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Chrysler Facts & Vehicle History

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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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141 - 151 of 151 Posts

Jul 27, 2022 Join our Chief Historian, Leslie Kendall, in talking about one of the most beautiful American coupes of the 50s. One of the numerous experiments of Bertone’s “American adventure” in the 1950’s was the Dodge Storm Z-250, an imposing coupé created for Chrysler, which aimed to give the US market a car with Dodge mechanics and bodywork created by the Italian master craftsmen
People like the future, but apparently not all at once
The 1934 Chrysler Airflow was ahead of its time, but its state-of-the-art features did not fly with buyers

By Malcolm Gunn Wheelbase Media
Sat., July 30, 2022

  • Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Motor vehicle

An automaker can build the best car in the world, but if buyers don’t ultimately appreciate it, and want it enough to spend money on it, then it’s all over before it ever began. In 1934, Walter P. Chrysler found that out the hard way — and the expensive way — with the Airflow.
Today, these quaint museum-quality antiques don’t appear particularly exceptional or avant-garde, they just look, well, old. However, compared with other vehicles built during the same era, the Airflow was groundbreaking.
It was Chrysler’s chief designer, Carl Breer, who came up with the idea of reducing wind resistance in automobiles after observing birds and aircraft in flight. The result, he believed, would be a car that would look smarter, go faster and consume less fuel than other vehicles available. Chrysler also hoped that the Airflow would be the kind of breakthrough machine needed to vault his company out of the middle of the pack and into a much stronger sales position.

After consulting with Orville Wright, who, with his brother, Wilbur, had been the first to successfully achieve powered flight, Breer and a small group began secretly testing different shapes in a full-scale wind tunnel that Chrysler had constructed.
One of the revelations garnered in the wind tunnel was that automobiles in the late 1920s and early 1930s were far more aerodynamic when backing up than driving forward. This ultimately led to a smoother front-end design containing a rounded (instead of upright) grille and headlights slotted into the fenders instead of the traditional method of perching them on top. At the rear, full fender skirts and a tapered back end helped reduce drag, adding to the car’s slippery silhouette.
Engineering advancements that went into the Airflow’s development included reversing the weight distribution — traditionally around 45 per cent in the front and 55 per cent in the rear at the time — by shifting part of the engine over the front wheels and moving the rear seat ahead of the rear axle. This adjustment kept the front of the car more firmly planted at highway speeds, significantly improved ride quality and resulted in more spacious seating.
The methods developed to construct the Airflow were also ahead of their time. Traditional body-on-frame construction was abandoned in favour of a space frame upon which the body panels were welded in place. This system didn’t reduce weight, but it made the body significantly more rigid than previous models.
The DeSoto version of the Airflow featured its own grille and single-pod headlamps. Otherwise, it and the Chrysler version were near twins.

All Airflows were originally destined to carry the DeSoto label, but company founder Walter P. not only insisted the Chrysler brand name be used, but that the Airflow be fitted with a more powerful eight-cylinder engine rather than the six-cylinder in the DeSoto version. As well, Chrysler ordered that the cars be sold in a variety of wheelbases and that a line of opulently dressed Chrysler Custom Imperial limousine versions be built. Meanwhile, the mid-priced DeSoto Airflow was offered in one standard wheelbase.
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Plymouth Sedan Delivery Survivor
A 1941 Plymouth P11 sedan delivery has survived the "work life" and has become part of the family.

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alter Percy Chrysler introduced the low-price Plymouth in 1928. By 1930, his Plymouth was sold at Dodge, De Soto and Chrysler dealerships, where it fought the suffocating squeeze of the Great Depression. To help increase sales at Plymouth franchises, a commercial line of Plymouths became available in 1935.

Plymouth experiments with commercial vehicles
Plymouth’s 1935 commercial line consisted of a taxicab, wood-bodied station wagon and modified two-door flatback sedan that could be built as an ambulance or a sedan delivery. On the modified flatback sedan, the rear quarter windows could be filled with removable snap-on blanks, and a door was installed on the back of the body. In 1936, a new sedan delivery of an all-new design was introduced. It had a new elongated body and permanently blanked-out quarters more typical of a dedicated sedan delivery body. The car chassis-based 1936 Plymouth sedan delivery would be a one-year model, as Plymouth moved its delivery model to the truck chassis in 1937 and 1938, whereupon it became a panel delivery.

Even the twin barn doors advertise Hudson Garage.

For 1937 and ’38, Plymouth’s commercial line included the panel delivery, a pickup and a cab-and-chassis, each on Plymouth’s truck chassis. During this time, the taxicab, the utility sedan, the coupe with a pickup box attachment and the four-door ambulance sedan rode on the car chassis. The wood-bodied station wagon was on the truck chassis for 1937, but returned to the Plymouth car chassis in 1938. The sedan delivery returned in 1939, when Plymouth moved its light-duty delivery model back to the car chassis. After 1939, the pickup box attachment was no longer available for the coupe. From 1939 to 1941, the pickup continued, as did the cab-and-chassis truck and the car-based sedan delivery, sedan ambulance, utility sedan and wood-bodied wagon.

The sedan delivery is a product of a bygone age. It was a hybrid or crossover that combined ease of operation and automobile economy with the cargo area and security of a small panel truck. This commercial adaptation of the automobile was ideal for delivering small items and carrying tools. The sedan delivery could also go into neighborhoods that banned trucks on certain roadways.

Steering wheel shows normal wear after 80 years.

Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Steering wheel Fixture

A unique survivor
Woody and Sandy Hummer, of Milford, N.J., own a 1941 Plymouth P11 sedan delivery. Few sedan deliveries have survived the toils of business use to become collectable, but the Hummers’ example has weathered the test of time well, and is one of the nicest and most original examples of its kind remaining.

The 1941 Plymouth passenger car was penned under Bob Caldwater, Chrysler Corp.’s styling chief at that time. The 1941 Plymouth design was actually a mild facelift of Plymouth’s more significant redesign for 1940. Both the 1940 and ’41 Plymouths had “fat fenders,” fastback styling, exposed running boards, a ship-prowl front end, a hood towering over the front fenders and a split windshield. An obligatory grille revision took place for 1941 that was sometimes referred to as a “chrome-plated bib.”

Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Fixture Vehicle door

Passenger seat was optional. There is little crawl space between seats, which do not adjust.
The Hummers’ 1941 sedan delivery cuts a similar profile to Plymouth’s wood-bodied station wagon of the same model year, but instead has an all-steel body and lacks rear side windows. The sedan delivery’s back doors are of the side-by-side “barn door” type and incorporate windows and a single taillamp, mounted to the left rear door. For safety, two additional taillamps have since been added to the top of the rear bumper of the Hummers’ vehicle and also serve as directional signals.

The instrument cluster has the passenger car gauges with Plymouth’s “Safety Speedometer.”

“The speedometer changes color when you go different speeds,” Woody remarked. It is similar to those found on 1959 Oldsmobile and 1959 Dodge models. On the ’41 Plymouth speedometer, colors change in increments of green up to 39 mph, then turn amber to 50 mph and change to red at faster speeds."
Jutting out from the floor are large, round clutch and brake pedals. The rear cargo compartment walls and headliner are covered in vinyl. The separate front seats are stationary and slightly convex, with a tight walkway between them for access to the rear compartment.

Tools that originally came with the Plymouth; pictured at bottom right is the device to remove a tire from a Plymouth safety rim.

Wood Machine tool Flooring Table Art

Woody was a carpenter for 50 years, and stumbled upon this ’41 Plymouth sedan delivery when a customer in Flemington, N.J., opened the door to his garage more than 40 years ago. It was almost the vehicle he had been looking for.

“For years, I had been looking for a sedan delivery, preferably a 1937 — (the) year I was born — but never saw one,” Woody recalled. “When I saw it in the garage, I didn’t care what year, condition or price — I wanted that car. When he decided to sell me the car, I was the happiest man on earth.”
The sedan delivery’s working days were long over when Woody found it in Flemington. He learned that it had previously served the Hudson Garage, a Plymouth-De Soto franchise in Bayonne, N.J. After its working days were over, it was relegated to the dealership’s basement. When Hudson County widened the road in front of the Hudson Garage, the old dealership building was torn down, but the sedan delivery was spared a similar fate when it was bought by Woody’s customer in Flemington.
Motor vehicle Vehicle Car Gas Automotive exterior

The Hummers did rebuild the 87-hp engine.
All of the graphics advertising the Hudson Garage on the sedan delivery remain original, so it’s clear to see how the vehicle was truly a four-wheeled business card for the dealership. Even after decades of being in place, the painted graphics still have a great “wow” factor. The sedan delivery’s indented side panels are essentially billboards, still advertising the dealership’s location at 647 Boulevard, which is now home to an apartment building. The telephone exchange painted on the quarter panels begins with “BA,” for Bayonne. Meanwhile, the passenger doors mention the lost brands of De Soto and Plymouth, both of which are as much history as the Hudson Garage itself.

After his purchase of the ’41 Plymouth, Woody improved its cosmetics by replacing the running boards, repairing the left rear fender and reupholstering the seats. It otherwise appears how it did when it last served the Hudson Garage.

A three-on-the-tree manual transmission backs the flathead six-cylinder that develops 87 hp and 160 lb.-ft. of torque. There is no overdrive, so the light-duty truck only drives at 45 mph before protesting.

“Our biggest trip was to Colorado Springs in July of 1986, to a Walter P. Chrysler meet,” Woody said. “It took us three-and-a-half days, because we could only go 45 miles an hour.”
Woody rows through the gears with its vacuum-assisted gear handle. He only has to touch the shifter and a servo pushes it into the next gear. There are service tools under the cargo bed, by the barn doors, to fix the vacuum-assisted shifter, but Woody has never had to use them.
Smile Land vehicle Vehicle Car Outerwear

Sandy and Woody Hummer proudly stand next to the sedan delivery.
The sedan delivery has been a part of the Hummer family for a long time, and represents memories beyond the vehicle’s value.

“Whenever we go to car shows people just love it,” Sandy says. “[It’s] won many awards, but we just enjoy showing it. We call the car ‘Percy,’ after Walter Chrysler’s middle name. It has been to Colorado, Michigan and every other year at Chryslers at Carlisle under the survivors tent.”

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Here's What Makes The Chrysler 300 Hurst One Of The Most Underrated American Cars

A collaboration between Chrysler and Hurst Performance saw 501 units of the 300 Hurst produced, and it was one of the biggest muscle cars ever made.

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The Chrysler 300 Hurst is one of the most underrated American cars, perhaps because it got designed for young urban professionals (yuppies). But the 300 Hurst was (and is still) loved by gearheads clear-eyed enough to see that the Chrysler 300 H, is no less a capable American muscle car. If anything, it was the largest and roomiest performance muscle car of that era. We kid you not.

Back in the golden age of the '60s and '70s, the rarest muscle cars – by far – were in the full-size category. They include the likes of the ‘61 – ‘69 Chevy Impala SS, Ford’s two-door Galaxie, ‘60s Pontiac Grand Prix, and the two-door Catalina. Those were as big as their names and yet never exceeded 216 inches in length.

Except two, one of which is the 1969 – 1970 Mercury Marauder, measuring 221 inches in length. The other is the 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst – by far the biggest muscle car ever made, both then and now – with dimensions measuring 224.7 inches long and 79.1 inches wide and a wheelbase of 124 inches. That's the car you're looking for any time you're searching for the behemoth of muscle cars from the golden age.

The Chrysler 300 Hurst Brief Overview

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Chrysler is currently a brand of Stellantis North America, making it a member of the Big Three and part of America's largest automotive manufacturer. In today’s market, Chrysler is synonymous with the well-rounded, luxurious 300 sedan series. However, many don’t realize how far back the 300 nameplate stretches – as far back as the 1950s, when the model got stitched together for an entirely different generation.

As the name implies, the Chrysler 300 Hurst is the result of the Chrysler-Hurst Performance collaboration. At that time, Hurst was already an established aftermarket performance parts maker, with aftermarket transmission shifters being its most popular product. It wasn’t the firm’s first time getting into bed with an automaker. A similar joint venture with Oldsmobile brought forth the legendary 1968 Hurst Olds, the first of many such special edition Olds to come.

Such partnerships didn’t end with Chrysler, either, as Hurst Performance Inc. would go on to join forces with automakers like Pontiac and AMC. So, the Chrysler 300 Hurst was never intended for mass production. You'd never have seen one in a dealership with a "For Sale" sticker on its windshield. To have the 300H, you'd visit a Chrysler dealership, fill out the order sheet, and then the weeks-long wait for your order to get delivered begins.

Such partnerships didn’t end with Chrysler, either, as Hurst Performance Inc. would go on to join forces with automakers like Pontiac and AMC. So, the Chrysler 300 Hurst was never intended for mass production. You'd never have seen one in a dealership with a "For Sale" sticker on its windshield. To have the 300H, you'd visit a Chrysler dealership, fill out the order sheet, and then the weeks-long wait for your order to get delivered begins.

Most of the time, the prospective buyer put down a substantial down payment (it had a $4,400 base price) because dealers wouldn’t risk the customer growing cold feet after the hard-to-sell car got shipped. You’d understand better when you consider that a Chrysler-badged muscle car sounds like a Lincoln or Cadillac muscle car. As the gearhead you are, would you have shown it the same respect as the Pontiacs and Chevelles? The 300H was a bold move on the part of Chrysler, and the target market was a very tiny luxury niche.

A Brief History Of Hurst Performance

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Based in Pennsylvania, Hurst Performance specialized in manufacturing and marketing automotive performance parts, especially muscle cars. The company was originally called Hurst-Campbell, founded in 1958 by the duo of George Hurst and Bill Campbell. The two young men set up shop on Glenside Ave. Glenside, Pennsylvania, but later moved to a more spacious property on the corner of Street Road and Jacksonville Road in Warminster, PA.

Hurst Performance probably has Lawrence Greenwald to thank for the company’s successes today, as the elderly man apparently acknowledged the shop’s potential after taking his cars to Hurst’s shop for repairs. Mr. Greenwald had faith enough in Hurst-Campbell to bankroll their venture to produce large aftermarket bumpers for the Volkswagen Type 2 buses. These got very popular with VW owners to the extent that the German automaker began making its own large bumpers for the buses.

It was a blessing in disguise as Hurst branched out into the piston-driven gearshift business as well as other automotive components like wheels, engine mounts, shift knobs, and gearshifts. Hurst has come a long way since then and is now a globally renowned OEM supplier and service provider for numerous automakers, including Ford, Chrysler, and GM. Hurst specialty car models produced in partnership with automakers include the 1969 AMC SC/Rambler, Chrysler 300 Hurst, the 1971 Hurst Jeepster, and several others.

Here's What Makes The Chrysler 300 Hurst One Of The Most Underrated American Cars (
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Pick of the Day: 1959 Imperial Crown

November 15, 2022

From the moment it broke away from Chrysler to become its own brand in 1955, Imperial was a looker, but Virgil Exner truly outdid himself with the 1957. Through three years, the Imperial received typical model year tweaks, with the 1959 being the last before Exner arguably started to take Imperial places that were not congruent with the times. This 1959 Imperial Crown four-door sedan on is a fine example of Exner’s talent, but its light pink color is what pushes it over into Pick of the Day status. It’s for sale by a dealer in Hobart, Indiana. (Click the link to view the listing)

The 1959 Imperial was offered in three models: Custom, Crown and Le Baron. Big news was the replacement for the 392 Hemi, a 413 rated at 350 horsepower that was at the head of the class in terms of power. To boot, the “Wedge” weighed 101 less than the Hemi and less than the competition.
imperial, Pick of the Day: 1959 Imperial Crown, Journal
While the toothy grille is somewhat garish to my eyes, the positioning of the headlights was lowered from the 1957-58, which was a nice tweak that kept it contemporary. Out back, the rear bumper appeared the same but was more of a full-width affair than two pods squeezing a license plate.

Inside, new swivel seats were an option. Otherwise, luxury options were typical for the era, such as power windows and locks, Auto-Pilot cruise control, six-way power front seat automatic [high] beam changer.
imperial, Pick of the Day: 1959 Imperial Crown, Journal
The seller of this 1959 Imperial does not specify which model it is, but by process of elimination we know it’s not a Le Baron because the model featured “Le Baron” badges on the side, plus it had a crown on the rear fender and two rings (instead of one) on the fins. Since the interior is leather, it must be a Crown because leather was not available on the Custom. Seller says, “All-original, in storage for the last 40 years,” with a claimed 42K miles. But, like I said earlier, it’s the Persian Pink color that sets this one off, which is complemented by an Ivory White top. “Perfect chrome and paint!” adds the seller.
imperial, Pick of the Day: 1959 Imperial Crown, Journal
The selling dealer is asking $28,000 for this photogenic Imperial. As the most roadable of the American luxury brands, this Forward Look Mopar has enormous road appeal for both driver and car-spotters.
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Rapid Transit System Plymouth 'Cuda, hidden for 46 years, is going up for auction
It took part in one of the greatest marketing campaigns of the muscle car era

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Hood

Apr 21st 2023

There have been many Plymouth 'Cudas sold for jaw-dropping prices. Top sellers claim to be one of only a handful with a particular engine, paint or performance package option. Some are truly rare, but Chrysler offered so many checkboxes and catalog changes at the time that any sufficiently discerning buyer could have put together a fairly uncommon build. However, one 1970 'Cuda that's coming up for auction soon is truly unique: a factory custom commissioned by Plymouth itself.

In the golden era of muscle, Big Three marketing departments were coming up with all kinds of ways to satiate America's appetite for horsepower and build brand loyalties. Mopar's was arguably the best, using creative color names, eye-catching decal stripes, and associations with popular cartoon characters to hype up their products.

In 1970 the Plymouth division came up with a truly memorable advertising campaign, the Rapid Transit System. A play on public transportation (because who in 1970 actually aspired to be car-less) and possibly a nod to the R/T (Road and Track) designation on top performance trims, RTS made buyers proud to own a Plymouth.

Psychedelic ads, hop-up clinics, and specialized dealers trading in high-po parts were just a few of the attractions. The "System" part of it united Plymouth's many-pronged racing efforts — from NASCAR ovals to NHRA drag strips to Trans-Am road courses — and promoted the notion that lessons learned from these endeavors were trickling down into their production cars.

But Plymouth didn't stop there. The Rapid Transit System Caravan took the latest models and parts and traveled the country. As if that wasn't enough, Plymouth also commissioned four wild customs for the tour, a Duster, Dart Swinger, Roadrunner, and 'Cuda. Each one was heavily modified in the street freak style that was popular at the time, with notes of "kustom" era trends in paint and bodywork.

If they looked like Hot Wheels cars, that was no coincidence. The RTS show cars sprang from the mind of renowned auto designer Harry Bentley Bradley, who came up with most of the original Hot Wheels cars when the toy line launched in 1968. Bradley designed multiple award-winning customs, from '40s Mercs to Pontiac land barges, and his personal car, a controversial Infiniti J30, was recently recently discovered for sale. Plymouth commissioned Bradley to come up with the RTS cars, and under his pen each car was thoroughly enhanced but the base car beneath was still unmistakable.

Esteemed car collector Steven Juliano made it his life's mission to collect ever piece of RTS memorabilia, and managed to acquire and restore three of the four Bradley-designed show cars. He located the 'Cuda, but was never able to wrest it from the owner. When he passed they went up for auction, the others each fetched six figures.

Now the missing piece 'Cuda has been unearthed, after being stored in a garage since 1976. According to Auto Archaeology, the car was found in downtown Detroit in the mid-70s. The current owner was able to buy it, drove it around for a bit, but was spooked at the attention he received. So he parked it for over four decades.

The car has only 976 miles on the odometer. The serial number is 100005, meaning it was one of the very first to roll off the line and went straight to the customizer. The front Cragar is included but would not hold air, so they put the original spare on it for now. It still wears the original paint and custom bodywork, and the interior looks as pretty close to flawless an unrestored 53-year-old cabin can look.

It was symbolic of a bygone era, and no one knew the days of cheap gasoline and horsepower would come crashing down in a few years. The Rapid Transit 'Cuda goes up for bidding at Mecum's Indianapolis auction next month.

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Rapid Transit System Plymouth 'Cuda, hidden for 46 years, is going up for auction - Autoblog
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1966 Dodge Coronet 440

Old Cars Reader Wheels: 1966 Dodge Coronet 440

This Coronet has become one of the family. A look at a stunning 1966 Dodge Coronet 440.

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Longtime Old Cars reader, Bob Derlunas has owned this gorgeous Coronet for over 53 years. It has become a member of the family.
This is what Bob had to say about his Dodge 440…

"I've been a subscriber since 1978 and decided to show you my car which I've owned for 53 years. It has 170,000 plus miles on it but the poly 318 was refreshed. I added a/c, disc brakes and dual exhaust. The car is family. I had it in high school, on my wedding day and brought two of my three new-born children home from the hospital in it. When I need to relive the easy days of my youth, I turn on the music from the 60's and go for a drive. I hope you like what you see."

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Fred R. Jolly posed with several of the cameras he carried around the United States in the 1940 Ford V-8 Deluxe sedan delivery pictured behind him. The sedan delivery was named the “Caterpillar Camera Car” as Jolly was photographing and filming for the machinery company
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“The White Elephant” – The 1966 Dodge Hemi Coronet 440 World Series Of Drag Racing Champion
Dodge Hemi Coronet 440.jpg

MAY 13TH 2023
This is “The White Elephant,” it’s a 1966 Dodge Hemi Coronet 440 that became a legend in 1967 when it became a class champion at the World Series Of Drag Racing. It’s also one of just 288 Hemi 4-speed Coronets produced for the 1966 model year.

A large part of this car’s success was down to the 426 Hemi under the hood, a 7.0 liter V8 that’s capable of 425 bhp and 490 lb ft of torque, however it’s been shown that both of these numbers were under reported, with the cars actually making over 433 bhp.

Fast Facts – Dodge Hemi Coronet 440

  • Despite the “Coronet 440” name implying the fitment of Chrysler’s 440 cubic inch (7.2 liter) V8 this car was actually factory fitted with the 426 Hemi. It was the only engine upgrade option for the Coronet 440, which was usually given the 440 V8 as standard. Despite the difference in displacement the Hemi engine was considerably more powerful, producing 425 bhp to the 440 engine’s 375 bhp.
  • The Dodge Coronet was a model sold by the American automaker over seven generations between 1949 and 1976. It was initially introduced as the highest trim line and then moved to the lowest level by the third generation. It was then reintroduced in the 1960s as an intermediate model.
  • The Chrysler 426 Hemi engine was only officially available in the Dodge Coronet 440 in the year 1966, after which time it was restricted to Chrysler’s muscle cars – the Dodge Charger, Coronet R/T, and the Plymouth Belvedere GTX.
  • The car you see here was nicknamed “The White Elephant” due to its prodigious presence on drag strips during the 1967 World Series Of Drag Racing. It would go on to dominate its class and become a class champion.
The Dodge Coronet
The Dodge Coronet is an automobile that was produced by the Dodge division of Chrysler Corporation between 1949 and 1976, and its history can be divided into seven distinct generations.

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That hefty scoop on the hood isn’t just for show, it pulls in air for the 426 cubic inch (7.0 liter) Hemi V8 that produces 425 bhp and 490 lb ft of torque – and that’s the conservative power estimate.

The first generation of the Coronet was introduced as a full-size car with a 6-cylinder engine in 1949. It was positioned above the entry-level Wayfarer and mid-level Meadowbrook. The design featured a two-piece windshield, full-width rear window, and a simplified grille.
In 1953, the second generation Coronet appeared, it had a redesigned body, with a wider grille, updated taillights, a one-piece windshield, and new side trim. It was also available with a new Hemi V8 engine, known as the “Red Ram,” which improved performance significantly.
The third generation Coronet was released in 1955, adopting a more aggressive look with a wraparound windshield and longer, lower body. A two-door hardtop and convertible were added to the lineup. The Coronet continued to evolve during this period, with engine and transmission options continuing to expand.

Coronet production had ended in 1959 however it made a comeback in 1965 when it returned as a mid-size car, sharing a platform with the Plymouth Belvedere and Satellite.
Dodge Hemi Coronet 440 21.jpg
This is the Hemi V8, it’s one of the most respected American performance engines of its time and it remains a dominant force in vintage drag racing competition.
This generation saw the introduction of performance-focused models, including the R/T (Road/Track) and Super Bee. The Coronet R/T featured a 440 cubic inch V8 engine and optional 426 Hemi engine. The Super Bee was a budget performance option, featuring a 383 cubic inch V8.

The Coronet underwent another redesign for 1971, with a focus on safety and emission standards. It was available in several body styles, and engine options ranged from a 3.7 liter inline-six to a 7.2 liter V8.
The seventh and final generation saw the Coronet adopting the updated B-body platform and being offered only in a four-door sedan and station wagon body styles until 1975 when a Dodge Coronet 2-door option returned. Engine options included a 3.7 liter inline-six, a 5.2 liter V8, and a 5.9 liter V8.
After 1976, the Coronet was discontinued and replaced by the Dodge Monaco in the model range.

The 1966 Dodge Hemi Coronet 440 Shown Here

The car you see here is one of the most special surviving examples of the Dodge Coronet 440 in existence, if not the most historically significant outright.

Dodge Hemi Coronet 440 18.jpg
Here you can see that the interior is largely stock, with the exception of the tachometer added to the steering column at the 12 o’clock position for optimal visibility. The car also has a Hurst shifter atop the 4-speed transmission, and dual additional gauges under the radio.
There was only one model year when you could order a Dodge Coronet 440 with the 426 Hemi under the hood in place of the 440 cubic inch (7.2 liter) Magnum V8 for which the model had been named, and that model year was 1966.

After 1966 the high-end Hemi V8 could only be ordered in the more upmarket, high-performance cars in the model range like the R/T and the Super Bee.
The original owner of this car was one of just 288 individuals to order their 440 Coronet with both the Hemi V8 and the 4-speed manual transmission, resulting in the fastest possible factory-built version of the model.
Dodge Hemi Coronet 440 16.jpg
With the exception of that hood scoop, the car looks relatively stock. It rides on steel wheels with chrome hub caps and there’s nothing outwardly obvious to tell the viewer that the car is capable of lighting fast 1/4 mile times.

In 1967 this car gained its nickname “The White Elephant” after it took part in the World Series of Drag Racing at the Cordova Dragway in Cordova, Illinois. This vehicle became a class champion, and the 1967 World Series of Drag Racing Class Champion trophy is still with the car to this day.

It’s likely that the car’s nickname came from the large hood scoop which was fitted to get as much cool air into the engine bay as possible, the front of the scoop looks a little like the two nostrils in the end of an elephant’s trunk.

The car is now due to cross the auction block with Mecum in mid-May. It’s accompanied by service receipts totaling $4,845 USD from Mopar City in Oregon, Illinois, a “Hemi Performance Tuning and Modification Tips” manual, as well as spare parts and extra Firestone tires.

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"The White Elephant" – The 1966 Dodge Hemi Coronet 440 World Series Of Drag Racing Champion (
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FOUND: 1 of 13 Existing ADPS 1972 Javelin SST Police Cars!

Elizabeth Puckett
Mon, May 22, 2023

AMC has been one of the most unique American muscle car manufacturers since its initial production. Combining styling unlike anything else in the room road at the time, with a truly impressive lineup of cool body designs to choose from, It’s hard not to appreciate just how great the American automotive manufacturer was. This particular vehicle is a rare example that should show you exactly what I’m talking about.

First of all, you might notice that this is a former police car, the lights on top might just be a dead giveaway of that one. It’s been incredibly well-maintained over the years despite being a police car and was one of only 133 made like it. For reference, as Collins points out, that’s less than the superstock cars of the time. The Admiral Blue and silver to town is yet another edition that makes it unique and great to look at. Of course, looks are not the only thing AMC is known for.
What are the main parts of AMC’s business model have always been their performance benefits compared to other brands. That’s exactly why under the hood of this vintage police car is a 401 cubic-inch V8 engine. Needless to say, this powerhouse is more than enough combined with the 2.73 gear ratio to chase down any criminal and a Camaro, Mustang, or other muscle cars. Overall, it’s an incredibly rare classic muscle car that there’s a name on like any other which is exactly why AMC is so respected in the classic car community.
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Legendary Singer Tina Turner's Little-Known Role As The Face Of Plymouth

Read More: Legendary Singer Tina Turner's Little-Known Role As The Face Of Plymouth - SlashGear

1989 Tina Turner Plymouth Voyager Commercial

Dodge Spirit Plymouth Acclaim running footage and features

1989 - Tina Turner for the Plymouth Laser

Tina Turner, one of the most celebrated singers of all time, has died at the age of 83. She was well known for her extensive body of work and contribution not only to music as a whole with songs like "What's Love Got to Do With It", but also to the realm of acting and pop culture with roles in "Mad Max" and numerous other movies and TV shows. Tina Turner will always be remembered as a powerful vocalist and for her role as a performer.

But one role that many may not remember was that of a spokeswoman for Plymouth in the late 1980s and 1990s. She appeared in commercials for cars like the Plymouth Acclaim, Laser, and Voyager minivan and was, for all intents and purposes, the face of the Chrysler subsidiary for the advertising campaign. The ads themselves were relatively barebones — they didn't have cars throwing themselves around a track, and the text "Professional driver on a closed course. Do not attempt." was absent.

Each of the advertisements merely featured Tina Turner standing in or around a Plymouth car and a few sentences about its features. All of the ads were punctuated by Turner saying, "That's right, Plymouth." Given Turner's stardom, realistically, that's all Plymouth likely needed for the ads.

On the automotive side, Plymouth was Chrysler's budget brand and the cars it offered weren't exactly groundbreaking or spectacular in any way. The new car smell of the minivan, which the brand practically invented, had long worn off. The brand itself became defunct in 2001 with the Neon being its last car, right as the Plymouth Prowler famously flopped. Advertisers at the time likely thought that Tina Turner could breathe some life into the brand's lineup and sales numbers.

Unlike cars like the Plymouth Acclaim, Tina Turner will be remembered fondly by music fans for decades to come and her impact on the world of music is incalculable.
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