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Four-Links – Chrysler Esprit?, Brubaker and the Cybertruck, Philly Free Library sells auto archives, Kenosha History Center dries out

Published in blog.hemmings.com

Apparently Chrysler and Lotus’s collaboration that resulted in the Lotus-tuned dual overhead-camshaft cylinder head for Chrysler’s 2.2-litre inline four was supposed to result in even more hybrid Lotus-Chrysler products, according to AROnline.

Lee Iacocca was nothing if not a salesman, and knew the effect a halo car like the Esprit would have on the Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth/Eagle lineups. Lotus, struggling with budget crises of its own, also knew the effect a deal like this would have on its bottom line. The transverse powertrain found in the Spirit R/T was originally created for this car, where it would be placed in a new, purpose-designed chassis, and clothed it in modified Esprit bodywork. The change in engine orientation reportedly liberated five inches of interior room, some of which was used to increase seat travel, while the rest was commandeered for a padded, leather-covered luggage tray.

There were even plans to develop small jump seats to give the car 2+2 capability, but it’s unclear how far, if at all, this proposal progressed. There also was room for a cargo container behind the engine and gearbox. Either this box or the interior luggage tray was said to be capable of holding a pair of golf bags. Reportedly, an engineering prototype of the ‘Chrysler Esprit’ was made, but it’s unclear what happened to it upon cancellation of the programme.

* Since the Tesla Cybertruck’s debut, we’ve seen this Curtis Brubaker design for a future pickup floating around the Internet. So, evidently, did InsideEVs, which reached out to Brubaker to discuss the design and ask if it really did influence the Cybertruck’s design.

Frankly, with the rough door and side surfaces, my first impression was it looked like something banged together for a low-budget sci-fi film.

Brubaker – It wasn’t until around 1:00 AM that it hit me the shape and tailgate were close to something I’d done for Penthouse. I had to rummage around to find a forty-year-old stack of reprints of the first two pages of that article, which I had to scan with my phone. I’m pretty sure my original illustration burned years ago in our studio fire, where we lost a lot of LearJet, Disney, and Brubaker Box stuff.

* Though Thomas McKean was a co-founder of the AACA, his extensive auto literature and reference collection made its way to the Philadelphia Free Library decades ago. This week, however, the Free Library, the AACA Library, and the Simeone Museum announced that the collection has been sold to the latter two entities for improved access for auto enthusiasts and collectors.

Derick Dreher, vice president of special collections for the Free Library, said the Automobile Reference Collection had been “hiding in plain sight for the last 60 years” and not finding the audience of collectors who could make best use of it. In addition, the $1 million in proceeds from the sale will go toward maintaining the library’s other valuable archives.

Transfer of the materials is scheduled to occur early next year, pending approval from Orphans’ Court regarding the bequest. The Simeone and AACA will effectively share custody of the material, which will be housed separately but can be transferred from one museum to the other. The two museums will catalog and digitize the holdings to improve public access.

* Also in the news this week, the Kenosha History Center seems to have recovered without much damage after the flooding that hit the museum in September.

In a bit of irony, the center — a museum housed in the former home of the Kenosha Water Utility — was inundated this past September with, well, water.

Although it didn’t rise to a level of biblical proportions, it rose to a whopping 8 feet in the basement below the main gallery of the structure.

The cause: A “historic rainfall,” center officials said.

That deluge and attendant flooding prompted the center to close its Rambler Gallery for two months while the space and basement were pumped out, dried out and aired out.

* Finally, maybe we should start featuring car chase scenes again? If so, Exploding Helicopter presents this totally 100 percent believable car chase from “Codename: Wild Geese.”