself, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it actually did.

Imagine what kind of sales the 300C is going to get when folks realize that it’s got the Dark Knight’s stamp of approval. Could be quite an advertising coup for Chrysler again.

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North America-Bound Mazdas may Roll out of Chrysler Plants

North America-Bound Mazdas may Roll out of Chrysler Plants

Just a few days ago, we reported that Mazda and Fiat have joined forces to jointly produce a new sports car based on the upcoming redesigned MX-5 Miata. Fiat would use this opportunity to revive the once popular Alfa Romeo Spider, the car whose shoes the MX-5 filled back in 1990. This could not only revive the Spider overseas, but it could also bring Alfa Romeo back into the U.S. market at a reasonable price.

Recently, at a Chrysler event, a reporter from Reuters learned that this relationship may go even further than simply jointly manufacturing a sports car. The report states that Fiat is also open to allowing Mazda to use Chrysler plants to manufacture their North America-bound cars. This would obviously help Mazda a great deal, as importing cars from Japan to North American countries is extremely expensive and drives up the cars’ MSRPs, which in turn drives customers out of dealerships.

There is nothing official, but we could see something like the Ford-Mazda partnership that started in 1979 and effectively ended in 2010. This would result in various joint-ventures between Fiat, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, and Mazda, making the group one that rivals Volkswagen Auto Group, though a tad less luxurious and expensive. The advancements across the board, however, would be similar.

After some tough times, Mazda finally saw some gains in 2011, as its market share increased 9 percent that year, but it needs more to remain afloat. Mazda should see some additional increases over the next few year regardless, as the RX-8, which was down 33 percent in 2011, is being discontinued and the Miata, which was down 11 percent, is being significantly redesigned. A little added boost from a production-cost sharing venture with Fiat and Chrysler could do nothing but help all three rebounding brands and reinvent Alfa Romeo in the U.S.

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1967 Plymouth GTX Hemi 4 Speed Convertible

1967 Plymouth GTX Hemi 4 Speed Convertible

The 1967 model year was the debut year for the Plymouth Belvedere GTX, which most enthusiasts simply know as the Plymouth GTX. The GTX was always one of the top performers in the 1960s, but was also a refined muscle car, receiving the nickname “The Gentleman’s Muscle Car” in its early years. Unfortunately, the GTX was a late arrival to the muscle car area and only lasted five model years.

In its debut year, there were 12,115 models built, which makes it a rather rare car in itself. Options were not scarce for the 1967 GTX, as it had two engines available, a 425-horsepower, 426 cubic-inch V-8 Hemi or a 375-horsepower, 440 cubic-inch V-8. It also had two transmission options, a three-speed automatic and a four-speed manual.

In addition to the engine and transmission options, there was also coupe or convertible options available. One would assume that the convertible four-speed manual option with a Hemi would be a popular option combination, due to its raw power and ability to shift with the wind in you hair, but that’s not the case. Only seven of these convertible models with four-speeds and a Hemi engine rolled off of the assembly line in the 1967 model year.

That makes this one of the rarest vehicles on the planet, let alone one of the rarest muscle cars ever built. To boot, it is a natural rarity, as opposed to a planned one, like a special edition. It just so happened that dealers ordered so few of this option combination that the factory only produced a few.

If you want to own one of the most rare mass produced automobiles on the planet, now is your chance, as RK Motors Charlotte has just placed a convertible 1967 GTX with a Hemi and a four-speed up for auction on Ebay.

Now we know that it’s rare, but how has this vehicle held up over the course of the past 45 years?

Click past the jump to read our full review on this rare vehicle.

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Super Bowl Ad: Chevrolet follows up "Imported from Detroit" with "Halftime in America" commercial

For an ad that stirred so many emotions at last year’ Super Bowl, Chrysler had its work cut it for themselves in living up to the success ofEminem’s "Imported from Detroit" commercial.

Enter Clint Eastwood.

The multi-awarded actor and director was the star of Chrysler’s new Super Bowl commercial, "Halftime in America".

Just like last year, the focus of the ad is centered on the Motor City and how it has, time and again, risen from the despair and is in the process of writing its own comeback story.

Nothing evokes more emotion than inspiration and this is what Chrysler is looking for with the new ad. It may not carry the same raw emotion as that of Eminem’s ad from last year, but as sequels go, it’s hard not to be stirred by Eastwood’s raspy monologue, the visual images of Detroit’s resurgence, and the overall inspiring work of this ad.

For the second year in a row, Chrysler has done a masterful job with their Super Bowl commercial.

Our [hard] hats are off to them.

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2011 Ram Long Hauler Concept

2011 Ram Long Hauler Concept

The Ram Long Hauler Concept Truck is a definite eye-catcher in every sense of the word, mostly because it seems to stretch longer than standard-sized pick-up trucks. Incredibly, all this is by design.

Chrysler’s Ram brand has officially unveiled their latest concept creation, a 24-foot long quad-cab pick-up truck that’s so big it can actually carry up to 170 gallons of fuel in one go while trucking non-stop at a distance of over 1,600 miles before it needs to be fed again.

The truck is based on the Class 5 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab, except that the whole thing has been extended to ridiculous lengths. Nothing about this pick-up truck screams ordinary. Even if it’s a concept, Chrysler is presenting it as an ideal ’work horse’ for people who might need to tow heavy trailers for long distances. Judging by the look of this mastadon of a pick-up truck, we already figured as much.

Check out more details of the Long Hauler Concept, together with exhibit dates, after the jump.

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Topspeed's Top 5 Car Commercials from Super Bowl XLV

Topspeed’s Top 5 Car Commercials from Super Bowl XLV

Now that Super Bowl XLV has come and gone and the Green Bay Packers are bringing the Lombardi Trophy back home to Titletown, it’s now time to sit back and reflect on all the happenings of the day.

Seeing as we’re a car site, we’re going to leave the sports analysis of the Packers’ 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers to other sites. Instead, we’re going to focus on something that hits close to home to us: cars.

In particular, all the car commercials that we saw before, during, and after the Super Bowl. We don’t have the time to run through all the car ads that we saw, in part because some of them weren’t very good. Despite that, there were still some ads that struck a nerve in us. Whether it’s a funny commercial involving a pint-size version of a famous sci-fi villain or a serious message about a fallen city looking to rise back to prominence, we’ve picked out the 5 best car commercials from Super Bowl XLV.

If you watched the game and caught a hold of all the ads, feel free to chime in with your own Top 5. But if you want to check out which ones we thought deserved mentioning, head over after the jump to see our list.

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A Little Drinking On The Job Proves Costly For Chrysler Employees

A Little Drinking On The Job Proves Costly For Chrysler Employees

While Chrysler continues to struggle financially, employees have found their own way of getting over it. Outside of the plant, 15 workers have taken up drinking, and possibly even smoking pot, as a way to ease the pain. They might need to hit the bar because Chrysler has just announced that they all have been suspended indefinitely without pay.

This wasn’t just a one day occurrence either. These workers at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant have been hitting the bottles for ten days. It didn’t take long for Chrysler to identify each one of the 15 men and notify them that they had lost their jobs within 36 hours.

Although the video evidence is about as clear as a perfect summer’s day, Chrysler must still obey its protocol when releasing employees. The company also stressed that each one of their vehicles is screened for quality control and an issue like this will not affect the vehicles in any way.

Hit the jump to read the press release and see the news video.

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Fiat 500 finally headed to America

Fiat 500 finally headed to America

After a long and lengthy absence, Fiat is finally returning to the US, and they’re bringing with them the 500 hatchback. The US-spec version of the minicar, which will be sold in the US through Chrysler, is set to make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, giving us a first-hand look at Fiat’s first offering to the US market after an extended absence in the country.

Earlier this week, the Italian auto conglomerate hosted a meeting with 400 of its car dealers to gauge the amount of interest for the 500 in America. Apart from these dealerships, Chrysler is also looking at opening about 165 Fiat dealerships across the country, more specifically in areas where there is a healthy market for small hatchbacks that the 1.4-liter 500 hatchback can take full advantage of.

According to Laura Soave, Head of Fiat Brand North America, “Our dealers will be able to interact with a group of individuals that are not part of their current customer base.”

“These are individuals interested in Italian automotive design coupled with fuel efficient technology," she adds.

As part of Fiat’s return to the US, the company is set to begin their retail network later this year with plans of bringing in the American version of the 500 and following that up with the release of the 500 Cabrio edition sometime in 2011.

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A Sweet Goodbye to the Chrysler PT Cruiser

A Sweet Goodbye to the Chrysler PT Cruiser

The car that seemed to be the center of all jokes is finally reaching the end of its production run. The last Chrysler PT Cruiser will be rolling off the assembly line in less than two weeks.

When it was first launched, thePT Cruiser was a brilliant little car, unique in every sort of way. The car went on sale in 2000 during the American SUV craze. The retro design, like the New Beetle, made it a massive sales success. In fact, the car sold well beyond anything Chrysler could have imagined.

"For a while, it was the best-selling Chrysler-brand vehicle," said Jim Hall, managing director of 2953 Analytics, a Birmingham consultancy.

On July 9, the car’s last day, Chrysler will have sold over 1.3 million PT Cruisers. The PT was the first of many retro vehicles, including the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper. The simply average base model eventually grew into a turbo GT version, a convertible and a dozen or so special editions.

Despite the poor build quality and the horrendous handling, the car continued to sell well, even though Chrysler never refreshed the look or the features.

"It’s plugged along and still has a loyal fan base," Hall said.

Though the car is in its final days we still have so many questions. If Chrysler had actually updated and made the PT better, what would have come of it?

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