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.May 05, 2004
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Two Vintage Chrysler Roadsters to Race in Historic Mille Miglia


1930 Chrysler 77 Model at the 2004 Mille Miglia in Italy, driven by Joe Eberhardt, Executive Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Sservice, Chrysler Group.

  • Veteran Le Mans and Mille Miglia Chrysler models will join top classic race 

  • Chrysler Group President and CEO to drive a 1929 Chrysler 75 Roadster 

  • Race appearance emphasizes Chrysler brand's heritage in automotive history

Auburn Hills - The Chrysler brand will underscore its rich heritage when two historic Chrysler Roadsters take part in one of the world's top classic race events.

When a 1929 Chrysler 75 Roadster and a 1930 Chrysler 77 Roadster line up today at the start of the 2004 Mille Miglia race in Brescia, Italy, two of the Chrysler Group's top executives - President and CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche, and Executive Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Service, Joe Eberhardt - will be behind the wheels of these historically significant Chrysler cars.

Photos: DC

1929 Chrysler 75 Model at the 2004 Mille Miglia in Italy, driven by Dr. Dieter Zetsche, President and CEO of Chrysler Group.

"An auto company's heritage is something that should be cherished and celebrated," said Zetsche, "and I can think of no better way to do that than to race the world's classic cars side by side. At the Mille Miglia, every vehicle is a chapter of our industry's great past."

Sitting in the 1929 Chrysler 75 Roadster along with Zetsche will be co-driver Denise McCluggage, a U.S. freelance journalist and a pioneer in automotive racing. Privately owned by a distinguished businessman in Australia, this vehicle has run in the Mille Miglia four times previously, and has participated in several other races and rallies, most notably the Classic Le Mans 24 Hour Race in France.

The 1,447 kg (3,190 lb.) Chrysler 75 has a 4,083 cc (249 cu. in.) six-cylinder engine, which produces 64 kW (84 bhp) at 3,400 rpm. A total of 48,850 versions of this vehicle, in multiple body styles, were produced by Chrysler.

Lining up alongside the Chrysler 75 will be Joe Eberhardt and his co-driver, Daniele Protti, an Italian freelance journalist. They will compete in a 1930 Chrysler 77 Roadster, which is one of many historic vehicles in the DaimlerChrysler Classic Car collection.

The 1,558 kg (3,435 lb.) Chrysler 77 is fitted with a 4,410 cc (269 cu. in.) six-cylinder engine, producing 69 kW (93 bhp) at 3,200 rpm. A total of 9,913 versions of the Chrysler 77 were produced in all body types.

Selection to the Mille Miglia is carefully scrutinized, and only cars built and driven during the period of the original Mille Miglia - 1927 to 1957 - are eligible. The two Chrysler vehicles being driven this year definitely meet the criteria.

"Participating in a classic event, such as the Mille Miglia, reinforces the heritage of the Chrysler brand, which can boast a significant résumé of motor sport events around the world in its 80-year history," said Eberhardt. "Personally, I'm thrilled to be driving this vintage Chrysler Roadster, and I'm looking forward to some challenging competition."

Starting today in Brescia and traveling through Ferrara and Rome before returning to Brescia, the grueling three-day schedule is not for the faint-hearted. Departure of the first vehicle starts out at approximately 6:30 AM, and arrival of the vehicles at the end of the lap begins after 9:30 PM.

The appearance of these two historic Chrysler Roadsters in Italy coincides with the introduction of an all-new roadster from the Chrysler brand. The stunning two-seater Chrysler Crossfire Roadster is fitted with a 3.2-liter V-6 petrol engine providing a top speed of 242 km/h (150 mph) and a zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of just 6.5 seconds. Chrysler customers in Europe will be able to enjoy the great design and world class handling of this latest Chrysler roadster in time for the coming summer.

(May 06, 2004)

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