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The Imperial Is The Biggest Car You Could Buy In 1958

The Imperial Is The Biggest Car You Could Buy In 1958

Sep 5, 2016



When Chrysler wanted to compete with Ford's Lincoln and GM's Cadillac in the mid-fifties, they based their range-topping luxury model on a custom-built parade car, launching it in 1955 as the new Imperial–with no Chrysler badges in sight.

By 1958, this model grew into 5600 pounds of excess, offering 'knowing people' the widest and most powerful car money could buy.





Published on Sep 5, 2016

With it's "Forward Look" design and massive 392 Hemi, Jay takes us on a ride in his Imperial Convertible that was the biggest and widest luxury car you could buy in America in 1958.


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Discussion Starter #82
1956 Chrysler Dealer Promo Film - Power Features


Published on Oct 2, 2016

1956 Chrysler Dealer Promo Film - Power Features
 

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Discussion Starter #83
1958 Plymouth Custom Suburban



1958 Plymouth Custom Suburban


01/29/2017

CALGARY — When Wayne Harris heads off to a summertime show and shine, he’s fairly confident of one thing.

“I’m not going to see a car like mine at car shows,” he says, noting there just aren’t that many ’58 Plymouth station wagons on the road.

Most of the surviving cars of the Fifties are high-end, well-optioned hardtops and convertibles that were halo cars for their brand and the objects of desire for that brand’s enthusiasts.

Meaning the cars from that decade that are fairly rare today are the bread-and-butter sedans and station wagons that accounted for the majority of sales at the time. Even if they did survive, the ‘plain Janes’ often ended their days as parts cars used to keep their more glamourous sisters on the road.

Harris has always liked the high-style big-finned Chrysler products of the late-50s, but, “I’m just a working guy; affording a two-door hardtop or a convertible seems to be pretty far out of my reach.”

In 1957, Chrysler stylists and engineers created automobiles that caused a sensation. Revised suspension design meant cars could be five inches lower than they had been in 1956. At the same time, the amount of window area was increased substantially. Suddenly, all the Chrysler brands, including the economy Plymouth line, looked much longer, wider and lower than their competitors. With minor trim changes, the same styling was carried over for 1958.

When local Mopar maven Larry Gammon, the President of the Northern Mopars club, brought the ’58 Plymouth back from Nevada in 1998, it wasn’t for Harris. The intention was to use the blue wagon as everyday transportation. It proved to be one project too many for Larry, though, and when Harris saw it in the Gammon garage it was love at first sight.

Built in L.A. and sold in Reno, the Plymouth was still in the hands of the original owner when it was sold to Gammon. All Plymouth station wagons were called Suburbans at the time with the Custom Suburbans like the Harris car the middle of three trim levels.

“All it had for options was the radio, the left outside rear-view mirror and the power tailgate,” Harris says.

It may have had power steering and power brakes, he notes, since all the parts to install the power options came with the car, but he’s never troubled himself to put them on.

“It steers and handles fine,” he offers, but admits, “It’s a bit of a bear at low speeds and parallel parking, but once it’s rolling down the road, it’s fine.”

That’s a good things as Harris drives the car as much as he can.

The first owner had made some changes to the car down in Nevada. Although it was originally a V8, the original powertrain was replaced by the 440 cubic inch engine from an early ‘70s Chrysler, as well as a newer transmission and rear-end. The factory colour was a copper colour which was changed to the present light blue and white and the interior was redone, too.

“I’ve since rebuilt the 440 and I did some paint work under the hood. Everything was flat black and it was ugly,” Harris says.

He also changed the intake manifold and carburetor to improve the less-than-stellar fuel economy of the big wagon. Perhaps the most important change was to the car’s motor mounts.

“It’s the one thing the original owner screwed up,” Harris explains. “The oil pan was sitting right on top of one of the cross members that wore a hole through it. I could never figure out why it was using so much oil. There was no smoke coming out.”

A few years ago, Harris found a farmer in the Lethbridge area who had accumulated several station wagons from the 1950s. One of them was a ’58 Plymouth and Wayne lost no time acquiring it as a parts car. The wagon even came with a manual and the original paperwork. It provided a number of nearly-impossible-to-find pieces like the rear license-plate light. The glovebox in Wayne’s car had deteriorated – not surprisingly, since it was made of cardboard – but the one from the parts car was good.

There is one change in the Plymouth’s future, Wayne says.

“I’ve always been a fan of the pushbutton transmission. I don’t have a pushbutton in it now, but I do have the proper transmission that will bolt to my engine and all the mechanism is there. It’s just a question of getting the transmission overhauled and installing it and I’ll have my pushbuttons back.”

Chrysler introduced pushbuttons for its automatic transmissions in 1956. It was one of the corporation’s signature features until it was dropped for the 1965 model year. Chrysler automatics started using shifters mounted on the steering column or floor console.

“I’ve never heard a story of anyone having a problem with Chrysler pushbuttons,” Harris says. “It was just a cable straight into the transmission.”

There are two numbers Wayne can’t tell you about his ’58 – the fuel consumption and how much he’s spent on it. The fuel consumption is just a cost of enjoying the car, he reasons.

“With these things, when you’re getting things done and buying things for them, you don’t bother keeping track. You don’t really want to know.

“You have to do it because you love the car, not for the resale value.”

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Discussion Starter #84
1984 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z TV Commercia


Published on Mar 26, 2017
1984 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z TV Commercial
 

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Discussion Starter #85
1967 Dodge Coronet 440 R/T


Published on Apr 3, 2017
Edit: Sorry for misspelling and mispronouncing Coronet every time. Sorry. I have no excuse. We review one of the muscle car era greats: The Dodge Coronet 440. It is more a symbol of virility than a car
 

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Discussion Starter #86
1982 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible


Published on Apr 5, 2017
American convertibles were dead except for a few 3rd party conversions when Chrysler surprised the world with this K-car drop-top. The first factory-built American convertible since the '76 Cadillac Eldorado, it was an instant hit.
 

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Discussion Starter #87
'64 Dodge Polara (360 Virtual Reality)


Nov 9, 2017
Jesse James '64 Dodge Polara Feature (360 Virtual Reality)

Take a look inside Jesse Jame's '64 Polara, which he debuted at SEMA 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
 

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Superbird+Daytona - Everything You Need to Know

Superbird+Daytona - Everything You Need to Know

Nov 23, 2017

The story if the Plymouth Superbird and the Dodge Daytona, two of the craziest cars to ever built. Originally designed for NASCAR, the Plymouth Superbird and the Dodge Daytona were extremely successful before they were deemed illegal by NASCAR for their crazy aerodynamic enhancements.
 

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Discussion Starter #89
1970 Plymouth Superbird - Jay Leno's Garage


Dec 31, 2017
Jeff Dunham shares his barn find 1970 Plymouth Superbird with the Hemi and 4 speed in vibrant "Vitamin C." This legendary Road Runner was what lured Richard Petty to Plymouth.
 

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Discussion Starter #90
1972 Dodge vs. Chevrolet Light Duty Pickup Trucks Dealer Promo Film


Dec 31, 2017
1972 Dodge .vs Chevrolet Light Duty Pickup Trucks Dealer Promo Film
 

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History of the Jeep Cherokee

10 Interesting Facts from the History of the Jeep Cherokee

Jan 22, 2018




Well before its current incarnation, the Jeep Cherokee enjoyed a long and distinguished career as an SUV that defied convention and introduced numerous innovations that the rest of the automotive industry scrambled to match.

Pioneering a number of compact sport-utility features and characteristics that we take for granted today, the Cherokee’s return after a decade-plus hiatus saw it pick up where it left off in terms of standing out from the crowd.

Now that a refreshed model has just debuted, the time was right to look back on this popular model’s history. Check out these 10 interesting facts from the history of the Jeep Cherokee.


1. The First Unibody SUV




When the 1984 Jeep Cherokee (or XJ as it was known internally) first hit the market, it didn’t just set itself apart from the larger, more primitive Jeep models that came before it — it also managed to distance itself from every one of its sport-utility vehicle peers. The biggest difference was the Cherokee’s unibody construction, which swapped the heavy and cumbersome body-on-frame platform used by every other truck in favor of the design increasingly employed by passenger cars. This imbued the small Jeep with far more nimble handling coupled with better fuel mileage than its peers thanks to its light (3,000 lbs or so) curb weight while preserving the rugged strength required to tackle off-road terrain.




2. Truck Like Towing, Car-Like Footprint



While it might have been smaller and less beefy than a truck-based hauler, the Jeep Cherokee managed to maintain the utility that SUV shoppers were looking for. When equipped with a towing package, the Cherokee was capable of pulling in the neighborhood of 5,000 lbs, although most models were sold with a 2,000-pound capacity. Also impressive? 71 cubic feet of total cargo space, a number that stands tall even all these years later when compared against a host of other entry-level people movers that have come and gone. This copious carrying capability came despite the Jeep’s sedan-like length and width.

3. Unheard Of Four-Door Practicality



It might seem unusual to laud the XJ Jeep Cherokee for offering compact SUV fans a four-door option, but in 1984, it was the only trucklet on the block to do so. The Chevrolet S10 Blazer and the Ford Bronco II were squarely in the two-door camp, and it would be several years before any other automaker would catch up to Jeep’s doubling down on passenger ingress and egress. For families, it was an easy choice to make, and for traditionalists, there was still a two-door model available.
 

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4. Real Ground Clearance, Real Four-Wheel Drive



If the Cherokee had merely been a jacked-up station wagon, it would never have caught fire in the imaginations of off-roaders like the XJ did. Take a peek underneath the truck and it’s clear to see that the engineers at Jeep didn’t see its unibody platform as a weakness, because you’ll find a pair of solid axles slung front (Dana 30) and rear (Dana 35, 44, or Chrysler-sourced), connected by way of several available transfer cases, including full-time four-wheel drive on some models and available low-range gearing. Coil springs up front helped with wheel articulation while improving on-road comfort, and the Cherokee topped out at a healthy 8.3 inches of ground clearance – roughly the same amount you’d find on a modern-day Jeep Grand Cherokee.

5. The Last AMC Engine, Ever




One of the most memorable aspects of the XJ Cherokee’s personality was its 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine. This was to be the final motor ever developed by AMC, the company that developed the compact Jeep before its assets were sold to Chrysler, and it would last from its inception for the 1987 model year all the way to the final 2001 edition of the Cherokee. Originally it offered 177 ponies, but a series of revisions would bring that figure up to just over 190 horsepower and a healthy 231 lb-ft of torque. Commonly matched with a four-speed automatic gearbox (although a five-speed manual was also available), later versions of the motor developed a well-earned reputation for being unkillable.

6. A Litany Of Other Motors (To Avoid)



Of course, things weren’t always rosy for the Jeep Cherokee in the engine compartment, especially during the first three years of production where AMC struggled to find a clear path forward for the small SUV. Out of the box, it came with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that struggled to generate 105 smog-choked horses in 1984, with another 10 horsepower available from a 2.8-liter V6 sourced from General Motors if buyers chose to ‘upgrade.’ There was even, at one point, a diesel four-banger shipped across the ocean by Renault to frustrate Cherokee owners hoping to actually merge with traffic, you know, today.

7. Nearly 3 Million Built



The Jeep Cherokee is viewed in some circles as an almost ‘disposable’ off-roader, simply because there are so many out there that if something bad happens to yours out on the trail, you can easily pull the parts you need off of it and snag a new one for very little money. Between 1984 and 2001, there were an astounding 2,884,172 examples sold around the world, making it one of the most popular SUVs of all time.
 

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8. Don’t Forget The SJ



If you reach back far enough in Jeep’s history, you’ll find another vehicle called the Cherokee, only this one’s a whole lot bigger. The SJ generation of the Cherokee nameplate was a two-door version of the popular Wagoneer, a full-size off-roader that had been available since Jeep’s Kaiser days. From 1974 to 1977, it was exclusively a two-door vehicle offering a lower standard of equipment than the Wagoneer, but by 1977 it had gained a four-door body style as well, which it would maintain until it went off the market in 1983.

9. Reviving a Legend



While the Cherokee name lived on outside of North America after the XJ was retired (on products sold as the Liberty state-side), it wasn’t until the 2014 model year that the Jeep Cherokee officially returned to its home turf. Importing a platform developed by new European corporate overlord Fiat, the Cherokee featured a choice between three different four-wheel-drive systems, came with a novel nine-speed automatic gearbox and offered four and six-cylinder engines. With shark-nosed styling that polarized Jeep fans, and an off-road-ready Trailhawk edition standing in for those looking to get their rims dirty, the new Cherokee carried on the spirit, if not the design details, of its predecessor.

10. Stacking Up Against the Modern Cherokee



Curious about how the current Jeep Cherokee compares to the lauded XJ? For starters, the new model is a full 5.1 inches longer, but delivers roughly 15 cubic feet less cargo space in total, a reflection of just how space efficient the older Cherokee’s box-like shape truly was. In terms of power, however, it’s no contest – even the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder in the new Cherokee is within a few horsepower of the mightiest 4.0, with the optional 3.2-liter V6 throwing down 271 horses, or roughly 50 percent more than what its ancestor brought to the table.

Tech-wise, it’s clear that the modern safety and infotainment systems found in the 2018 Jeep Cherokee are also a step up over the XJ, which at one point was available without airbags or even anti-lock brakes. In terms of off-road capability, however, it may be a draw: the Trailhawk uses a variety of electronics to complement its low-range gearing and locking axles (including a 56:1 slow-speed creeper ratio), posts 8.7 inches of ground clearance, and comes with the Selec-Terrain system that allows drivers to dial-in their driving environment (including snow, sand/mud, and rock crawling).



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Historical Roots of the Jeep Wrangler


Jan 25, 2018
FCA US historian Brandt Rosenbusch discusses the roots of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, which stretch back to World War II.
 

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Top 10 Chrysler Concepts

Top 10 Chrysler Concepts You May Have Forgotten

Feb 12, 2018






Chrysler‘s recent concept cars may not be terribly exciting, but in the past, it has created some stunning machines.

The American automaker’s most recent concept car is the Portal EV, an autonomous minivan-like vehicle that offers seating for six. If you’re an automotive enthusiast, nothing about the Portal Concept gets you excited. And if we’re being honest, Chrysler’s lineup these days isn’t doing the brand much justice with just the 300 sedan and the Pacifica minivan being offered.

But there was a time when Chrysler generated a lot of interest with its concepts, some of which featured design and styling elements that eventually made their way to production cars. Other concepts never resulted in anything, despite a positive reception from the general public.

So we decided to take a look at some of Chrysler’s past concept cars, and here’s 10 you may have forgotten even existed.


10. Chrysler Chronos Concept




Introduced in 1998, the Chrysler Chronos Concept was heavily inspired by the 1953 Chrysler D’Elegance Concept, as well as the design of the Chrysler 300C. Under the hood of the concept was a 6.0-liter V10 engine generating around 350 horsepower, while it borrowed components from the Viper’s suspension. It rode on a high-strength steel chassis with rear-wheel drive, aluminum wheels, and a large wheelbase. Chrysler also put an emphasis on the concept’s interior, making it incredibly luxurious with wood dash panels, an in-place humidor with storage, humidistat, and lighter, as well as a hand-wrapped leather steering wheel.

9. Chrysler Java Concept




The Chrysler Java Concept made its official debut at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show and was considered a design study for the brand. “Conveying American optimism, the Chrysler Java show car represents a fresh design approach to an important European market segment,” Chrysler said in a press release at its unveiling. “With its clean, yet refined and elegant ‘one box’ profile, Java’s ‘Passenger Priority Design’ makes maximum use of its exterior dimensions.”

The concept boasted what Chrysler called unique Panoramic Seating that featured high H-points that enhanced visibility, comfort, space, and ease of entry and exit for both driver and passengers. The company said its design was almost architectural rather than automotive, with classic architectural proportions complemented by dynamic contemporary character lines. Under the hood was a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine generating around 80 horsepower and 95 pound-feet of torque.

8. Chrysler Phaeton Concept




There was a time when Chrysler wanted a flagship for its lineup, with Plymouth offering the Prowler and Dodge having the infamous Viper sports car. The Phaeton Concept debuted in 1997, and perhaps in a way, it was Chrysler’s vision of a flagship but in the form of an outlandish four-door convertible. Head designer John E. Herlitz said the concept “embraces and contemporizes elegant, classic design cues from historic touring automobiles of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s.” Heavily inspired by the 1941 Newport, the Phaeton Concept rode on 22-inch wheels, while the interior featured cream leather with brown details, satin metal highlights, and Zebrano wood accents.

Powering the Phaeton Concept was a 5.4-liter aluminum V12 engine with around 425 hp, while suspension similar to that of the Dodge Viper was used.
 

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7. Chrysler Citadel Concept




Before hybrids were as popular as they are today, Chrysler rolled out the Citadel Concept in 1999 with a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine powering the rear wheels, and an electric motor powering the front. At the time, Chrysler said the V6 generated 253 hp and the electric motor added another 70 hp, helping generate similar performance of a V8 vehicle. There was also a spacious interior with dual-power sliding rear doors and a power rear gate, all of which has become commonplace since the concept’s original debut.


6. Chrysler LHX Concept




The Chrysler LHX Concept may look a bit familiar, especially its headlights. The concept was introduced in 1996 and previewed styling elements that eventually made their way onto the Concorde sedan. At the time of the LHX Concept’s debut, Chrysler executive vice president of product design and international operations, Tom Gale, referred to the LHX as a “heritage design,” defined as “taking the best aesthetic elements from the past and providing a modern interpretation.” Like the LHS that came before the Concorde, the LHX Concept had a front-engine, front-wheel-drive design, featuring a 250-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine.

5. Chrysler Atlantic Concept




First shown in 1995, the Chrysler Atlantic was dubbed a retro concept car, designed by Bob Hubbach and inspired by the Bugatti Atlantic coupes of the 1930s. Powering the concept was a 4.0-liter straight-eight engine, with massive 21-inch wheels up front and 22-inch rollers in the rear. Output from the inline-eight engine, which was essentially a pair of 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine blocks from the Dodge Neon put together, was around 360 hp.

There’s a story behind the Chrysler Atlantic’s design, with some saying “what if” sketches were done by then Chrysler president Robert Lutz during a lunch with design chief Thomas Gale. Gale passed those ideas to the design staff, and the Atlantic Concept was the result.

4. Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept




Sporting a 4.0-liter V8 engine with 270 hp, the Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept borrowed styling cues from the 1941 concept car of the same name. Chrysler even created a flyer for the Thunderbolt Concept, calling it “The Dream Car.” The two-door hardtop coupe featured four-wheel disc brakes, four-wheel independent suspension, anti-lock brakes, and traction control. “Remember dreaming of that special car? A car so unique and so elegant it would be a rolling sculpture, a fine work of art? It would be sleek, moving effortlessly and gracefully through the streets, with shapely body panels, a low stance to pounce on any challenge, and plenty of glass for great visibility – to see and be seen,” the flyer read. “That’s what the Thunderbolt is all about.”
 

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3. Chrysler Cirrus Concept



One of Chrysler’s more interesting concepts was the Cirrus from 1992. Under the hood was a 3.0-liter turbocharged, two-stroke engine that ran on fuel-grade alcohol, producing 400 hp. The concept featured a cab-forward design and the lack of a B-pillar was due to the fact the rear-passenger doors were rear-hinged. The Cirrus nameplate went on as a production car, more commonly known as the Stratus or Plymouth Breeze.

2. Chrysler 300 Concept




The Chrysler 300 as we know it is really a far cry from the 300 Concept from 1991. Inspired by the Dodge Viper, the Chrysler 300 Concept was longer, wider, and taller but was still powered by an 8.0-liter V10. Although the concept was created as a production-intent vehicle, with standard steel and lighting to meet legal requirements, it would never head to production. Certain elements of its design, however, did end up on later production cars for the brand, such as the grille and scalloped headlights. The concept even featured an interesting version of keyless start, with a coded key card that had to be inserted into the center console in order to access the ignition button.

1. Chrysler ME Four-Twelve Concept






Believe it or not, the Chrysler ME Four-Twelve Concept was first unveiled at the 2004 Detroit Auto Show. Sporting a chassis tub constructed from carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb, the lightweight supercar was powered by a 6.0-liter V12 engine with four turbochargers to generate 850 hp. At the time, had the Four-Twelve gone into production, it would have been the most powerful and fastest road-going vehicle. But sadly it never went into production. What’s interesting is that the styling is modern even by today’s standards, and Chrysler could roll this thing off the assembly line in 2018 and people would probably line up to buy it.

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FCA US LLC Corporate Overview

FCA US LLC Corporate Overview

FCA US LLC is a North American automaker based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It designs, manufactures, and sells or distributes vehicles under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT® and Alfa Romeo brands as well as the SRT performance designation. The Company also distributes Mopar® and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler Corp., established in 1925 by industry visionary Walter P. Chrysler and Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (F.I.A.T.), founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli. FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA).



Headquarters
Auburn Hills, Mich.

Address
FCA US LLC
1000 Chrysler Drive
Auburn Hills, MI 48326-2766

Telephone
248-576-5741

Executive Management

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – Sergio Marchionne

Major Brands

Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Mopar, SRT, FIAT and Alfa Romeo

FCA - NAFTA Vehicle Shipments
2017 - 2.4 million

Full-year U.S. Vehicle Sales
Number of U.S. Dealerships
2017 - 2.1 million 2017 - Nearly 2,640

Worldwide Employment
U.S. Employment
2017 - Nearly 90,000 2017 - Nearly 60,500

Manufacturing Facilities

12 Assembly
7 Engine
4 Transmission
13 Stamping, Casting, Machining, Axle, Tool and Die

Manufacturing Training Facilities

World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Academy, Warren, Mich.
World Class Manufacturing Academy, Saltillo, Mexico
World Class Manufacturing Academy Indiana, Tipton, Ind.

Test Facilities
Arizona Proving Grounds, Yucca, Ariz.
Automotive Research and Development Centre, Windsor, Ont.
Chelsea Proving Grounds, Chelsea, Mich.
FCA México Center for Research, Development and Testing of Automotive Engineering, Cuajimalpa, Mexico
Technology Center, Auburn Hills, Mich.
Florida Evaluation Center, Naples, Fla.

Regional Business Centers and Parts Distribution Centers
Twelve North American Regional Business Centers are responsible for all sales, service, parts, service contracts and dealer initiatives:
California Business Center (Los Angeles)
Denver Business Center
Eastern Business Center (Ontario, Canada)
Great Lakes Business Center (Detroit)
Mid-Atlantic Business Center (Washington, D.C.)
Midwest Business Center (Chicago)
Northeast Business Center (New York)
Quebec Business Center
Southeast Business Center (Orlando, Fla.)
Southwest Business Center (Dallas)
West Business Center (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Western Business Center (Calgary, Alberta)

Twenty-three North American Parts Distribution Centers ship Mopar parts and accessories to dealers and customers:

Western Region & Mexico
Chicago
Dallas
Denver
Los Angeles
Portland, Ore.
St. Louis
Toluca (Mexico)

Eastern Region & Canada

Atlanta
Boston
Cleveland
Minneapolis
Montreal (Canada)
New York
Orlando, Fla.
Red Deer (Canada)
Romulus, Mich.
Winchester, Va.

National PDC
Mississauga/Toronto (Canada)

International PDCs
Center Line, Mich.
Marysville, Mich.
Milwaukee
Mopar World Headquarters / Package Engineering Parts Distribution Center (Center Line, Mich.)
Warren, Mich. (two locations)

International Operations

FCA Canada Inc., located in Windsor, Ontario, has approximately 440 dealers and markets Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Mopar, SRT, FIAT and Alfa Romeo vehicles and products. In addition to its assembly facilities, which produce the Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Grand Caravan (Windsor), and the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger (Brampton), FCA Canada operates an aluminum casting plant in Etobicoke, a research and development center in Windsor, and has sales offices and parts distribution centers throughout the country.

FCA México, S.A. de C.V., located in Santa Fe, Mexico City, is the headquarters for all of the Company's operations in Mexico. The Company operates manufacturing facilities in Saltillo and Toluca, which produce Ram trucks, 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engines and 5.7-liter and 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 engines, 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat V-8 engine and 2.4 liter Tigershark (Saltillo), as well as the Dodge Journey, Fiat 500 and Fiat Freemont (Toluca). FCA México also operates an engineering center in Santa Fe, Mexico City.

FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA US manages the marketing, sales and service of FCA US vehicles in more than 150 countries around the world where FCA US vehicles are available. Vehicles are produced outside North America at facilities in Brazil, China, Egypt, Italy and Venezuela.
 

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evolution of the supercar Dodge Viper


Nov 6, 2013
Dodge Viper History 1988 to 2014 - from "Concept Car" to "Generation-5 SRT-10 Viper"
 

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Roots of the Dart Dynasty and ‘Cuda Kingdom – Part 1


A for Effort: The Beginning

Though the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda nameplates have appeared on several different sized vehicle platforms intermittently over the past six decades, between 1964 and 1969, the Dart and Barracuda were joined at the hip. That’s because they shared the Chrysler Corporation “A-body” platform.

First seen under the 1960 Plymouth Valiant, the A-body was Chrysler Corporation’s first compact-sized offering, born to grab a chunk of the booming economy car segment of the late 1950s. Like all full-size Chrysler Corporation passenger cars since 1957, the small Valiant used a down-sized copy of Chrysler’s revolutionary torsion bar front suspension. Unlike the vertical coil springs used by Valiant’s domestic competitors, torsion bar front suspension employed a pair of nearly inch-thick, four-foot-long, high-strength steel rods to support the nose of the vehicle.

With the rearmost ends anchored to an under-car cross member positioned under the front seat area and the leading ends attached to the pivoting front lower control arms, the steel rods’ resistance to twisting (a.k.a. torsion) provided the needed spring-like vehicle support. But it was also more compact, lighter and offered sure-footed handling thanks to reduced un-sprung weight.

At the rear, Chrysler’s unique leaf spring layout – with the rear axle located 1/3 of the way back instead of half way – complemented the front torsion bars. The shorter front segment added stiffness to the leading ends of the springs to tame axle hop, much like a set of bolt-on traction bars, but without the binding action.

For 1960, the Valiant was only sold at Plymouth dealers where it attracted 194,292 buyers and was a marketplace hit. Naturally, Dodge dealers wanted in, so a mildly reconfigured Valiant, named the Dodge Lancer, arrived at Dodge stores for 1961. The Lancer gave Dodge buyers their first A-body experience, and planted the seeds for many life-long customers.

The one controversial issue plaguing the early Valiant and Lancer was body styling. It was pretty wild and focused on asymmetrical themes, reverse curves, trapezoids and extreme slopes. So for 1963, Chrysler Corporation management asked the stylists to tone things down a bit. While the inherent goodness of the A-body chassis, suspension, brakes and driveline were retained, body styling took a much more conservative direction. At Plymouth, the Valiant’s “plucked chicken” curves were replaced with a more slab-sided look, while Dodge dropped the Lancer nameplate in favor of Dart. In both camps, sporty convertible body types were offered for the first time.

The 1963 re-skin worked magic. Plymouth dealers saw Valiant sales leap from 157,294 to 225,166, a mouth-watering 43% gain. Dodge dealers had even more reason to celebrate when sales of the new Dart surpassed 1962 Lancer sales by 139% (from 64,300 to 153,900). By 1964, the economy car boom of the late 1950s was evolving into something much more exciting thanks to children born during the post-WWII “baby boom”. These kids, born between 1945 and 1965 reshaped America in many positive ways.

As the first wave of “boomers” started turning 18 in 1963, many bought their first new car. It was once said, “You can sell a young man’s car to an old man, but you’ll never sell an old man’s car to a young man.” The youth market had arrived and they sought cars with exciting performance, style and looks. With its compact size, superb handling and light weight, the A-body was an ideal patient for a high-performance transformation.

Dodge hit first with the Dart GT package of 1963. Similar to the Lancer GT of 1962, but with Dart’s more mainstream bodywork, the Dart GT included standard front bucket seats, full wheel covers, a padded dash and special GT badging. Under the hood, buyers were limited to a Slant Six since the 273 small block V8 wouldn’t be ready until 1964. But as an initial volley, the little GT was a solid offering. With the 145-horsepower 225 Slant Six, it was one of the quickest six-cylinder compacts on the market. Only the turbocharged Corvair Monza was a stop light threat.

BARRACUDA GETS HOOKED


1964 saw the youth market really begin to blossom. While the mighty 426 Race HEMI® stole race day headlines aboard mid-sized B-body passenger cars, Dodge Dart and Plymouth Valiant option sheets added the aforementioned 180-horsepower small block 273 V8 for just $131 and Chrysler’s all-new A833 four-speed manual transmission for $151. But the bigger news came from Plymouth, where the Valiant grew an attractive fastback roof and massive, curved glass rear window. The Barracuda had arrived.

Following closely on the hoof beats of a certain personal sporty car from Dearborn, Michigan, the Barracuda hit dealer showrooms in May of 1964, and was the only pony car alternative until 1967, when numerous contenders appeared on the scene. Though Barracuda sales never dominated, the spunky little fastback attracted 126,068 buyers during its first three years (23,443 in 1964, 64,596 in 1965 and 38,029 in 1966). Like the Dart, the Barracuda could be had with 170-cubic-inch or 225-cubic-inch Slant Six power or the two-barrel 273 V8.

1965 witnessed further Dart and Barracuda evolution, including optional front disc brakes and upsized 10-inch drums for V8s. And though drag racers like Richard Petty, Dick Landy, Billy Jacobs, Jack Sharkey and others were busy installing 426 HEMI engines for quarter-mile match race competition, showroom offerings embraced a new high-performance version of the 273. Fortified with 10.5:1 compression, a higher lift solid cam, single plane intake manifold, Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor and novel high-flow single-exhaust plumbing, the 235-horsepower A861 resulted and gave Darts and Barracudas true high-performance ability. Better yet, though most of these high-performance 273s went into Dart GTs and the new-for-’65 Barracuda Formula S, base models could also be had with the big 235-horse mill. With only a pair of small metal “273 Four Barrel” fender emblems and a single, fist-sized rectangular exhaust outlet to suggest potential, A861 Darts and Barracudas were true sleepers.

1966 saw subtle styling refinements to Dart and Barracuda grilles, front fenders and interiors and while sales remained strong, the mid-size muscle car marketplace was really heating up. To keep pace, the larger mid-sized Dodge Coronet and Plymouth Belvedere B-bodies were offered with the mighty 426 Street HEMI and rumors of muscle car nameplates like R/T and GTX began swirling for release in 1967. Also looming for 1967 were rumors of multiple pony car contenders from virtually every corner of Detroit.

Having evolved from the 1960 Valiant economy car, the A-body platform wasn’t physically suited for large V8 engines as it stood at the end of 1966. But sales figures were strong – Darts accounted for nearly 21% of total Dodge passenger car dollars and over at Plymouth, Valiant and Barracuda sales accounted for 25.31% of total volume. Clearly, the A-body platform warranted whatever investment was required to keep the Dart and Barracuda competitive. In the second installment of this Dart and Barracuda history review, we’ll examine just how Chrysler Corp. upgraded the A-body to stay competitive.
 
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