Founded by Walter P. Chrysler, Chrysler Automobiles (formally known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles,) is an international corporation defined in large part by its rich historical narrative. Chrysler Automobile’s long history is steeped in innovation, creativity, and staunch devotion to producing caliber vehicles that were affordable, efficient, and full of zesty performance.
In his quest to make his automotive ambitions come to fruition, Mr. Chrysler allied his efforts with former Studebaker engineers Carl Breer, Fred Zeder, and Owen Skelton. Through their unified efforts, history was made as a revolutionary automobile archetype was produced to the consumer market exhibiting “top-flight engineering,” an opulent design, and an accessible price point.
Chrysler’s pioneering vehicle was named the Chrysler Six. It was priced at an attainable $1565, and featuring a plethora of ground-breaking features such as a high compression six-cylinder engine with a lithe, graceful, yet powerful degree of performance and state-of-the-art hydraulic brakes in a four-wheel design, which was unheard of on passenger vehicles at the time.
The palatial Chrysler Six featured a multitude of performance elements such as tubular front-axles, full-pressure lubrication mechanism, shock absorbers, and convenient replaceable air and oil filters.
Since Chrysler’s entry into the automotive market, the company has made leaps and bounds in progress over the last ten decades, producing a lineup of prodigal vehicles replete with desirable features.
Read on below to discover more about Chrysler’s storied past, its dedication to its customers and the most popular cars defining the brand today.
Since Chrysler Automobile’s foray into the automotive market in 1924, the company has led a comprehensive effort to offer well-equipped, ingeniously designed vehicles to a broad base of consumers.
The timeline below illustrates the company’s historical presence in the automotive market by focusing on the most salient highlights defining the company.
A mere decade after its founding, Chrysler Corporation’s commitment to producing exceptionally crafted vehicles earns its reputation as the premier “engineering company” within Detroit.
Some of Chrysler’s earliest innovations include, but are not limited to, downdraft carburetors, replaceable air and oil filters, single-pieced windshields, and the innovative “Floating Power” design that isolated vibration through a mounted engine.
In the mid 1930’s, Chrysler forayed into the higher end of the automotive market with its sumptuous Imperial line of vehicles featuring custom built exteriors from Briggs/Le Baron, a powerful 125 HP engine, and an expansive 145 inch wheelbase - all at a price of $3145 - nearly 70% cheaper than an equally appointed Duesenberg vehicle.
During the 40’s and 50’s, post-war Chrysler Co. began to evolve alongside society as a collective whole.
A focus on power and performance became all-important and resulted in the inception of the robust and legendary HEMI V-8 engine.
Chrysler’s V8 HEMI engine offered vastly improved combustion, lower levels of heat loss, and higher compression levels to create unprecedented increases in horsepower available in the automotive market at the time.
Very quickly after Chrysler’s HEMI V8 engine was the creation of a Powerflite transmission featuring full automatic capabilities. After the introduction of Powerflite technology, Chrysler embarked on a mission to reaffirm its presence in the market by introducing a cutting-edge gas turbine engine.
Spanning twenty-seven years, Chrysler’s gas turbine program was directed at being able to take the smooth, fluid power and low maintenance requirements of aircraft engine turbines and ultimately consign those elements to consumer automobiles.
Entering the 60’s Chrysler took a cue from the mod, sleek look that was so pervasive in popular society at the time and ultimately came to define the time.
Keeping in tune with the times, Chrysler created a “Forward Look” campaign which resulted in the production of sculptured, sleek vehicles such as the 1955 Chrysler 300, an automobile featuring a commanding presence, an array of luxury appointments, and plenty of robust HEMI-powered performance.
Arguably the first muscle car available on the consumer market, the Chrysler 300 became an instant legend, both with consumers and on the race track.
In the later years of the 50’s, Chrysler began incorporating distinctive exterior elements such as broad tailfins, with the goal of improving stability, handling, and overall performance at speeds exceeding seventy miles per hour.
1957 became the year of the “Beautiful Brute,” with the Chrysler 300 featuring a complete assemblage of interior and exterior components that had countless consumers proclaiming the vehicle to be the perfect car.
With its 375 horsepower HEMI engine measuring 293 cubic inches, dual 4-barrel carburetors, Torsion-Aire suspension, Torqueflite transmission, the 300C unequivocally became the fastest and most powerful muscle-style car produced in America.
Many pioneering automotive elements of the times were found in the 300C, such as the innovative push-style transmission, all-new power steering, and a torsion-bar style suspension.
From the early years of the 60’s and well into the 70’s. Chrysler vehicles underwent a striking transformation. Gone were the large performance fins that Chrysler was famed for. Replacing the slightly ostentatious appearance found in the last decade was a newly polished look.
In this era, Chrysler began producing cars that were polished, refined, and elegant inside and out.
The 1963 Chrysler 300J best exemplifies the newer look, with its supple leather seating, tastefully appointed interior, and lack of conspicuous exterior pieces.
Performance remained a priority and was uncompromised during the 60s and 70s. Improvements included Ram induction manifolds and heavy-duty torsion bars.
By the mid 60’s Chrysler Corporation had increased sales of 65%, shifting the brand from a modest 11th place to 9th place in American rankings.
The Cordoba model was a defining design for Chrysler in the 70’s. With the popularization of smaller, more economical cars from brands such as Honda, Chrysler began to revamp its product lineup to include vehicles that resonated with a populace that was highly focused on economy and affordability,
Chrysler’s Cordoba was the company’s entry into the newly transformed consumer market; featuring a wheelbase measuring 115 inches, it was "Chrysler's new small car."
The Cordoba was outfitted with a Jaguar-esque front end, innovative taillights, and a sloping roofline with a formal appearance.
The Cordoba quickly became a vehicle defining 70’s popular culture. Widely advertised in television commercials featuring popular actor Ricardo Montalban, the Cordoba went on to rapidly outsell all other Chrysler models combined, in addition to inspiring the introduction of more small-scale Chrysler vehicles such as the LeBaron Medallion coupe.
The consumer market in the 1970’s favored economy, convenience, and overall affordability. These virtues extended well into the 1980’s, with consumers of the time looking for quality vehicles that featured a “back-to-basics” appeal without compromising quality.
In response to consumer demand, Chrysler introduced the 1984 Chrysler Minivan, the first of its kind, and wildly popular among families.
By the late 80’s Chrysler was headed by new leadership who endeavored to restore the brand to its earliest roots of innovative design and top-performance engineering.
Resulting from the campaign was an all-new line-up of so-called "Euro-Japanese-ethic" cars such as the 1988 Portofino and the 1989 Millenium.
While the Portofino and Millennium undoubtedly showcased Chrysler Corporation’s staunch devotion to design innovation, it was the introduction of the 1993 Concorde that ultimately made waves in the market.
A full-size sedan, the Concorde was the answer to families who wanted the roominess and robust security of a fuller-bodied car, without the overall cumbersome size.
The popularity of the Concorde sedan led to the creation of the LHS sedan, the 300M, the Cirrus sedan, the Sebring coupe, in addition to the next generation Chrysler minivan recast as the Town and Country Minivan.
Y2K ushered in a decade for Chrysler that was rife with accomplishments for the company. Of marked significance was the launch of the now iconic Chrysler 300C, the latest iteration of a storied pedigree of the vehicle.
Introduced in 2005, the 300C made a splash at Detroit and turned the spotlight back on Chrysler as a foremost automotive company.
Vehicles such as the best-selling PT Cruiser highlighted Chrysler’s era of innovative design. With its retro countenance, a lineup of modern amenities, and all the sensibility found in wagon-type vehicles; the PT Cruiser quickly came to be a defining vehicle for Chrysler.
Quickly following the introduction of the PT Cruiser was a comprehensive overhaul of the ubiquitous minivan. The company’s flagship Town and Country minivan was redesigned with a stunning collection of safety, technology, and performance innovations to result in a family vehicle that was incomparably safe, comfortable, and affordable without compromising performance.
In these contemporary times, Chrysler is considered to be the quintessential American car manufacturer.
Chrysler advertising efforts have resulted in television ads running during the Super Bowl, in addition to a wildly popular “Imported from Detroit” national campaign that ultimately led to historically record-breaking sales.
Recently investing nearly a billion dollars into its Sterling Heights manufacturing plant, Chrysler has ramped up its production measures to achieve the world-renowned Chrysler 200.
The Chrysler 200 is heralded by consumers as the perfect car, with its exquisite craftsmanship exhibited in all facets of the car, exceptional performance capabilities, nine-speed automatic transmission and an economical thirty-six miles per gallon.
Most Popular Chrysler Cars
The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive Chrysler 300 is a luxury, full-size sedan that also came in a station wagon model during 2005 to 2010. Presently, the 300 is singularly a four-door sedan.
Designed by Ralph Gilles as a contemporary interpretation of the Chrysler C-300 model, the 300 features aggressive styling in the form of an expansive front grill, sloping hood, and a sporty lowered roofline.
Retaining many of the design elements found in the 1998 Chrysler Chronos, such as chrome and tortoiseshell accenting, the ultramodern 300 combines vintage elegance with the latest in performance developments.
The Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid
The bestselling Chrysler Pacifica was a luxury concept vehicle built in honor of the Chrysler Minivan’s fifteenth anniversary. Intended to be a more luxuriant version of the venerable Town and Country Minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica featured a striking raised roof line with wide skylights and convenient storage bins, along with an LHS-style front fascia.
Performance features include dual powertrains, a robust 3.6-liter gas-powered engine, and an efficient hybrid option makes the Pacifica an attractive choice for many buyers. A roomy interior is capable of seating up to six people, with the rear seats featuring a fold-out mechanism and powered footrests on the second-row seats.
With the introduction of the hybrid version in 2017, Chrysler subsequently made the decision to replace the venerable Town and Country Minivan with the Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid.
Popular Chrysler Vehicles in Films and Television
Chrysler vehicles are ubiquitously featured in contemporary television and films. Since the introduction of the first Chrysler vehicle to the market in the 1920’s, the movie and television industry has used an array of Chrysler models in their productions.
Chrysler vehicles have long resonated with the public, and the decision to incorporate imagery of Chrysler into film and TV production is typically a strategic one, geared towards appealing to the whims of viewers.
Read on to view snapshots of Chrysler vehicles used in contemporary media.
Chrysler 300 LX in Flashpoint
Chrysler 300 LX in Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Chrysler 300 LX in 30 Rock
Chrysler Pacifica in Firewall
Chrysler Pacifica in The Chaser's War on Everything.
Chrysler Pacifica in Psevdonim
Founded by a virtuoso with a dream and an unshakable desire to innovate, Chrysler had made a significant mark in automotive history since its commencement in the 1920’s. Through the unified efforts of Walter Chrysler and his assemblage of Studebaker engineers, Chrysler Corporation created vehicles that encompassed detailed craftsmanship, high-performance capabilities, ingenious design, and a multitude of technological components, in addition to being offered at an accessible price point.
Throughout decades, Chrysler Corporation has continuously made waves in the automotive industry with its commitment to engineering one-of-a-kind vehicles that feature all of the most desirable interior and exterior elements.
To this day, Chrysler is regarded for its ambitious production and design efforts, along with its reputation for enduringly timeless aesthetics. Ultimately symbolizing modern style and substance, Chrysler remains the perennial choice of car buyers across the globe.
Sean Cassy is the Digital Marketing Specialist and Co-Owner of Turbo Marketing Solutions Your Digital Automotive Company.. You can contact him by email here or reach him by phone every weekday at Turbo Marketing’s head office