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(un)Solved Mysteries

King Farouk's Custom Mystery (UPDATE V: Dan LaLee Retractable Streamliner and Chris Craft)


The Egyptian King Farouk was famous for his abundant lifestyle, which included ownership of hundreds of prestigious cars. In 1952 he was forced to abdicate and went into exile where he continued his liking for luxury. Mahmoud Ezzeldin has sent us some photos of King Farouk with his cars and toys and in the meantime presented us with a mystery. It’s to be found in the line-up of the King's cars in which we recognize a 1937 and 1939 Packard; a Ford and his famous Mercedes 540K. But next to the Willys Jeep stands this custom or prototype ? of which we have no clue as to what it is. But You Know!? Or..?

Update V from Terry Boyce who comes up with another photo of the Dan LaLee special when new and a 1938 article from Popular Mechanics: “Note the 1938 Michigan plate is the same number (7500) as in the movie. The article doesn't identify Mr. LaLee by name and refers to him only as a "flier. The Popular Mechanics story says the wheelbase was 112 inches and the car was powered by a supercharged V8. Ford wheelbase was 112 inches in the late '30s and the fact the car had a V8 further suggests it might have been Ford-based.”
Update IV comes from David Nelson: "Not a Riva, but looks to be a mid 30's Chris Craft Triple. If you look closely you can make out the Chris Craft script in the step pads."
Update III: Fernando Godoy gets quite excited about Farouk’s toy. “Believe me, a vintage boat can be as sexy as a vintage car! (editor RB: we agree!) I guess the speedboat is a marvellous wooden Riva, perhaps customized for the King. The sailor’s cockpit in the back is a seldom seen feature. Can anyone identify the boat, make and year?”
Update II comes from Hugh Nutting: “Next to the custom is a 1940 Lincoln Zephyr Special (continental); there is a 1941 Chrysler and a 1942 Mercury near the far end.”
Update I by João Pedro Gazineu: “It’s a Dan LaLee Retractable Streamliner.” (Editor RB: Sure looks like it. The car was used in a movie (Click!), but then remains the question, how did it end up in Farouks’s collection?)

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