My Car Quest

July 23, 2024

The Dodge Storm Z-250 By Bertone

by Mike –

The 1953 Storm Z-250 was developed by Chrysler engineer Fred Zeder to evaluate the feasibility of producing a vehicle that would capture a portion of the growing American sports car market.

Dodge Storm Z-250 By Bertone

Built on a rigid tube frame chassis it was intended to be a dual-purpose sports and racing car. When raced the comfortable touring body currently fitted could be removed by unscrewing four bolts and replaced with an ultra light 150 pound fiberglass body.

Dodge Storm Z-250 By Bertone

Dodge Storm Z-250 By Bertone

The Storm did not reach production because high production costs would have made it too expensive to sell in profitable quantities. If the Z-250 would have gone into production it would have competed with the Ford Thunderbird, Chevrolet Corvette and the Kaiser Darrin.

Dodge Storm Z-250 By Bertone

It is an interesting idea to have a car with two bodies; one for street and one for racing. Is this practical though?

This concept Dodge looks like a Facel Vega to me, at least from the front. What do you think? Should Dodge have produced this car? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.



The Dodge Storm Z-250 By Bertone
Article Name
The Dodge Storm Z-250 By Bertone
The concept car by Dodge - the Storm Z-250 by Bertone is a beauty with two bodies.


  1. Reminds me of the Ferrari 400 Superamerica.

  2. Beautiful car. Should have been made in at least the one touring/sportscar-body mode to compete with the Corvette and T-Bird. Just wondering about what they were thinking with the dual body concept, if it was actually feasible or not. If the body was attached with only four bolts, wasn’t there a tremendous amount of body flex in the sportscar mode, considering it looks like it has the heft of a typical 1950’s car? I saw a modern full-sized Chevy Van turn a corner the other day, and I could hear the body flex and groan as it did so. So, I cannot imagine this touring body with a four-bolt attachment actually not collapse on itself if driven. Please let me know how actually driving the car was successfully accomplished, if you have any other additional information. Thank you. Glenn in the Bronx, NY.

  3. Saw that at CI what a great looking car, reminded me of a Studebaker Hawk mixed with a Maserati 3500

  4. I have heard Piero Rivolta talk about the idea of having removable body panels, so you could change the looks of the new Grifo.

    The Pontiac Fiero had plastic removable body panels and I think Pinninfarina had a chassis concept based on the ability to go from car to van or truck with removable parts. it’s a very interesting idea and with carbon fiber parts this would be light and easy to do.

  5. A good looking car alright which would have helped Chrysler/ Dodge in “image appeal” but with the additional cost of the interchangeable body, it would probably not have been price competitive in the market especially against the Corvette.

  6. I had the pleasure of sitting in that car. Fred Zeder Jr. was my uncle. I was only 14 at the time and the car was sitting in his garage. It was not in working order. While in Dallas for spring break we visited his home. He was a character.

  7. EliZeder says

    Brian, FM was my grandfather…and I think character only scratches the serfice! Once in a while I look this car up, just out of curiosity. It’s part of family folk lore and I fantisize about seeing it in “the flesh” some day. Cheers, E. zeder.

  8. Hi Mike
    In my view the Facel Vega guess is that Dodge took advantage of the design of which is tina contract to supply engines for Facel.
    is researched by year projects were almost parallel.
    But if we look well both projects are very similar, but if we notice well in the back we see that it looks like the back of Facel-Metallon 1951 Bentley Mark IV.

  9. John in Fargo says

    With the rigidity of the tube frame, the idea of interchangeable bodies is not unsound, but it seems there would have to be much more to it than removing and replacing four bolts. Does the front clip stay in place? The dash? Or does everything life off with the body, leaving a bare-but-driveable chassis waiting for the racing body? Inquiring minds want to know!

  10. When you think of the concurrently developed Edwards America from essentially the same era, this body design is far more elegant and captivating. For this era, the car was ahead of its time – looking custom but still having the refinement and drapery of a coach built car.

    Ultimately, FIVE Edwards America models were sold and built. One has to wonder, had Zeder simply moved forward with private manufacturing plans he might have sold 20-30 cars. Remember that the Exner-Ghia relationship was growing at this same time. To present a Bertone bodied custom that looked years ahead of the Exner-Ghia designs (still somewhat wallowing in the roundness and upright nature of early 50’s designs), would have been politically problematic.

    Like many great design ideas in automotive history, the politics of personality killed this wonderful design from being built in numbers.

  11. Carl Locigno says

    Does anyone know where this car is now ? Is there a list of the specifications on this car ?

  12. Carl:
    There is one at the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles.

  13. Dan Eastwood says

    Did Bertone build the body to a design supplied by Zeder? – or was Bertone also responsible for the design/styling of the car?… and if Bertone designed it, which of his designers was responsible? Franco Scaglione was designing cars at Bertone in 1953 having designed the beautiful Arnolt-Bristol and the incredible B.A.T. 5 which came out in 1953 – so he may have been too busy – plus the Storm’s nose really doesn’t look like Franco’s style.

    I’ve read a lot about Bertone’s works and don’t recall ever seeing this car before – so thank you for publishing this article… I’d love to understand more about the connection the Dodge Storm has with Bertone if anyone can add some more info.

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