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post #21 of 110 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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The 1966 Dodge Charger: Chrysler Shows Its Muscle

The 1966 Dodge Charger: Chrysler Shows Its Muscle



11/23/2014

One of the key turning points in automotive history came when cars went from a one-size-fits-all product to a variety of designs aimed at appealing to different ages, tastes, and budgets. By the 1960s, buyers had their pick of basic, sport, and luxury vehicles. However, the folks at Chrysler were latecomers to the specialized car world. To catch up to their rivals, they chose Dodge to introduce their entry into the fast-growing muscle car market of the 1960s. From their efforts came the Charger; one of the great vehicles to come out of that turbulent decade.

Built on the legendary B-body, the Dodge Charger made its debut at the 1966 Rose Bowl. Everything about the new car suggested speed; from its fastback shape, to its grill that resembled the teeth of an electric razor (or, to some observers, the jaws of a shark). Four engines were available for the ’66, from the relatively tame 318 cubic inch to the 426 hemi, which had been toned down from its racing version for street use. The next year, a 440 cubic inch monster was added as an option.

PHOTO GALLERY: Browse Photos of 1966 Dodge Chargers

One of the questions asked in the early days was, “where are its headlights?” The ’66 featured the first flip-up lamps on a Chrysler vehicle since 1942 De Soto. When folded down, the absence of visible lights gave the Charger the look of a streamlined beast– sleek and strong and on the hunt for fresh prey.

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post #22 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Cool The Plymouth XNR

A Car So Personal Virgil Exner Named It After Himself, the Plymouth XNR

December 15, 2014






In the late 1950s, when Chrysler executives asked Virgil Exner Sr to show them what could be done with a highly personalized future car for the popularly priced Plymouth brand, the Chrysler design chief took them at their word and came up with something so personal that he named it XNR, after himself. One of a series of Chrysler Corp show cars built by Ghia in Italy, the XNR was based on the compact Valiant chassis. Unlike many of the other Exner-Ghia concepts that featured Mopar’s marquee motor, the Hemi, the XNR is powered by a souped up version of what would in time become venerable but what was then a new engine, the Slant Six. With its asymmetrical and quirky styling, the little speedster is quite an interesting car, but its provenance, which includes being both Exner’s and the Shah of Iran’s personal vehicles and surviving a Mideast civil war, is even more interesting.

Once built, the XNR was shipped to the United States where it went on the show circuit, appearing on Road & Track’s cover.

Quote:
After Exner and his team did sketches in 1958 and the following year, a 3/8ths scale clay model was sculpted in Detroit. That model and the modified Valiant unibody was shipped to Ghia in Turin. Ghia and Chrysler had a very successful relationship in the 1950s, with the Italian coachbuilder fabricating most of the company’s high profile concept cars. As was Ghia’s practice with those Chrysler “idea cars”, the XNR’s body was made of hand formed steel.

While Chrysler hype that the car might see production was typical of the day, the XNR was fully engineered and featured a complete black leather interior. While there was a small trunk lid in back, it was easier to access storage for luggage from behind the seats. Instrumentation reflected Exner’s passion for photography, with dial covers that mimic camera lenses.
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post #23 of 110 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Special Report: Chrysler Group Product Heritage
Chrysler Brand Heritage Chronology


1875-1912: Kansas-born Walter Chrysler, son of a locomotive engineer, was connected to the transportation industries throughout his life. His love of machinery prompted him to forsake a college education for a machinist’s apprenticeship, and his early career comprised numerous mechanical jobs in the railroad industry.

1912-1920: In 1912, Chrysler joined General Motors as manager of its Buick manufacturing plant, becoming president of the Buick division four years later. After parting ways with GM in 1919, Chrysler began a second career as a “doctor of ailing automakers,” strengthening first Willys-Overland, then the Maxwell Motor Corporation.

1920-1924: Chrysler teamed up with three ex-Studebaker engineers, Fred Zeder, Owen Skelton and Carl Breer, to design a revolutionary new car. They defined what the products of the Chrysler brand would be – affordable “luxury” vehicles known for innovative, top-flight engineering.



1924: The first was the 1924 Chrysler Six, an all-new car priced at $1,565 that featured two significant innovations – a light, powerful, high-compression six-cylinder engine and the first use of four-wheel hydraulic brakes in a moderately priced vehicle. The well-equipped Chrysler Six also featured aluminum pistons, replaceable oil and air filters, full-pressure lubrication, tubular front axles, shock absorbers and indirect interior lighting.

1925: After securing a $5,000,000 loan to start production, Chrysler sold over 32,000 units of the Chrysler Six in its first year. The Maxwell company soon had a new name: Chrysler Corporation. In 1925, the firm boasted more than 3,800 dealers, sold over 100,000 cars and ranked fifth in the industry.



1925-1930: Some of Chrysler’s early high-performance, high-style cars startled industry observers and customers alike, but mid-range pricing added value and assured the success of the brand. Model numbers told customers how fast each Chrysler would go; the Chrysler 72, for example, featured an optional "Red-Head" engine for better pickup and hill climbing.


Chryslers would also perform commendably in other period racing venues, winning the 1925 1,000-mile Stock Car Speed Trial at Los Angeles and placing second, third and sixth at the Belgian Twenty-Four Hour Grand Prix of 1928. They also did well in endurance competition, completing a 1926 Kansas City-Denver test at an average speed of 51.8 mph and a 1927 New York-Los Angeles round-trip speed run at an average speed of 40.2 mph.

The 1928 acquisition of Dodge Brothers made Chrysler the third of Detroit’s Big Three automakers — and Walter Chrysler one of the most successful industrialists of his generation.

1930-1935: Within a decade of its founding, Chrysler Corporation’s leadership in innovation had earned for it the label of Detroit’s “engineering company.” Chrysler’s list of early automotive “firsts” included Floating Power (a new method of mounting engines to isolate vibration), replaceable oil filters, downdraft carburetors and one-piece curved windshields.



Chrysler entered a higher level of competition with its richly appointed Imperial series. With a custom-built body from LeBaron or Briggs, a 145-inch-wheelbase chassis, a 125-horsepower engine and a price tag of $3,145, a typical Imperial of the early 1930s rivaled a Duesenberg in style, but cost only about a third as much!

In 1934, Chrysler, with advice from Orville Wright, built a wind tunnel to test body shapes that led to the first unit-body, aerodynamic car — the Airflow. The idea came from Carl Breer after he tested conventional car shapes in a wind tunnel and found they registered much less drag “tail first.”


Chrysler’s Airflow "streamliner" was dramatic and ahead of its time — the fluid design and pioneering unit-body construction offered improved handing and passenger comfort in a vehicle unlike any seen before.

The Chrysler Airflow also featured recessed headlights, a low step-up height, a standard in-line eight-cylinder engine, automatic overdrive and good gas mileage (posting 21.4 miles per gallon on a coast-to-coast test trip). Unfortunately for Chrysler, the Airflow was a bit too different for most. Even though its design was soon widely copied, this first truly streamlined car was not a sales success.

1936-1937: Less-than-spectacular sales led to stronger promotion of cars like the $925 DeLuxe Eight over the slow-selling, $1,400 Airflow — and to more conservative Chrysler styling.

1938-1941: A new brand-defining model appeared: the New York Special, soon recast as the richly appointed Chrysler New Yorker. Its longstanding popularity would eventually make it America’s longest-running automobile nameplate (1938-1996).

"Fluid Drive" became known as another of Chrysler’s significant engineering innovations — it was an "almost automatic" transmission that virtually eliminated shifting. Others included Superfinish to reduce wear on contacting metal surfaces and Oilite self-lubricating bearings.

Gaining widespread notice in 1940, the Chrysler Thunderbolt show car was a huge two-seater with a retractable steel roof and streamlined cladding front to rear. Chrysler turned even more heads on Memorial Day that year when its exotic Newport Phaeton, one of only five built by LeBaron, served as pace car at the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

The most striking production-model Chrysler of the prewar years was the 1941-42 Town & Country, a “barrelback” sedan expanded into an aerodynamic station wagon and trimmed with ash-and-mahogany side panels – the company’s elegant entry into autobuilding’s “woody” era.

1942-1945: All civilian car production stopped for the duration of World War II. Chrysler was eighth among all manufacturers in producing materials for the war effort.

1946-1954: When peacetime returned, Chrysler and other automakers rushed back into production with new cars retaining many of the solid, reassuring features of the prewar models, such as the ash-and-mahogany trim of the new 1946 Chrysler Town & Country sedans and convertibles that succeed the pre-war T&C station wagons.

While many customers, especially Hollywood stars, loved those postwar “woodies,” many others were ready for a change, not just from the style of Town & Country, but from all "high-and-wide" models that harkened back to prewar styles. But Chrysler stood steadfastly by its tall, stolid cars. Through the early '50s, it built "comforting" large cars; when Chryslers did eventually get a bit longer and lower, styling visibly trailed most rivals in the market.

The first indication of changing times at Chrysler came with the 1951 development, and enthusiastic reception, of the authoritative, hemispheric-head V-8 engine. The soon-to-be legendary HEMI® combined better combustion, higher compression and lower heat loss to create much more horsepower than previous V-8s. Close behind was the fully automatic Powerflite transmission.

Chrysler then reaffirmed its engineering reputation by commissioning a revolutionary gas turbine engine program. This 20-year campaign to apply an aircraft engine turbine's smooth power and low maintenance requirements to automobiles became part of the Chrysler brand's folklore.

In 1949, Chrysler hired Studebaker designer Virgil Exner to head an advanced styling section, a first step toward realigning the company’s design priorities. Exner enlisted the aid of Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Ghia to began building a remarkable series of so-called "idea cars," like the 1951 Chrysler K-310 five-passenger sport coupe, the 1952 C-200, which featured the "gunsight" taillight design later used on Imperials, and the 1953 Chrysler D'Elegance, a three-passenger sport coupe with hand-sewn, black-and-yellow leather upholstery and matching luggage.

The most extraordinary car in this series was the Chrysler Norseman, featuring cantilevered arches to support a roof without “A” pillars, all-aluminum body panels and a power-operated, 12-square-foot panel of glass that slid forward to expose the rear seat to the sky. Shipped to America by Ghia, the Norseman sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean on the ill-fated Italian steamship Andrea Doria.

1955-1962: Exner revived Chrysler production car design with the sleek, sculptured Forward Look designs of 1955 that transformed the product line overnight. The Forward Look flagship was the 1955 Chrysler 300, a striking automobile that combined smooth styling with brawny HEMI power. The 300, arguably the first muscle car, became a legend on and off the race track and set records throughout the 1950s, including a 143-mph performance at Daytona Beach.

As the Fifties progressed, Chrysler products began to sprout distinctive tailfins, ostensibly to improve handling and stability above 70 miles per hour. The 1957 Chrysler brand standard-bearer, the 300C, was equipped with a standard 392-cubic-inch, 375-horsepower HEMI, two four-barrel carburetors, a high-output camshaft, Torsion-Aire suspension and the new Torqueflite transmission, making it the fastest, most powerful production car built in America that year and earning it the appellation “beautiful brute.”

Throughout the postwar years, Chrysler engineering leadership paced new styling advances. The company's engineering "firsts" from that era include the first "safety cushion dashboard,” the famous Chrysler push-button transmission (which became an icon of the '50s), power steering, torsion-bar suspension and the first practical alternator (introduced in 1960, it proved so successful it became standard equipment just one year later).

1963-1970: Chrysler entered the second phase of its gas turbine project, completing 50 smartly styled, Ghia-designed prototypes for testing by 200 customers. With its whooshing jet-aircraft sound, distinctive exterior and a space-age interior filled with a massive console, the Chrysler Turbine Car would not be confused with any other vehicle. But the realities of poor mileage [11.5 mpg] and high production costs brought the project to a quiet close.

Chrysler products evolved gracefully through '60s — fins disappeared, large cars became more refined — and ads for the 1963 New Yorker promised that there were "no junior editions to compromise your investment." The 1963 Chrysler 300-J maintained the brand’s style-plus-speed image with standard leather interiors, heavy-duty torsion bars and Ram induction manifolds; a special-edition Pace Setter convertible version started the Indianapolis 500.

By 1965, Chrysler sales had increased 65 percent and the brand moved from 11th to ninth place in national rankings. Models ranged from the "affordable luxury" of the Newport line (with no fewer than 376 trim and color combinations), through the high-line New Yorker to the sporty 300 with its 440-cubic-inch V-8 engine.

1971-1979: Following a decade of considerable success, Chrysler made an ill-fated, $450 million investment in new large cars just before the 1973 oil embargo. Public demand quickly turned from traditional large cars to mid-size and smaller vehicles, forcing Chrysler and its competitors to make expensive changes to their product lineups.

One design highlight in Chrysler's rapidly evolving 1970s lineup was the Cordoba — a 115-inch-wheelbase coupe billed as "Chrysler's new small car." With its Jaguar-like front end, formal roofline and one-of-a-kind rectangular taillamps, it became one of the era’s most memorable cars – along with the TV commercials featuring actor Ricardo Montalban extolling the virtues of its “rich Corinthian leather” interior. Cordobas sold better than all other Chrysler models combined, inspiring other new, "smaller" Chrysler designs, like the LeBaron Medallion coupe.

1980-1987: In 1980, Chrysler — deep in its greatest financial crisis — turned to the all-new K-Car for salvation. While some called it "the metal brick," in many ways the functional, compact, front-wheel-drive K-Car was just the right car for the times.

This automotive "back to basics" era peaked with the 1984 introduction of the minivan. Chrysler Corporation's most practical vehicle proved to be its most popular and eventually led to the revival of the Chrysler Town & Country nameplate on an upmarket version.

The design highlight for the Chrysler brand during this period was unquestionably the LeBaron convertible, which reintroduced the convertible to the American market and enjoyed a nine-year run as it brought style and excitement back to the brand.

1988-1998: In the late 1980s, new leadership at Chrysler, determined to return the brand to its roots of engineering and design excellence, decided to create an entirely new line of "Euro-Japanese-ethic" cars — and developed platform teams to get the job done quickly and affordably. The new product philosophy was reflected in the development of concept cars like the 1988 Portofino and the 1989 Millenium.

Chrysler's renaissance began in earnest with the mid-size 1993 Concorde sedan, which was quickly followed by the full-size LHS and Chrysler 300M, the smaller Cirrus sedan, the companion Sebring luxury sports coupe and the separate Sebring convertible, and the next-generation Town & Country minivan.

1998-2007: Since the DaimlerChrysler merger in 1998, still more outstanding Chrysler vehicles have been developed, including the new Chrysler 300C, the PT Cruiser and PT Cruiser convertible, the all-new Sebring sedan and Sebring convertible, the Pacifica crossover, the latest versions of the Town & Country minivan and the Crossfire sports car.

More than 80 years after the creation of the company, each of these vehicles continues to personify Walter P. Chrysler’s original vision for the brand bearing his name: superb engineering, standout design and fun-to-drive performance — all at an affordable price.

Rick

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post #24 of 110 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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1934 Chrysler Airflow

airflowwaterfall
The chrome


The world's first streamlined automobile, the Chrysler Airflow, posed beside the world's first streamlined train, Union Pacific's M-10000, in 1934.

1940_Chry_Thunderbolt_sd_top_up_concept.jpg
1940 Chrysler Thunderbolt concept

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1946to1948ChryTCfrntlft.jpg
1946 - 48 Chrysler Town & Country


1951 Chrysler New Yorker. (C-988)

1955 Chrysler New Yorker

1955 Chrysler 300 Sport Coupe

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1955 Chrysler 300 Sport Coupe

1955 Chrysler 300, a precursor of the Chrysler 300C Concept vehicle.

The 1955 Chrysler 300 established a new level of production car performance. Chrysler brand 75th Anniversary press kit photo. March, 1999.

Chrysler 300 Heritage 1955 300B.

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Chrysler 300 Heritage 1955 C-300

Chrysler 300 Heritage 1957 300C.

Chrysler 300 Heritage 1957 300C.

1957 Chrysler 300C, left side view.

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1957 Chrysler 300C convertible, right side.

1957 Chrysler 300C, 3/4 right front view.

1963 Chrysler Turbine

The limited-production 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car, a showcase for Chrysler's renowned engineering capabilities, demonstrated the practicality of turbine propulsion systems in passenger cars.

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The 1975 Chrysler Cordoba was a big hit in the burgeoning midsize personal luxury segment. Chrysler brand 75th Anniversary press kit photo. March, 1999.

1975 Chrysler Cordoba

1982 Chrysler LeBaron

Perhaps the most distinguished of all K-cars, the 1983-86 LeBaron Town & Country convertible evoked memories of its esteemed ancestor, the 1946-49 Town & Country

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With its smoothly shaped body surfaces, wide variety of options and promises of unlimited fun in the sun, the 1987-1992 LeBaron convertible quickly generated a loyal following. Pictured here is the 1987 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible.

1991 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible

In its final form, the LeBaron convertible of 1993-1995 featured a different face, but delivered the same open-air excitement of its predecessors; form still followed function. Pictured here is the 1993 Chrysler LeBaron GTC Convertible.

1993 Chrysler Concorde

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