The body was executed by Lebaron in Detroit to a design by Alex Tremulis. It was built as a tribute to George Eyston’s 1938 Thunderbolt which reached 357.53 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Both cars shared the same fenderless, slab-sided shape with wheel shirts. Untypical of era, the Thunderbolt had no front grill. The overall shape was described as aerodynamic and was an influence for the 1941 Chrysler Newport Parade Phaeton. It was built on a 1940 Chrysler Crown Imperial frame with an aluminum body. Power came from the Chrysler L-head straight-8 which provided around 150 bhp.
Only five or six Thunderbolts were built. They were first seen at the 1940 New York Auto show and subsequently displayed across the United States. Each had a different paint scheme and some had polished brass accents. Later on the name was resurrected by Chrsyler in 1993 as a concept car.