Chrysler

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Chrysler

Founded by Walter Percy Chrysler in 1925 by using what was left from the Maxwell Motor Company. Chrysler wanted to compete with General Motors, and so needed to create a range of product lines in sync – thus in 1928 a multi-tiered range would be introduced, Plymouth at the lower end, DeSoto in the lower-middle, then Dodge and Imperial at the upper end with Chrysler being the flagship.

As if shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, management could never decide just where each division sat within the Chrysler empire, and by the end of the 1930’s the order had been changed (from lowest to highest) to Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler and Imperial. The 1934 Chrysler Airflow was somewhat of a revolution in automobile design, the beautifully elegant streamlined body being designed in the auto industries first ever wind tunnel to meet aerodynamic principles. There are plenty of cars throughout the Unique Cars & Parts gallery pages that have proven to be too far ahead of their time for their own good, and the Airflow was such an example.

Despite the divine looks and streamliner appearance, it was the lower ranked Plymouth and Dodge divisions that would help secure the companies tenure through the depression era. During these tough economic times, only Plymouth would make an increase in sales, while the company would create a formal parts division under the Mopar brand (short for Motor Parts). After so much effort and financial investment had been put into the spectacularly unsuccessful Airflow, Chrysler opted to take a far more conservative approach to later iterations, although the 1942 DeSoto’s did feature a remarkable hidden headlight system.

Engineering advances would see the introduction of the wonderful Hemi V8’s in 1951, and in 1955 Chrysler unveiled the Forward Look style penned by Virgil Exner. Wonderful models would follow, including the 1957 Plymouth Fury and 1957 Chrysler 300C. In 1960 Chrysler introduced unibody construction, the first of the big three, then the new compact line of Valiant’s would win critical acclaim (and none more so than in Australia). By 1966 Chrysler had expanded into Europe by acquiring the British Rootes Group along with Simca of France, to form Chrysler Europe. In hindsight this was not such a good move, industrial problems afflicting the British auto industry would take a heavy toll on the once great Chrysler conglomerate. It would be forced to sell the Simca division, despite it turning a handy profit, to PSA Peugeot Citroën in 1978. The downfall had begun, but thankfully a 1998 merger with Daimler Benz would ensure the survival of the marque.

Chrysler Six  

Chrysler Six

1924 - 1931
Walter P. Chrysler wanted the Chrysler Six to be a light vehicle, seat five passengers, and be economical to own and operate. He wanted it to be a model of durability and performance. More >>
Chrysler Airflow  

Chrysler Airflow

1934 - 1937
Their engineers found that then-current two-box automobile design was so aerodynamically inefficient, that it was actually more efficient turned around backwards. More >>
Chrysler Airstream  

Chrysler Airstream


1935 - 1937
While the Chrysler Airflow marked a radical departure from typical 1930’s designs, the Airstream represented a mild makeover of the 1933 “CO” amd 1934 “CA” models, albeit with a more flowing and streamlined design – something to ensure Chrysler dealerships throughout the USA literally had “something for everyone”. More >>
Chrysler Ghia L6.4  

Chrysler Ghia L6.4

1960 - 1962
Perhaps the most collectable Chrysler in the world, the Ghia L6.4 has all the trademarks of a truely desirable classic automobile. More >>
Chrysler Gas Turbine  

Chrysler Gas Turbine

1963
Several car manufacturers experimented with the idea of developing a Gas Turbine car, but none got nearer to developing a fully blown production model than Chrysler. More >>
Chrysler Cordoba  

Chrysler Cordoba

1975 - 1983
The Chrysler Cordoba first appeared in 1975, a twin of the detuned, depowered Dodge Charger. Amusingly, it was originally meant to be a Plymouth, rather than a Chrysler; that was a last-minute change. The Cordoba was a B-body, one step in size above the entry-level Valiant A-body, but below the C and D bodies that usually wore the Chrysler badge. More >>
Chrysler Centura  

Chrysler Centura

1975 - 1977
Based on the French "Simca", the Centura was considered by many to be too little too late, being released in 1975, some 8 years after the Torana and TC Cortina had made inroads and established their market share. More >>
Chrysler Alpine  

Chrysler Alpine

1975 - 1980
The Alpine - also called the Simca 1307/1308/1309 (depending on the mechanical specification) in France and other European countries - was a classic front-drive, medium-sized, five-door hatchback family saloon. More than just a well-planned and versatile model, it was hoped that it would be so good, it would ultimately be the saviour of Chrysler UK Ltd. In 1976 the company was in a desperate commercial and financial crisis, with a range of ageing models, falling demand, and nothing coming along to retrieve the situation. More >>
Chrysler Avenger

Chrysler Avenger

1976 - 1979
In 1976 Chrysler decided to market the Avenger under it’s own name, and at the same time gave the car a comprehensive makeover. The new frontal treatment featured squared off headlights, while at the rear the distinctive “hockey stick” style tail lights were dropped in favour of more conventional units. More >>
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