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Chrysler Facts & Vehicle History

58535 Views 150 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  rickaren
Keeping Track of the Facts, April 2009


* Chrysler currently is engaged in more than two-dozen alliances and partnerships, including our joint-venture with GM, Daimler and BMW to develop two-mode hybrid powertrain technology, and our GEMA alliance with Hyundai and Mitsubishi that produces the advanced technology, four-cylinder World Engine in Dundee, Mich.
* Chrysler manufacturers minivans for Volkswagen at its Windsor Assembly Plant
* Chrysler has a partnership with Nissan to bring a new fuel-efficient subcompact vehicle to the U.S. market by 2010 and to produce a pickup truck for Nissan.
* Our discussions with Fiat are consistent with the long-term viability plan required under the U.S. Treasury loan. An alliance would help us provide a return on investment for the American taxpayer by securing the long-term viability of Chrysler brands in the marketplace and expand the availability of fuel-efficient vehicles.
* No U.S. taxpayer funds would go to Fiat. The alliance would be based on an exchange of equity for assets. Fiat would acquire an equity stake in Chrysler by giving us access to substantially all of its vehicle platforms and technologies. This access is of great value to Chrysler, saving us significant costs and years of development time.
* Daimler AG signed a binding agreement on April 27, 2009, to give up its 19.9 percent remaining stake in Chrysler LLC and pay as much as $600 million into the auto maker's pension fund.

Restructuring since 2007:

* Chrysler has taken out 1.2 million units of our production capacity, stopped building four models to simplify our product line and reduced the total work force by more than 32,000 employees. We have reduced annual fixed costs by more than $3 billion.
* Chrysler has identified over $1 billion in assets to sell (includes the Viper vehicle business) to sell and has so far sold assets valued at more than $700 million.
Cost savings:

* Internal restructuring efforts with respect to salaried employees and executives have included aggressive cost actions, as well as compliance with the terms of the U.S. Treasury loan agreement.
* Key executives have signed waivers prohibiting incentive compensation, bonuses, “golden parachutes” and severance payments.
* Suspension of salary merit program for 2008 and 2009, 401(k) company savings match and tuition reimbursement.
* Elimination of retiree life insurance.
* Each salaried employee is being asked for increased productivity as a result of reducing approximately 12,000 white-collar employees over the past two years and the subsequent de-layering and restructuring of our organization.

Employment and manufacturing summary:

* Chrysler worldwide employment at the start of 2007: 86,994
* Announced reductions since February 2007:
o Total hourly: 22,700
o Total salary: 4,000
o Added mix of salary and supplemental: 5,000
o Total employment: 31,700
o Total assembly shift reductions: 12

Chrysler LLC employment—Dec. 31, 2006
Location Hour. Salary Supp. Total
U.S. 45,186 18,602 4,301 68,089
Canada.. 9,921 1,082 127 11,130
Mexico 5,040 1,351 60 6,451
R.O.W. 0 802 472 1,274
Total 60,949 21,507 4,488 86,944

Chrysler LLC employment—Dec. 31, 2008
Location Hour. Salary Supp. Total
U.S. 26,801 10,691 765 38,257
Canada 8,652 692 54 9,398
Mexico 3,862 1,038 26 4,926
R.O.W, 0 896 530 1,426
Total 40,211 12,951 845 54,007

Employment reductions since 2007:

* Announced in February 2007: Reduce employment by 13,000
o Hourly employees: 11,000 by end of 2009 (moved ahead to end of 2008 with October 2008 Newark Assembly announcement).
o Salaried employees: 2,000 by end of 2008 (1,000 in 2007, 1,000 in 2008)
* Announced in November 2007: Reduce employment by 9,500
o Hourly employees: 8,500 by end of 2008
o Salaried employees: 1,000 by end of 2008
* Announced June 30, 2008: Reduce employment by 2,400 hourly employees by November 2008
* Announced July 23, 2008: Reduce employment by 1,000 salaried employees by October 2008
* Announced Oct. 23, 2008: Reduce employment by 800 hourly employees by end of 2008
* Announced Oct. 24, 2008: Reduce salaried and supplemental work force by up to 5,000 employees (25 percent) by the end of 2008

Background on manufacturing reductions:

* Announced February 2007:
o Drop second-shift operations at Newark (Del.) Truck Assembly Plant in February 2007
o Drop third-shift operations at Warren (Mich.) Truck Assembly Plant in June2007
o Drop second-shift operations at St. Louis Assembly Plant South (Fenton, Mo.) in January 2008
o Idle Newark Assembly Plant in fourth quarter of 2009
* Announced in November 2007:
o Drop third-shift operations at Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant February in 2008
o Drop third-shift operations at the Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly Plant Feb. 2008
o Drop second-shift operations at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant (Detroit) in February 2008
o Drop third-shift operations at Brampton (Ontario) Assembly Plant in March 2008
o Drop second-shift operations at Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant in March 2008
o Drop third-shift operations at Mack Avenue (Detroit) Engine Plant II in March 2008
* Announced in June 2008:
o Drop second-shift operations at St. Louis Assembly Plant North (Fenton, Mo.) in September 2008
o Idle St. Louis Assembly Plant South in October 2008
* Announced in October 2008:
o Drop second-shift operations at Toledo North Assembly Plant in December 2008
o Pull ahead idling of Newark Assembly Plant to December 2008


* Chrysler LLC announced in April the launch of the Company’s Supplier Support Program, as a result of the Obama Administration’s announcement of a $5 billion program to provide suppliers with the confidence they need to continue shipping parts; and the support they need to help access loans to pay their employees and continue their operations.
* As part of the Administration’s Supplier Support Program, U.S. Treasury agreed to contribute a $1.5 billion line of credit, with the requirement that Chrysler make a 5% capital infusion. Chrysler’s loan agreement requires authorization of the first lien bank group prior to the Company contributing capital into a new company.

Global sales and dealers:

* March U.S. total sales were 101,001 units, the first time since Sept. 2008 that the Company has surpassed 100,000 units, representing a 39 percent decrease versus 2008. Chrysler’s retail market share increased to an estimated 10.0 percent versus 9.9 percent in March 2008. Total March sales included a fleet reduction of 44 percent year-over-year for the same period, as the Company continues to emphasize retail over fleet. For Q1 of 2009, Chrysler’s total sales were down 46 percent as compared to the same period in 2008.
* Sales of the Dodge Ram were up 34 percent (19,328 units) in March compared to February
* Jeep Wrangler sales were up 16 percent (10,000 units) year-over-year compared to March 2008 (8,589 units)
* Posting a year-over-year increase, Dodge Journey sales in March (5,987 units) were up 127 percent compared to March 2008 (2,640 units), and up 30 percent compared to February 2009
* Chrysler Canada sales for March were 15,937 units, an increase of 33 per cent compared to the February 2009 total of 12,015
* Chrysler LLC sold 14,148 units outside of North America in March 2009, a decrease of 41 percent compared to March 2008 sales (24,032). The decline in sales was the result of challenging economic conditions worldwide.
* In the United States, Chrysler continues to offer the Employee Pricing Plus Plus program through April, which offers the employee price to all customers purchasing or leasing a new 2008 or 2009 Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicle. Chrysler Financial also is offering zero-percent financing on select products to qualified customers for up to 48 months. In addition, customers are eligible for cash discounts of up to $3,500 for 2009 model year vehicles and can find great deals on 2008 models in stock. Additionally, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Company’s minivans, customers can add at no change a DVD player on Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Grand Caravan.
* Project Genesis has slowed slightly due to the economy, but the company is still making progress in transforming its U.S. dealer network. Through March 2009, 61 percent (1,992) of Chrysler LLC dealers are tri-branded (Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge), compared to 55 percent one year ago. Additionally, metro markets have increased tri-branded dealers by 24 percent. In the United States we now have 3,215 dealers, down from 3,528 dealers one year ago in March 2008.
* As of March, the Chrysler dealer network outside of the U.S. includes roughly 450 dealers in Canada, 117 dealers in Mexico plus 57 branches and 9 showrooms; and 1550 dealers outside of North America.


* For the 2009 model year (MY), more than 88 percent of Chrysler’s vehicles achieved five stars for frontal-crash tests; 86 percent achieved the highest rating for side-impact protection.
* For the 2009 MY, 73 percent of our product lineup offers improved fuel economy compared with last year’s models.
o Chrysler has six vehicles that achieve 28 mpg on the highway: Dodge Caliber, Dodge Avenger, Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler Sebring Convertible, Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass.
o The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram pickup is an outstanding example of our focus on greater fuel economy. Chrysler designers and engineers spent more than 200 hours in our wind tunnel optimizing the design of the vehicle for lower wind resistance and better fuel mileage. These efforts improved the vehicle’s coefficient of drag (COD) to .419 (most pickups have a COD of .50 or higher).
* Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the new 2009 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan models are equipped with a newly optimized 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine, a minivan-first six-speed automatic transmission and best-in-class aerodynamics (COD of 0.33), that now deliver EPA fuel efficiency of 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway … no other minivan offers better fuel economy.
* We continue to invest in new products, with 24 vehicle launches planned for the next 48 months. More than 60 percent of our total sales volume will be renewed, including the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango, Chrysler 300 and several exciting new small cars. We will continue to improve overall fuel economy with these new small-car entries and our all-new Pentastar V-6 engine.
* Chrysler’s internal warranty data show that the company is building vehicles with the highest quality in the company’s 84-year history. Chrysler has the lowest warranty claim rate in its history, with a 30 percent improvement in the last 12 months and a cost savings of $240 million.
* Through our internal ENVI organization, we are focused on electric as our primary clean-vehicle technology. Our product plan includes the introduction of a full-function electric-drive model in 2010. Approximately 100 electric-drive vehicles will be placed on the road in government, business, utility and Chrysler development fleets in 2009.

Product Awards:

* The all-new Ram already has earned 15 industry awards, including the 2009 International Truck of the Year, Truckin’ magazine’s Truck of the Year, Texas Auto Writer's Association (TAWA) 2009 Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas, Inside Line Editors Most Wanted for 2009 and the “Best New Pickup Truck” by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.
* The all-new Ram earned a place on Ward’s distinguished list of winners, taking home the “2009 Interior of the Year” award in the popular-priced truck category.
* Chrysler earned two Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards. The 2009 Chrysler Town & Country earned the “Automotive Loyalty Award – Minivan” for the eighth year in a row, and Jeep Grand Cherokee took “Automotive Loyalty Award – Mid-size SUV.”
* The all-new Dodge Ram 1500 was named “Best Pickup Truck” and the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan were named “Best Minivans” in “MotorWeek” television’s annual Drivers’ Choice Awards.
* The new Ram also was chosen by Car and Driver magazine as the best full-size pickup truck in head-to-head competition with its competitors, including the new Ford F-150.
* The Detroit Free Press gave the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 its highest rating — four stars or best in its class — in a product review by auto writer Mark Phelan.
* The 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 received “Truck of the Year” and the Dodge Challenger was awarded “Car of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP).
* Chrysler products received four of Four Wheeler magazine’s top 10 picks. For the second year, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon took “Editor’s Pick” honors for “Best Overall” four-wheel-drive vehicle.
* The Dodge Power Wagon took home honors from Four Wheeler for the best full-size pickup and was called “pure pickup perfection.” The Power Wagon also was honored with the Best 4×4 System.
* Popular Mechanics named the Dodge Challenger to its list of Automotive Excellence Awards for 2009.
* Kelley Blue Book ( honored the 2009 Jeep Wrangler in its Best Resale Value Awards as the leader in the sport-utility vehicle segment.


* Chrysler will invest approximately $1.8 billion in vehicle programs, including a significant expansion and upgrade at the Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant to ready it for future production, starting in 2010.
* Jefferson North is undergoing a 285,000 square-foot building expansion to replace the existing body shop, which will give the facility an all-new level of manufacturing flexibility for multiple products. In addition, changes throughout paint and assembly operations will accommodate vehicles of various sizes and dimensions. Material handling and other plant functions also will be improved.


* Since 2001 Chrysler has reduced the man hours needed to assemble a vehicle 31.4 percent from 44.28 hours to 30.37 hours.
* Last year, Chrysler tied Toyota for No. 1 in manufacturing productivity, and has the No. 1 assembly plant (Toledo Supplier Park) and No. 1 engine plant (GEMA joint venture with Hyundai and Mitsubishi).

Summary of Chrysler LLC manufacturing operations:

* 12 Assembly plants (8 U.S.)
* 5 Engine plants (4 U.S.)
* 6 Stamping plants (4 U.S.)
* 7 Transmission/casting/machining/axle plants (6 U.S.)

U.S. assembly plants:

* Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant (Dodge Caliber, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Compass)
* Conner Avenue Assembly Plant (Detroit)
* Jefferson North Assembly Plant (Detroit) (Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Commander)
* St. Louis Assembly Plant North (Fenton, Mo.) (Dodge Ram)
* Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant (Dodge Avenger, Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler Sebring Convertible)
* Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly Plant (Jeep Liberty, Dodge Nitro)
* Toledo (Ohio) Supplier Park (Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited)
* Warren (Mich.) Truck Assembly Plant (Dodge Ram, Dodge Dakota)

U.S. engine plants:

* Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) (Dundee, Mich.)
* Kenosha (Wis.) Engine Plant
* Mack Avenue Engine Plant I and II (Detroit)
* Trenton (Mich.) Engine Plant
U.S. stamping plants:

* Mt. Elliott Tool and Die (Detroit)
* Sterling (Sterling Heights, Mich.) Stamping Plant
* Twinsburg (Ohio) Stamping Plant
* Warren (Mich.) Stamping Plant

U.S. transmission/casting/machining/axle plants:

* Detroit Axle Plant
* Indiana Transmission I Plant (Kokomo)
* Indiana Transmission II Plant (Kokomo)
* Kokomo (Ind.) Casting Plant
* Kokomo (Ind.) Transmission Plant
* Toledo (Perrysburg, Ohio) Machining Plant

Canada assembly plants:

* Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant (Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan)
* Brampton (Ontario) Assembly Plant (Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger)

Canada casting:

* Etobicoke Casting (Toronto, Ontario)
Mexico assembly plants:

* Saltillo Assembly Plant (Dodge Ram heavy duty)
* Toluca Assembly Plant (Chrysler PT Cruiser, Dodge Journey)

Mexico engine plant:

* Saltillo Engine Plant

Mexico stamping plants:

* Saltillo Stamping Plant
* Toluca Stamping Plant
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121 - 140 of 151 Posts
The History of the Chrysler Cordoba, Rich Corinthian Leather, and Ricardo Montalbán
A garish ode to '70s personal luxury coupes is survived by Ricardo's crooning.

Jun 12, 2020
During the late Seventies, my neighbor's father drove a Chrysler Cordoba. His coupe wore the popular Cadet Blue Metallic paint and a white Landau vinyl roof. It was by far the fanciest set of wheels on my block, and all I could hear in my head when it drove by was actor Ricardo Montalbán's voice from a popular commercial of the day, crowing about how the Cordoba came with "soft Corinthian leather." If the leather was half as soft as his rolling delivery, then oh boy . . .

Montalbán was the company's spokesman and appeared in a number of classic commercials and also starred as one of Star Trek's greatest villains of all time. So, anyway, all the kids in the neighborhood were impressed because the Cordoba on the block had Corinthian leather and thought the family was rich. My neighbor's father worked at the local Anheuser-Busch brewery, and owned an in-ground swimming pool with a diving board, so the pay was obviously good, and the Chrysler was his pride and joy. So, what was this big personal luxury coupe's deal beyond Montalbán?

The not-quite-full-size luxury coupe was built from 1975 to 1983, borrowing the Cordoba name from its original use on a trim on the brutish 1970 Chrysler Newport hardtop. Fast-forward to the Cordoba, part deux, which arrived in the mid-70s to distinguish Chrysler from its staider Dodge Charger SE cousin. The two-door coupe was assembled in Ontario, Canada, and was a much-needed best seller for the marque.

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Road Runner sales faded due to the hot new Duster and the Superbird NASCAR models didn't save the icon in time. By '71 the car entered a new generation with a more traditional muscle car look. It got lower compression ratios to account for insurance prices and eventually turned into a more luxury-oriented vehicle and then an options package for the Volare.
Sometimes insurance quotes for luxury cars can be even lower than for regular ones, it depends on specific insurance firm. I could find this page recently ( ), and after analyzing annual Infiniti Q50 insurance pricing, I was pretty impressed, how prices differ in different agencies.
Jeep Patriot - History, Major Flaws, & Why It Got Cancelled! (2007-2017)

Sep 17, 2020

In this video we are looking at the Jeep Patriot! Many people agreed it had terrific value, with the base price starting around $15,000, along with bold Jeep styling and good 4x4 capabilities. Sales were always strong right until the end, but the Patriot quickly became outdated, while the other SUVs in the Jeep family drew more attention. Overall, 6 major flaws and reasons that I felt caused this car to be cancelled. Watch along for a full history of the Patriot, from concept in 2005 to its cancellation in 2017!
Watch These Old Dodge Charger Commercials

Jan 15, 2021

Take a walk back in time.
There’s no doubt the Dodge Charger is one of the most beloved classic muscle cars. Say whatever you want about the current Chargers with their four doors and such, the original cars were iconic and have become even more iconic with time. For those who were around when the Charger launched back in 1966, the video compilation of commercials will be a walk down memory lane. However, for those who are younger, these old commercials give a glimpse of how the classic Mopar was marketed to prospective buyers back in the day.

Today, most people associate the Dodge Charger with The Dukes of Hazzard, but the reality is it was a reaction to the unexpected success of the Ford Mustang. Sure, Chrysler beat the Blue Oval to the pony car market by launching the Plymouth Barracuda a few weeks earlier, but Mustang sales were nothing to sneeze at. Rethinking its market approach, Chrysler made some critical changes to appeal to a younger customer base.

That kind of thinking led to the creation of the 1964 Dodge Charger concept, a convertible two-seater which was based off the Polara at the time. That concept was a little too safe, so a second one was created, this time with a fastback design car shoppers craved at the time. As you already know, once the Charger hit the market it was an instant success and has since been portrayed as a genuine performance machine in everything from Bullitt to the first Fast & Furious.

The first commercial in the lineup is a cartoon depicting the Dodge gang all wearing white hats, staring down the lone bad guy in a black hat, who’s supposed to represent other brands. It’s a hokey commercial, especially by today’s standards, but it’s a theme Dodge uses in other commercials in the set. But what’s really interesting is how today Dodge’s marketing has flipped and now has a sinister appeal to it, instead of the white hat approach.

However, other commercials have a different tone as they herald the “Dodge rebellion.” While it doesn’t have the sinister edge we see on full display often today, you can see the early seeds of today’s marketing.
Check out the videos for yourself.

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Goodbye, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Here's How We'll Remember You
A look back at six years of FCA's Hellcat highs and Lancia lows.

By James Gilboy January 25, 2021

In October of 2014, the post-recession ghost of Chrysler merged with Fiat S.p.A. to form what was then the eighth-largest carmaker in the world. Though diminutive, the newly christened Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) lashed itself to Jeep and Ram to ride the rising tide of trucks and SUVs, and close up to its Detroit rivals Ford and General Motors. This set the 2021 stage for FCA to merge with European conglomerate Groupe PSA and form Stellantis, making it now the world's fourth-largest carmaker.
Though it existed for a brief six years and change, FCA had plenty of time to leave lasting impressions both good and bad. Let's take a look at both, starting with the reasons we'd rather remember it: the vehicles that put smiles on people's faces.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Hellcats and Pickups and Jeeps, Oh My!
By and large, FCA's flagships improved by leaps and bounds in the ways that matter most to their buyers. While Jeep's Wrangler going hybrid is without a doubt significant, it's not nearly as exciting to customers as the availability of diesel power for the first time in American market history, and the return of the V8 option after 40 years. Better still, these choices seem like no-brainer carryovers to the pickup the Wrangler spawned, the Gladiator, which despite its success still wasn't the high-water mark for FCA-era trucks.

No, that honor belongs to the growing range of Rams, which are bigger, snarlier, more luxurious, and more capable than ever before. And of course, more powerful, with the 702-horsepower TRX grabbing headlines not only for its power output, but its ability to endure Hollywood-worthy jumps. Such airtime wouldn't be possible without the TRX's supercharged, 6.2-liter V8, whose name is one of the most evocative in the auto industry today: Hellcat.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

This 700-plus-horsepower motor powers an ever-growing range of outrageously fast vehicles, from full-size family haulers like the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, to Dodge's muscle car standbys the Charger and Challenger—some of which have eclipsed 800 horsepower. And yet, despite its focus on churning out awe-inspiring toys for grownups like these, FCA proved it hadn't forgotten how to be sensible; its Chrysler Pacifica sets the minivan gold standard to this day.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Pinnacle

Falling Pentastars
Sadly, however, the Pacifica is also the last shining star in the Chrysler lineup. Since the end of the 200, the Pacifica's only company has been the aging 300C, the former sensation of a sedan that, while related to the still strong-selling Charger, hasn't received a fraction as much care as of late. Of course, there's only so much reason to invest in the 300C's aging architecture, whose lineage can be traced as far back as the Daimler-Chrysler days.
Chrysler isn't the only (former) FCA brand in dire straits, either. The storied Lancia has been reduced to selling a single rebadged Fiat in its home market of Italy, Maserati is trying yet again to reinvent itself with the MC20 supercar, and while Alfa Romeo has recaptured some of its former glory, it has also earned some of the poorest reliability ratings in the industry.
Even FCA's runaway successes came at a cost. The aforementioned Wrangler is still alleged to be dangerously wobbly, and though profitable, trucks inflated FCA's fleet emissions averages to the point that it needed to buy in emissions credits from Tesla, padding the finances of possibly the most over-valued company since Theranos. And if that weren't enough, the Viper is gone too.


2020 Peugeot Landtrek

The Stellantis Era
Repercussions of FCA's many hard decisions (and its occasional missteps) will be felt for at least the first few years of its time as Stellantis. These pains, though, will eventually be soothed by brand renaissances and a trickle of new models, such as an anticipated redesign of the Charger and Challenger and former PSA products immigrating from Europe. Though none will arrive as Peugeots as initially planned, there are plenty of cars to excite us for what's to come—join our discussion of them here.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

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60 DeSoto Adventurer: “Woulda, coulda, shoulda!

  • Jul 23, 2021


All in all it was a great highway cruiser. Chrysler’s torsion bar suspension up front made for a smooth ride, and the Torque-Flite automatic transmission was nearly bulletproof.
Power for the lesser Fireflite models was supplied by a 361 cubic-inch, V-8 producing 295 brake horsepower and fed by a two-barrel Carter carburettor. Adventurers came standard with a 383 cubic-inch engine producing 305 horsepower with the same Carter carb. A 383 cubic-inch, four-barrel V-8 was offered for slight extra cost in both DeSoto series. And if that wasn’t enough to satisfy the hot rodder in you, a 330 horsepower, Ram-Induction 383 with not one, but TWO four-barrel carbs and dual exhaust, in the Adventurer series only, for an extra $283.

The "Forward Look", a design credited to famed auto designer, Virgil Exner, was at its peak in 1960 with sweeping fins that began halfway back on the front doors and continued nonstop, all the way to the very back of the car.

Most people living today have often heard the phrase ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’. Within the circle of the collectible car hobby, who hasn’t used that saying – usually followed immediately by the words “sold it” or “let it go.” My 1960 DeSoto Adventurer belongs in that group... one of several ‘collectible automobiles’ I have owned since officially joining the hobby in the mid-‘80s. It was a strong number three example, and a good 20-footer... a car I could be proud to be seen in, but that never brought home a trophy.

My DeSoto had a few good things going for it, however, (and “there’s always a ‘however’ in life”right Bernice?), and the only downer was that it was a four-door sedan – usually the lowest-valued on the totem pole, with convertibles topping it, followed by two-door hardtops, four-door hardtops and such. However, in today’s modern era, four-door sedans are the most common form of automobile found on today’s highways – not counting pickups and SUVs.

The big attraction to the so-called ‘hardtops’ or ‘pillar-less’ coupes and sedans, which came on the scene in the early ‘50s, was the open-air feeling and uninterrupted visual openness, when all windows were lowered and there was only the A pillars and the B pillars (at the very back of the greenhouse). Another big advantage to the ‘hardtops’ was that those windows were often down because automobile a/c was in its infancy in the early- to mid-‘50s. In the early days, some manufacturers affixed window decals to promote their air-conditioned automobiles. Such was the case with my DeSoto which had the original “Air-conditioned by Airtemp” window decal still displayed in the lower right corner of the back window.

By 1969, more than half of all new cars sold were equipped with A/C, but the increasingly popular option wasn’t essentially universal until the 1980s. Today the number of new vehicles sold with A/C is 99 percent.

Over recent years, on rare occasions I have rolled all the windows down, and/or opened my moon roof to relive that long-forgotten open air motoring experience. The feeling only lasted a few minutes, however, before the buffeting wind noise was too much to take and the sound from my Bluetooth music deteriorated drastically... especially the bass notes. Oh yes, and that buffeting wind also messed up my hair!

As the owner of a dozen or so convertibles since my first at age 16, my advice is that, if you have a strong desire for open air motoring, the only way to go is totally topless as I often do in my 2011 Camaro SS.

FIN MAN FACTOID: (This from Wikipedia), The De Soto make was founded by Walter Chrysler on August 4, 1928, to compete with Oldsmobile, Studebaker, Hudson and Willys in the mid-price class. Introduced for the 1929 model year, De Soto served as a lower-priced version of Chrysler products, with Dodge and Plymouth also added to the lower end of Chrysler family in 1928.

The Adventurer was the flagship model line for DeSotos in 1960 with the most standard equipment and the top level of trim inside and out. Mine still had the original cloth and vinyl upholstery in the back seat and after-market upholstery in the front which, at first glance, looked like it matched the original factory seat covering.

All in all it was a great highway cruiser. Chrysler’s torsion bar suspension up front made for a smooth ride, and the Torque-Flite automatic transmission was nearly bulletproof.
Power for the lesser Fireflite models was supplied by a 361 cubic-inch, V-8 producing 295 brake horsepower and fed by a two-barrel Carter carburettor. Adventurers came standard with a 383 cubic-inch engine producing 305 horsepower with the same Carter carb. A 383 cubic-inch, four-barrel V-8 was offered for slight extra cost in both DeSoto series. And if that wasn’t enough to satisfy the hot rodder in you, a 330 horsepower, Ram-Induction 383 with not one, but TWO four-barrel carbs and dual exhaust, in the Adventurer series only, for an extra $283.


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Here's Why The AMC Matador Was An Underrated Muscle Car

By Hamed Paydarfar
A look back at the American Motors Corporation’s finest muscle car.


It is always a treat to walk down memory lane and reminisce all the great works done through the years in the car industry. There is no shortage of spectacular automobiles built in the past. In fact, the developments and progress made by manufacturers were at their apex in the 70s and 80s.

One of those names is the American Motors Corporation. The American manufacturer was known for producing small cars, but they revolutionized their output with the Matador. Initially considered a family car, the Matador went on and captured a much bigger audience than just families. After a couple of years, the Matador became the most significant automobile produced by the AMC. AMC was never as big as companies like Ford or Chrysler, but with muscle cars like the Matador, it could battle head-to-head with those big names.

The Matador Legacy


The AMC Rebel, which had been on the market since 1967, was superseded by the 1971 Matador (First generation). The AMC Matadors received a makeover and a new title and were offered in two-door hardtop, four-door sedan, and station wagon body styles.

The Matador and the full-size Ambassador models utilized a revised structure. Despite being strongly connected to the preceding Rebel models, AMC started marketing the Matador as something more than a rebranding with a bit of makeover in order to reestablish the series in the hypercompetitive intermediate-car sector among customers.

After periods of intermittent independent success, Renault acquired a major interest in American Motors in 1979, and the company was ultimately acquired by Chrysler.


The cargo lid chrome stripe and rear-corner chrome embellishments remained unchanged from the 1970 versions. The 1967–1970 Rebel "Weather Eye" fan-heat control system was fresh on the 1971 model, as was the rear bumper with redesigned curved lenses, the interior panel, infotainment system, steering wheel, and armrests.

The Matador was offered with a straight-6 or one of many V8 motors. The Matador's transmission options featured a Borg-Warner "Shift-Command" three-speed automatic, a floor-shifted four-speed manual, and a column-shifted three-speed manual.

The 1972 Matador (First generation-second model year) was pitched as a "family vehicle," and it was available in two-door hardtop, sedan, and station wagon configurations with two or three tiers of seats. Sedans came with standard 3.6-liter l6 engines, while hardtops and wagons featured a 4.2-liter l6 engine as standard.

The 1972 models were identical to the 1971 variants, with the same frontal face but a reduced grille design. The chrome trunk lid strip and rear corner chrome present on 1970 Rebels and 1971 Matadors were removed. The 1972 model received a redesigned tail light lens arrangement, which consisted of nine submerged vertically rectangular optics.

For 1973, the Matador hardtop, sedan, and station wagon body types were available in only one trim with various aesthetic and comfort choices. 1973 Matadors had more powerful front and rear bumpers. The front bumper was equipped with self-restoring telescopic shock stabilizers and more visible vertical rubber shields, while the rear bumper featured vertical black plastic bumper shields that supplanted a pair of identical and formerly optional chrome bumper guards.

Apart from the bumper modifications, the 1973 model was almost identical to the 1972 model, with the exception of revised tail light lens modules and a marginally altered grille layout.

The Second-Generation Matador


The AMC was facing some problems with its sales due to the change in the industry's focus. Coupes were the popular type among the customers. So, a shift in the design was required, and that was the beginning of the production of the second-generation Matadors.

The updated passenger vehicle standards required the front and rear passenger car bumper to be consistent in height, withstand angle hits, and endure 5 MPH collisions without damage. The large front and rear bumpers placed on energy-absorbing shocks enabled all 1974 Matadors to achieve this standard. They were incorporated into the body of the sedans and station wagons using gap-concealing elastic infill panels.

The four-door sedans and wagons featured a larger total vehicle length and revised front and back design. The redesigned front fascia, which included a hood and grille, had a conspicuous center projection that matched the form of the front bumper.

The sedan's rear was modified, with the license plate moved above the number to the middle of the rear paneling and new, larger rectangular taillights. The taillamps of the station wagon were revised, and the bumper was reinforced with a central rubber face.

A 4.2-liter l6 with 3-speed torque-command auto transmission accompanied the base sedans and wagons. They also came with an optional 5.0-liter V8.

The second generation continued its way in the same way and just featured some trim and accessories developments.

Pop Culture Appearances


The AMC Matador was a big name back in the 70s and 80s. It was one of the most prominent cars used in Hollywood. From movies like Batman and Terminator to TV series like The Dukes of Hazzard, Murder She Wrote, Magnum P.I, and Adam-12 all the way to numerous music videos by different artists such as Michael Jackson, the AMC Matador was quite the go-to vehicle to use.

Matador In Charge

Despite the fact that the full-sized AMC Ambassador was also available as a police car, the Matador proved to be quite popular. The Los Angeles Police Department was the most frequent user of Matador patrol vehicles, especially from 1972 to 1974. The LAPD picked the Matador after a thorough evaluation of the specialized law enforcement versions supplied by Chevy, Ford, and Chrysler because they "outperformed and exceeded all the other cars."

The LAPD's acquisition of the Matador would end with the 1974 versions. The second-generation longer-nosed retouch and the 5 MPH bumpers increased heaviness, which hampered driving and acceleration. Therefore, the LAPD and AMC parted ways.

The many uses of the Matador accentuate the fact that it was a great muscle car that exceeded expectations and made other rivals crumble upon its power.
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650HP Big Block Roadrunner All Motor Old School Muscle Car | Mopar Baby

Nov 2, 2021
1970 Plymouth Superbird Is A Masterpiece Of American Automotive History

John Puckett
Mon, December 13, 2021

1970 was an incredible time for the Mopar muscle cars, whose main competitive racing involvements stayed within the NASCAR series. Ford, Chevy, and many other American performance manufacturers were stomping out the ability for brands such as Dodge and Plymouth to compete as the Mopar lineup was notorious for being "aerodynamically challenged." Essentially, while everyone else was focusing on making their cars' handling and aerodynamic capabilities better, Mopar found itself at a disadvantage due to most of their focus being on style and power rather than actual racing capabilities. Dodge got tired of losing and did what Dodge always does. The introduction of the Daytona saw one of the fastest vehicles ever to hit the oval track at the time, and along with it came the Plymouth Superbird, which had a bit more focus on the aesthetic aspect of the aerodynamic body modifications.

These great cars are scarce nowadays because the respective brands only made enough to meet homologation restrictions. For that reason, this beautiful 1970 Superbird is a ridiculous find for any American automotive enthusiast looking to have some fun in a monstrous Mopar machine. Under the hood is a massive 440 ci V8, a highly famous engine for its wide-spread use as Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth's go-to big-block engine for the Charger, Challenger, and Roadrunner models.

Of course, you can't have a high-performance V8 Mopar muscle car without talking about the extremely popular four-speed manual transmission. These things became highly famous for their ability to provide plenty of control over the massive power ban that the various engine options offered at the time. That is precisely why this car boasts a perfect example of one of those beautiful transmissions. All 390 horsepower goes to the rear wheels to help the vehicle achieve its top speed, which, on the Nascar track in 1970, was close to crossing the 200mph range. Everything about this car screams badass American muscle car, which is precisely why you should get your hands on this thing before it's too late.

This car will be sold at the Maple Bros. Auction in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on February 19-20. There is still time to Consign and Register to bid for this sale. Please go to
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This Is the Largest Car Company in the World

January 2, 2022

There was a time when the car universe seemed to revolve around Detroit’s “Big Three” of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. The U.S. car market was by far the largest in the world, much larger than Japan’s or China’s, and it dwarfed car sales in any European country.

The U.S.-centric view of the auto world is no longer accurate, and hasn’t been for about 50 years. China is now the world’s largest car market. Domestic car companies sell fewer vehicles than some Japanese and German brands even in the U.S. market. Recently, Toyota began to sell more cars per month in America than GM, and in terms of revenue is now the largest car company in the world.

The U.K.-based price comparison and switching site USwitch’s recently released Car Brand Earnings research report points out that about 56 million cars and light trucks were sold worldwide last year. The companies that control much of these sales have multiple brands. Some of their cars carry different brands from country to country.

The Dutch automotive company Stellantis, for instance, owns Chrysler and its Jeep, Dodge, and Ram brands, as well as such European banners as Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maserati, and Peugeot. Germany’s Volkswagen owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat, Cupra, Ruf, and Škoda, as well as VW itself. (Some of these are among the most expensive cars in America.)

Most of the world’s largest car companies are no longer American-owned, in fact. Two of the world’s largest car companies are German and three are Japanese. U.S. car companies are not among the top five manufacturers in the world based on last year’s numbers.

The landscape of the car brand world is also being altered by the rise in sales of electric vehicles. Tesla was a tiny car company five years ago. In its most recently reported quarter, it had revenue of almost $14 billion, and it has risen to be the world’s 16th largest car company, ahead of two major Chinese manufacturers. (These are the world’s most innovative car manufacturers.)

To determine the largest car companies in the world in terms of revenue, 24/7 WallSt reviewed the USwitch Car Brand Earnings report for 2021. The results show that the world’s largest car company last year was Toyota, with sales of $270 billion. It was followed by Volkswagen at $250 billion.

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Purple Cars We’re Plum Crazy About

Purple may not be a popular color for automobiles, in fact, it might be one of the rarest. But that doesn’t mean purple cars aren’t cool. In the right hue, purple cars can look fantastic, like those Mopars finished in the color we unapologetically stole for the title of this article; Plum Crazy. Thankfully, there is still a selection of vehicles that can be painted in various shades of purple, even if it is in small numbers.

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Purple may not be a popular color for automobiles, in fact, it might be one of the rarest. But that doesn’t mean purple cars aren’t cool.

In the right hue, purple cars can look fantastic, like those Mopars finished in the color we unapologetically stole for the title of this article; Plum Crazy. Thankfully, there is still a selection of vehicles that can be painted in various shades of purple, even if it is in small numbers.

Whether it be lavender, mauve, periwinkle, or violet, we’ve assembled a list of the best purplish cars currently available. What’s interesting is that the few offerings that do exist stretch across multiple automotive segments. Compact hatchbacks, muscle cars, SUVs, and sedans are all represented in our list below.

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Dodge Challenger / Charger

Dodge may no longer offer the fabled Plum Crazy on its Challenger and Charger, but fear not. There’s still a purple option available and it has arguably the best name out of any featured on this list. That name is Hellraisin.

What exactly is a raisin from hell, we are unsure. Maybe it’s what happened to the California Raisins after their 15-minutes of fame were up. Regardless, this is a deep metallic purple that really sparkles under sunlight.

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Chrysler 300

The second Stellantis vehicle to enter our list, the Chrysler 300 is available in purple, but sadly not Hellraisin. Instead, the 300 makes due with a more subtle shade of purple that is officially called Amethyst, named after the quartz crystal.

Offered only on the Touring trim level of the big Chrysler sedan, it’s a dark shade with some red undertones, but sparkles purple in the sunlight. It might not be the most vibrant hue on our list, but we feel it suits the 300 Touring’s character.

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Dodge Durango

Stellantis clearly likes purple as this is the brand’s third entry in our list, and the third different shade. Ok, the Dodge Durango finished in Octane Red Pearlcoat is more burgundy than red, but we’re going to to allow it anyway.

It’s another one of the those shades that looks different depending on the lighting conditions. At night, it can easily pass as a purple-like color. But in bright sunshine, the red pearl really does pop out prominently.

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The 1956 Chrysler St. Regis had a lot going for it

Jan 14, 2022

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What an outstanding car of the ’50s! Much can be said for the 1956 Chrysler New Yorker St. Regis, but the styling is hard to express in words. It must be seen to be appreciated.
Photo provided by Bruce Kunz
Okay, excuse me while I run and grab my advertising writer’s hat, and you’re about to see why.
Behold the magnificent 1956 Chrysler New Yorker St. Regis. Gazing upon this dashing, full-size coupe nearly takes one’s breath away, for it is truly nothing less than stunning.
Hats off to the St. Regis and its designer, Virgil Exner, a star in automobile design. Now if you’re reading this story in print, unfortunately you won’t be able to appreciate what makes this car so special – its “tri-color” or “tri-tone” color combination – a new feature offered by a number of makers including Ford and General Motors in the period of the mid-50s. Astute auto expert, columnist, blogger and just a downright fascinating guy, Donald Pittenger goes on to explain in more detail. This from Don:

One brief fad was that of the three-tone paint job. Because it’s difficult to coordinate three colors on an automobile, what stylists and color consultants fell back on was making at least one of those colors black or white. An alternative was to use black and off-white with one other hue.
“Three-tone paint schemes first appeared on mid-fifties Dodges, DeSotos, Buicks, Packards, Fords and Edsels.”

The 1956 Chrysler New Yorker St. Regis coupe seen here, is decked out in Stardust Blue, Raven Black and Cloud White. Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, this is not a real car. It is a 1/18 scale die cast model by Acme Trading, priced at $199.00.

All New Yorkers, including the St. Regis’ were powered by a Chrysler Hemi V-8 of 354 cubic-inches, producing 280 brake horsepower. This was to be the last year for coil front and leaf-rear springs. The 1957 Chrysler lines, including Plymouth, Dodge and DeSoto, would implement Chrysler’s praised ‘torsion bar suspension’ up front and coil springs in the rear which would be a staple for their cars until the advent of front drive cars in later decades.

Typical options for the day: power assisted steering, brakes, windows and seats were offered as well as Chrysler Air Temp air conditioning. What was not offered by competitors was Highway Hi-Fi, an under-dash unit which played 7”, 16-2/3 rpm records which would provide up to 45 minutes of music or one hour of speech. They were offered on all Chrysler Corporation vehicles from 1956 through 1959 model years.

The St. Regis coupe weighed in at 4,175 pounds (shipping weight) and had a suggested factory base price of $3,889.which equaled to $40,333 in today’s dollars.

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Here Are The Best And Worst Plymouth Sports Cars Over The Years

By James J. Jackson Published Jan 09, 2022

Breaking down their popularity, performance, and durability, here are the best and worst sports cars ever put on the market under the Plymouth badge.

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Before ending their production in the mid-2000s, Plymouths were a visible presence on the market. Making everything from vans to sedans, to sports coupes and muscle cars, Plymouth had a respectable 90 something year run.

During those 90-plus-years Plymouth has graced us with marvels like the Road Runner and the Duster, to confused gimmicks like the Plymouth Prowler, which isn’t necessarily a bad car but its novelty didn’t make up for underwhelming performance (see below).

Breaking down their popularity, performance, and durability, these were the best and worst contributions to the performance car world by Plymouth and their parent company Chrysler.

10 Best: 1968 Plymouth Belvedere Sport Satellite

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Belvederes were some of the best and most popular cars Plymouth ever made. Some considered them so representational of their era that one was once sealed in a time capsule in Oklahoma.

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The 1968 Belvedere Sport Satellite came with a standard 318 cubic inch V8 engine block, making it one of the first Chrysler cars to feature this kind of engine. It was one of the best engines of the era and could reach 240 horsepower.

9 Best: 1972 Plymouth Duster 340

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A car similar to the Plymouth Road Runner (see below) all Dusters came built with a V8 engine and 325 horsepower. The engine was a 5.6-liter 340 cubic Inch block that sent all of its power to the rear wheels through a manual 3-speed transmission or a 4-speed automatic.

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It hit 60 mph in less than 7 seconds—impressive for an early 1970s design. Meant to be a compact version of the Plymouth Valiant, the Duster did much better on the market than the Valiant, selling over 1.3 million cars before production ended in 1976 and even earning Motor Trend's "Car of the Year" award for its final model year.

8 Best: 1970 Plymouth Barracuda 383

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While the Hemi Cuda and other renditions of this car all deserve the praise they get, the Baracuda 383 is the one to make this list because it was the first Barracuda to remove all previous commonalities with the Valiant, which Plymouth had been using as a chassis for almost all of their sports cars until this point.

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The car's V8 engine could achieve 335 horsepower with 425 lb-ft of torque. Barracudas also had an extensive list of engine options, ranging from four cylinders to V8 Hemis. The 383's rear-wheel-drive also helped give this car a little extra push.
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7 Best: 1971 Plymouth GTX

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The last of the GTXs before being discontinued, the 1971 model was a completely different design than the preceding GTXs. The B-body platform was altered for the 1971 GTX and became Chrysler’s new rear-wheel-drive passenger car platform until 1979.

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The GTX engine could either be a 7.2-liter (440 cubic inches) V8 or a 426 cubic inch Hemi V8 and had the option of either a 3-speed automatic or 4-speed manual transmission. A Hemi-powered GTX could hit 425 horsepower. Plus, any Plymouth Road Runner that came with the 440 block was renamed the Plymouth Road Runner GTX.

6 Best: 1970 Plymouth Road Runner

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This Road Runner's 6.2-liter V8 engine produced 335 horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque. It wasn’t long after being introduced in 1968 that the Road Runner became one of the most popular Plymouths ever to see production.

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But 1970 was the year we saw the limited edition Road Runner Superbird, which was distinct for its long hood and horn sound that mimicked the Looney Tunes character the Road Runner, the car's namesake. While the Road Runner was marketed as one of Plymouth's most affordable cars at the time, today they can fetch over $150,000 at auction.

5 Worst: 1997 Plymouth Prowler

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While there is a certain novelty about owning a drag roadster-inspired sports coupe that was built in the late 1990s. That said, if one is comparing it to other Plymouths it does fall short in significant ways.

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It only had 180 horsepower. But its biggest drawback was trunk space. The trunk was so minimal that Plymouth sold a trailer attachment with the Prowler for an extra $5,000, and in addition to paying extra to use your own trunk, the tow hitch was useless. Towing anything but the factory-approved trailer attachment voided its warranty.

4 Worst: Plymouth Valiant 1961

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While Valiants served as a chassis for several Plymouth cars well into the early 1970s, the 1961 Valiant is still a car to avoid. While redesigned to include a 3.7-liter six cylinders engine slant black engine and was one of Plymouths first unibody designs since the 1930s, it was not a consumer favorite.

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This is mostly because the car’s engine had issues with overheating and shoddy exhaust manifolds that would crack easily and frequently. The crankcase ventilation system also required more maintenance and more frequent cleaning than other cars produced by Plymouth. Wet weather could also cause stalling and idle problems, allegedly.

3 Worst: Plymouth Gran Fury 1983

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While the Gran Fury was one of Plymouth's longest-running sedans and offered more interior room than cars like the Valiant, the third generation Grand Fury never generated the level of excitement that other Plymouths had.

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The base model’s 3.7-liter slant six-cylinder engine only came to around 165 horsepower. Ultimately, according to the 2006 edition of The Encylopedia Of American Cars, the 1983 release would see 3,000 fewer cars produced than its previous version.
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2 Worst: Plymouth Volare 1976

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The Volare was not only unpopular, but it was also dangerous. Volares, which are basically just Dodge Aspen’s of a different name, were recalled eight times by 1977. Problems with the car included component failures of the front suspension, brake lines corroding due to leaking battery acid, and chronic stalling.

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Along with the car's notorious structural problems, the Volares engine only had a pathetic 90 horsepower. Why Plymouth ever let this car onto the market remains a mystery. Both the Aspen and Volare were no longer produced after 1980.

1 Worst: Plymouth Volare 1980

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It is no wonder that some consider this to be one of the worst muscle cars ever made. As mentioned above, this was the last hurrah of this awful and unsafe car. Finally getting the ax after multiple recalls, the 1980 Volare was just as bad if not worse than the 1976 as none of the redesigns on the final rendition were noticeable and they did nothing to solve the above-mentioned safety problems.

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Also, Volare's troubles included seat belts unlatching after hard deceleration, the exact moment when a seat belt is needed the most, and it could catch fire due to the fuel vapor line rubbing against the alternator drive belt. Whatever anyone spent on a Volare, it was always too much.

Here Are The Best And Worst Plymouth Sports Cars Over The Years
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Yes, There Was a Funky Detroit Song about the Chrysler K-Car
Composed and performed by the man who wrote "Mustang Sally."

Jan 18, 2022

ides of time  kcar for sale

Dodge Boys Records

Lee Iacocca's K-Car saved Chrysler from certain doom in the early 1980s, but most of the true Ks— with the possible exception of the Chrysler LeBaron— weren't what you'd have called high-end luxury machines. No matter! At some point around the 1981 launch of the original K-Cars, legendary Detroit songwriter Mack Rice (best-known for 1965's "Mustang Sally") put together a band called the Ides of Time and released the "K-Car For Sale" single on the Dodge Boys label. Here it is:

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Chrysler's AMC buyout fits long history for both firms

The Chrysler Corporation's successful takeover of rival automaker American Motors Corporation is the latest in a string of mergers and acquisitions that have come to shape the No. 3 United States auto manufacturer. In the last year alone, Chrysler has expanded ties with a number of carmakers - and it hints that other links could be forthcoming. But none are likely to have as big an effect on its product and dealer lineup as the AMC merger.

While most historians date the origins of Chrysler back to 1901, when the Dodge brothers went into the automobile parts business, the company can actually trace the first roots on the family tree back to 1877 and the Columbia Bicycle company.

Over the years, Chrysler has acquired such automakers as the Maxwell Motor Company, Saxon Motors, and the Chalmers Motor Company. The Dodge brothers themselves saw their operation swallowed up by Walter P. Chrysler in 1928.

That was the last big linkup for Chrysler for more than half a century. But in the past year, sparked by multibillion-dollar profits and the need to make strategic worldwide alliances, the automaker has announced plans to buy a majority share in Maserati, the Italian luxury sports carmaker, and another Italian auto manufacturer, Lamborghini, best known for its $150,000, 200-mile-an-hour Countach.

Chrysler also has ties to a Japanese carmaker, Mitsubishi Motors, with which it is building a new assembly plant in Bloomington-Normal, Ill. But the AMC acquisition is clearly the largest - and most important in nearly 60 years.

`The US auto market is a battleground,'' Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca proclaimed Wednesday, shortly after completing the buyout. `We've just extended our perimeter.''

American Motors has its own history of acquisitions and linkups. The company was formed in 1954 with the merger of the Hudson Motor Car Company and Nash-Kelvinator.

In 1970, AMC acquired its popular and profitable line of sports utility vehicles, the Jeep, which traces its roots back to the Willys-Overland Company, and a half-dozen other nameplates of yesteryear, including the Kaiser-Frazer, Pope-Toledo, and the Duesenburg (which prompted the phrase ``It's a Doozie!'').

It is the Jeep division that most observers see as the jewel in Chrysler's AMC acquisition. It is clearly the most successful and profitable portion of that carmaker's operations, fueling the expanding ``crossover market,'' in which a growing number of baby-boomers are trading in their station wagons and sedans for pickup trucks, minivans, and sports utility vehicles.

The Life and Death of American Motors Corporation: RCR Car Stories

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The Last Independent Automaker - Documentary Series on American Motors | Official Trailer

Jul 17, 2022

The Last Independent Automaker is a six-part documentary series about the incredible history of American Motors Corporation, told by the people who loved it.

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n the beginning, there was Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. But Detroit used to have more than three big-name automakers. Until the late 1980s, there was a fourth member of the band, the American Motors Corporation, or AMC for short. As time goes on, there are fewer and fewer people to remember this scrappy car company, and how it took the fight to the Detroit giants. Fortunately, you can learn the whole story from a new docuseries coming in 2024: The Last Independent Automaker.
Directed by Emmy Award-winning documentary producer and The Drive contributor Joe Ligo with the help of automotive historian Pat Foster and filmmaker Jimm Needle, the six-part series will cover AMC's story from the prologue to its formation to the epilogue following its 1988 buyout by Chrysler. In half-hour episodes, the series will chart AMC's course throughout the golden age of the muscle car, the '70s energy crisis, the Malaise Era, and then the final years of the downturn.

400,000th Rambler on the production line in 1959

AMC celebrates its one-millionth car in 1960

1987 Jeep ZJ prototype

1970 AMC Rebel The Machine
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AMC ceased to exist in 1987, its assets absorbed by Chrysler. Auburn Hills kept Jeep and recycled the Eagle name for a new captive-import brand.
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1st Dealer Drag Super Stocker 1967 AMC Topel Rambler Rebel & Ride on My Car Story with Lou Costabile

Jun 11, 2022 If you enjoy the videos and would like to Sponsor me on Patreon, my Creator link is On "My Car Story" we're in the Suburbs of Minneapolis MN on 6-2-22. We're looking at a 1967 American Motors Rambler Rebel in Red, White & Blue Paint. The car comes with the Dealership build drag race 390 CI engine, and a manual transmission. The car's Owner is Fred Aherns. Fred’s had this car since 2006. Fred shares he traded three cars to get this car. It then needed to be restored, which took 6 years to get this prototype car back to the condition it was in when the Topel Rambler Dealership people were assigned to work on the car. Workers used “Group 19” performance parts to build this Drag Car. This cars best time was recorded at 10.6 in the ¼ mile at Great Lakes Dragway in Union Grove WI.
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