Up Close and Personal With the 1956 Chrysler 300B Boano, a One-Off Gem Designed in Italy

1956 Chrysler 300B Boano 8 photos
Photo: Jon Dega/YouTube
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The 1950s was a fabulous era for the automotive industry. America built massive and luxurious automobiles with big V8 power, while Europe designed some of the most beautiful sports cars. The same decade also spawned many hybrids, among them the 1956 Chrysler 300B Boano.
Commissioned by Gianni Agnelli, who would become the president of Fiat in 1966, the one-off vehicle married American underpinnings to a body designed in Italy. Chrysler chose Felice Mario Boano, who founded a coachbuilding company bearing his name after leaving Carozzeria Ghia.

Boano went with a British-style look, which required reducing the Chrysler 300B's wheelbase from 126 to 119 inches (3,200 to 3,022 mm). Naturally, the car ended up looking nothing like the 300B. The long hood, short rear deck, and muscular rear haunches gave the Mopar a classy look many Europeans were looking for in a vehicle.

The interior was pretty wild, thanks to a three-seat layout. Yup, that is not a typo. Boano reconfigured the rear cabin to accommodate a single sliding seat that doubles as luggage space when not in use. A bespoke dashboard sculpted from rosewood and an electric sunroof rounded off the fully customized interior.

As was the case with most American rigs redressed in Italy, Boano did not mess around with the drivetrain. The one-off retained the 354-cubic-inch (5.8-liter) FirePower V8, which was notably potent for the era. The mill came with 340 horsepower and 385 pound-feet (522 Nm) of torque on tap in standard guise, but Chrysler also offered an optional 10:1 compression ratio, which increased output to 355 horses. Agnelli's car featured a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic.

By the time the coupe was ready for delivery, Agnelli felt that his position in Fiat's managing board required him to drive vehicles built within the company. He reportedly never drove the Chrysler, opting to pass it on to his younger brother, Umberto. He took the car to France, where it remained for the next thirty years. The 300B Boano then found its way into the United States, where it underwent a complete restoration.

The unique automobile made waves at several car shows throughout the country, winning beauty prizes in the process. In 2023, the 300B Boano changed hands for the first time in years. It found a new home for a whopping $1.1 million. For reference, a 1956 Chrysler 300B costs about $53,000 on average, while the most expensive example to cross the block sold for $145,600.

You can find out more about this one-off gem in our extensive cover story and see it up close and personal in the video below. The footage was shot right before the custom-made Chrysler changed owners. It also includes in-car driving footage, so you'll hear that old FirePower mill roar.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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