Coachbuilder Somehow Makes PT Cruiser More Appealing

Convertible

And it only costs $40,500.

The Chrysler PT Cruiser is universally despised by car enthusiasts, thanks primarily to its ungainly looks and shocking safety reputation. Originally, the retro styling was designed to resemble 1930s cars with a modern twist, but it backfired badly. 17 years later, Spanish coachbuilder Hurtan has tried to realize Chrysler's original vision. Against all odds, the team has managed to make the PT Cruiser more appealing. Taking the retro inspiration one step further, the resulting models look like European luxury cars from the 1930s and ‘40s.

Currently, Hurtan offers two main models. The first is called the Author, essentially a luxurious convertible PT Cruiser inspired by pre-World War II automotive styling, while the Route 44 is based on a Fiat Ducato (or a Ram ProMaster, as it’s known in the US) to create a comically oversized, retro-inspired van. Hurtan works with individual clients to make each vehicle unique to the buyer’s specification to reflect their personality. Donor models are sourced from the European used market and the conversion process is constructed by hand by a ten-person team. As you would expect, the process is insanely intricate – an Author takes 400 hours to build, while the Route 44 takes 370 hours.

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Despite its complexity, prices for the Author start at 35,000 euros which converts to $40,500. For a boutique car, that’s surprisingly affordable. The Route 44 is more expensive, however, since it’s based on a brand-new Fiat Ducato. Customers can also add leather upholstery for 1,950 euros and a luggage rack for 950 euros, along with other options. The retro-inspired Author looks unrecognizable from the PT Cruiser it’s based on, but retains its modern luxuries such as power steering, air conditioning and heated seats. Customers can choose between a 143-horsepower naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 223-hp turbocharged model.

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