The Phantom Corsair is a prototype automobile built in 1938. It is a six-passenger 2-door sedan that was designed by Rust Heinz of the H. J. Heinz family and Maurice Schwartz of the Bohman & Schwartzcoach building company in Pasadena, California. Although sometimes dismissed as a failure because it never entered production, the Corsair is regarded as ahead of its time because of its futuristic features, and styling cues such as faired-in fenders and a low profile.
-It has a steel-and-aluminum body measured just 57 in (140 cm) in height .
-The car also lacked door handles, as the doors were instead opened electrically using push-buttons located on the exterior and the instrument panel.
-The instrument panel also featured a compass and altimeter, while a separate console above the windshield indicated when a door was ajar or if the car’s lights or radio were turned on.
-It also featured front-wheel drive and an electrically operated four-speed pre-selector gearbox, as well as fully independent suspension and adjustable shock absorbers.
-The body measured an impressive 237 in (600 cm) long and 76.5 in (194 cm) wide, enough to accommodate four people in the front row, including one person to the left of the driver.The back seats could only hold two passengers, however, in large part because of space limitations posed by on-board beverage cabinets.
-Though weighing a hefty 4,600 lb (2,100 kg), the Phantom Corsair could achieve speeds of up to 115 mph (185 km/h) , because of its modified, naturally aspirated 125 bhp Lycoming engine as well as its aerodynamic shape.
Rust Heinz planned to put the Phantom Corsair, which cost approximately $24,000 to produce in 1938 (equivalent to about $370,000 in 2010), into limited production at an estimated selling price of $12,500.However, Heinz’s death in a car accident in July 1939 ended those plans, leaving the prototype Corsair as the only one ever built.
The Phantom Corsair now resides in the National Automobile Museum (also known as The Harrah Collection) in Reno, Nevada.
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