The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – De Soto Adventurer II Coupé

Sun 20th Oct 2019

Sometimes your wallet won’t stretch to purchasing your dream motor. But don’t worry too much, there are some cars that even the biggest bank balances can’t buy, the dream cars that will forever remain a dream. These are the concept cars that never go into production.

De Soto Adventurer II Coupé
Coveted by the former King of Morocco, King Mohammed V, here is a concept which many believe should have gone into production, a combination of American technical wizardry and refined Italian style.

The Adventurer II Coupé was born of the supersonic styling of the early 1950s, taking its cue from jet fighters of its time with a ultra-long sleek body, a 276-ci FireDome Hemi V8 engine and Powerflite two-speed automatic transmission.

The car’s look and design owes much to the collaboration between Chrysler and Ghia. Giovanni Savonuzzi produced some of the most stunning car designs of the 1950s and the Adventurer II Coupé would be no different. However, this car was different in that it was underpinned and perhaps defined by Chrysler’s 125.5-inch chassis and though extreme in length, it remained a two-seater.

Whilst the Adventurer II concept has its roots in the Savonuzzi Supersonic Series, a run of concepts which was dropped on a range of classic cars from the Jaguar XK120, the Alfa Romeo 1900 and even the Fiat Jolly - Chrysler took plenty of credit through their own designer, Virgil Exner, a man who embraced Italian design and was responsible for creating a strong bond between the American company and Ghia.

Here was a Coupe with cowhide upholstery, a machine turned chrome dash, a power retractable windshield, a sliding rear-window, which gives the feel of a ‘reverse convertible’, the concept completed the look with matching luxury luggage.

Much in demand, the De Soto Adventurer II Coupé was taken off the motorshow tour in 1956 and was sold to a Moroccan car salesman, for $20,000, with the belief that it could be sold on for much more due to the King’s initial interest. The King of Morocco loved the design but despite test-driving it for a week, he returned it to the salesman as he couldn’t fit his ample frame into the sleek seats comfortably.

The concept was not lost to West Africa though, it returned to US shores and is now starring at auto shows across America, and swapping hands at auctions for millions of dollars.