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Neorion Chicago

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Title: Neorion Chicago  
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Neorion Chicago

Neorion Chicago
Manufacturer Neorion
Designer Georgios Michael
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Engine AMC V8
1974 Neorion Chicago 4x4 at the Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum

The Neorion Chicago, a 1974 product of the Greek Neorion group of companies, was a car supposed to combine uncompromising luxury, retro-looks and a powerful 4x4, cross-country character. The end result was, at best, one of the most controversial cars ever built.


In 1972, under the ownership of the Greek millionaire Giannis Goulandris, Neorion incorporated Enfield Automotive, originally a British company, already owned by Goulandris, involved in the design and construction of electric cars. This led to the creation of a new company that undertook vehicle production, "Enfield-Neorion E.P.E.", headquartered in Piraeus, and production of the cars (which had been designed in the UK by British and Greek engineers) was transferred to Syros, where Neorion is based.[1]

Apart from the production of the electric cars, Goulandris wanted to develop "conventional" cars. One of his ideas was an odd mixture of a luxurious, retro-styled limousine with a very strong cross-country character and capabilities.[2] The design and overall development of the car was assigned to a team of Greek engineers, headed by Georgios Michael.

After eight months of development work, the Chicago (the name inspired by its 30s retro-style), was introduced in 1974. The construction included a steel chassis built by the Neorion shipyard and an aluminum body that incorporated additional reinforcements for passenger protection. Power came from an American Motors Corporation (AMC) V8 engine that was also used in the full-sized Jeep Wagoneer (SJ).[1][2]

Early sketches by Michael suggested a more elegant limousine with a strong retro-look. However, the final design was significantly altered to accommodate the American mechanical parts and cope with the desired cross-country capabilities, and looked rather awkward. Its own designer tried to distance himself from the car (which he often described as a "mountain dinosaur"), arguing that Mr. Goulandris had essentially dictated its basic elements.[2] After many years, even its designer seems to have finally given some credit to his own creation.[2]

A production line was started with four vehicles at various stages of construction, when a change of Greek law condemned the market prospects of the car. Only two complete vehicles were made and sold before the venture was terminated in 1976.[2] One is exhibited in the Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum.[3] The second car is believed to have ended up in a private collection abroad.


  1. ^ a b Skartsēs, Labros S.; Avramidēs, Geōrgios A. (2003). Made in Greece - to hellēniko autokinēto, ochēma kai aeroskaphos (in Greek) (republished by Patras Science Park, 2007 ed.). Patras, Greece: Typorama.  
  2. ^ a b c d e Michael, G. (1999). "Neorion Chicago". Auto Motor und Sport (Greek edition) (59). 
  3. ^ "Εκθετήριο Αυτοκινήτων - Αυτοκίνητο του Μήνα: Neorion Chicago (Showroom Car - Car of the Month: Neorion Chicago)" (in Greek). Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum. January 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 

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