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Wagon Ho!

Posted by: Mark Bilek

1956 Chrysler Plainsman at the Chicago Auto Show
1956 Chrysler Plainsman
The Chrysler Plainsman, then and now.
Want a piece of Chicago Auto Show history? Well come next January you could be the owner of Fifties-era concept that was first shown at the Chicago Auto Show. The 1956 Chrysler Plainsman will be part of a catalogue of vehicles that will be sold at RM Auctions on January 21 and 22.

The Chrysler Plainsman stood out from its peers in more ways than one. First of all, it was arguably the only wagon concept ever showcased by an American automaker in the '50s and '60s. The eight-passenger body fuses two disparate roof sections around the massive B-pillars. Actually, they look like they came from two different cars and give the overall impression of a two-headed monster.

Equipped with a motorized hatch and a backward-facing third-row bench seat, the Plainsman could almost be considered as the pioneer of modern SUVs. It was penned by Virgil Exner as a bold expression of the suburban trends in American living. That explains, among other things, the gold-colored Texas Longhorn medallions on the car.

Built on a Plymouth chassis by Italian coachbuilder Ghia, it's now estimated to be worth somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000.

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