Dodge Demon concept
Dodge Demon concept. Click image to enlarge

Review and Photos by Brian Early

Photo Gallery: Chrysler concept cars

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to drive a one-of-a-kind concept vehicle, one that is valued at somewhere between one and three million U.S. dollars, on public roads filled with unsuspecting drivers, the best parallel that I can offer is the stress that you felt the first time that you ever got behind the wheel – times ten.

The Nassau’s handler warned us beforehand to please try and avoid manhole covers, bumps, and potholes. Sage advice; while the Nassau wore production wheels and tires instead of its original show wheels for our outing, their complete lack of sidewall compliance, coupled with the stiff, lowered show-car suspension meant that everything more substantial than a shadow on the pavement sent a teeth-clenching crash reverberating through the Nassau’s heavily sliced and diced 300C structure.

Chrysler Nassau concept
Chrysler Nassau concept. Click image to enlarge

Consequently, I found myself wandering all over the road, intently scanning the surface ahead for even the smallest imperfections. At normal driving speeds this would be quite dangerous, but the Nassau never made it out of second gear, its 6.1-litre Hemi V8 burbling contentedly at near-idle as the locals – both gawking and oblivious – made their way around us.

Since the only functioning dash indicator was the gear position, I can’t even report what speed I reached, but the dummy speedo indicated 65 mph, while the economy gauge beside it suggested we were currently enjoying 40 mpg – yeah, right!

I can promise you that it wasn’t anywhere near our route’s 35-mph speed limit. Did I mention that like its turn signals, the Nassau’s seatbelts are non-functional too?

Chrysler Nassau concept
Chrysler Nassau concept. Click image to enlarge

After substantially reducing my stress level by changing drivers, I got to enjoy a great view from the Nassau’s comfy rear seat, courtesy of its twin skylight roof and pillarless hardtop styling, all the while admiring the amount of detail that had gone into this concept’s interior craftsmanship.

There was a time when concepts were nothing more than inanimate styling bucks intended solely to sit on a car show turntable. That any automaker even produces driveable concepts is really something, yet Chrysler is not alone in that. However, allowing them out into the springtime sunshine to be seen and enjoyed is a rare and wonderful thing indeed.

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