In 1953 Chevrolet announced the Corvette series of sports cars. This was also the year that Chrysler was to revolutionize sports cars by revealing their 1953 Dodge Zeder; however, that didn’t happen. It’s a story of ‘almost did’. Allegedly company politics, and a sort of reverse nepotism squashed the prototype evaluation and road tests, and the car sat for years.
In the beginning, Fred Zeder Jr – a racetrack driver, engineer, and nephew of Jim Zeder Chrystler Chief of Engineering – wanted to build a road racing sports car. With an aluminum body for lighter weight, 260 horsepower HEMI engine, and quarter mile start to finish time of 14.7 seconds; Fred Zeder felt the car was going in the right direction.
After winning first prize at the Turin Auto Show, Fred Zeder gave the prototype 1953 Dodge Zeder to his uncle to try out, hoping that the elder Zeder would see that the car was fit to be produced. Instead, his uncle drove it directly to an on-site storage unit where he locked the car up for two years. There are many variations on why Chrysler’s Chief Engineer did this, but the official reason is that it would have cost too much to manufacture.