S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com CHRYSLER Page keywords = Chrysler Mercedes Benz Daimler DaimlerChrysler history Walter auto car truck tank Crown Imperial Majestic Highlander Royal Saratoga Windsor Newport Town & Country Thunderbolt turbine engine Willys Overland Jeep Dodge DeSoto Plymouth Valiant Tourismo Chalmers Maxwell Briscoe Fargo Aberdeen Proving Ground Gander

03 Mar 2017; 19:40 ET
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/chrysler.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/chrysler.html"]


S. Berliner, III


Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher



note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they are dropping WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have to scramble to transfer everything by then.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.


S. Berliner, III's

sbiii.com

Chrysler Page


CHRYSLER

Chrysler Badge


[This page grew out of hand; please have a look at
Chrysler Continuation Page 1, Page 2, and Page 3
  (page 3 has the Walter P. Chrysler story).]

These early pages are basically unindexed but a HELP section is now on the last page and the Chrysler Links section is being recreated.

Chrysler Imperial 8.

Current (and recent) Car(s).

  '31-'32-'33 Imperial 8 Major Model Year Differences.

Imperial L-80/L*80 - the "Big Six".

Chrysler Models, including the 1939 Royal Windsor.

JEEP (moved from Chrysler page 3 on 02 Jul 02).

Chrysler Links - parts and such.

Model Chryslers - moved to it's own page on 25 Oct 04.

CHRYSLER FRONTS (GRILLES).

'49 Chrysler Highlander 8 C-46 Club Coupé (mine - off site) - sold on eBay 28 Apr 2007.

On Chrysler Continuation Page 5:
    '39 and '41 Photos.
    Miscellaneous Chrysler Photos.
Dodge Power Wagon.

On Chrysler Continuation Page 6:
    Gyról Fluid Drive and
    M4 Vacamatic and M6 Prestomatic Semi-Automatic Transmissions
    1930 Chrysler Pickup Truck!
    1929 Chrysler Pickup Truck!!!
    Odd 1940 Chrysler

On Chrysler Continuation Page 7:
    1931 CG Imperial 8 Limousine (moved there 26 Dec 09).
    1931 CG Imperial 8 Sedans (moved there 26 Dec 09).

On Chrysler Continuation Page 8 (25 Oct 2011):
    '31 Imperial 8 CG Close coupled Sedan - "Old Betsey" (25 Oct 2011).
    '49 Highlander (New Yorker) C-46 Straight 8 Club Coupé (25 Oct 2011).
    Ken Harris's '49 Royal C-45 Sedan (03 Mar 2017).   new (03 Mar 2017)

On Chrysler Imperial 8 Page (26 Nov 2012):
    Classic '31-'32-'33 CG, CH, and CL Imperial 8s (26 Nov 2012).
    1931 Chrysler Imperial 8 CG Close-Coupled Sedan by Stan Mott (13 Feb 2013).

On separate page - 1949 Chrysler 8 C-46 Owner's Manual

WWII Chrysler A57 Multibank Tank Engine Page.

'49 Chrysler Code Pages (models, body types, and special and standard equipment).


HELP! - What is the approved substitute for Gýrol Fluid Drive coupling fluid?


1930 Chrysler Silverdome engine, tranny, driveshaft, and rear axle available!  This drivetrain is from a 1930 Chrysler sedan with body number 3072 - the engine number is 373041-1, with "HN" stamped above it and "SILVERDOME" in two locations on the head.  The engine was run for over an hour and ran "great" - 20,000 original miles - they dropped the pan after it cooled; everything was clean and in excellent condition - looked like original hatch marks in the cylinders and the original tranny, driveshaft, and rear end are very clean and in excellent working condition.  Contact me if you have a serious interest in this drivetrain.

1930 Chrysler Model 77 PICK-UP Truck (really!) Available.

'31 Chrysler Imperial Disaster - a "gentleman" in Ohio had a complete and restored 1931 Chrysler Imperial sedan which he was bound and determined to chop up and make into a street rod, with a Dodge Viper V10 and independent suspension, steel top, and so forth!  Despite my pleas to not do so, he can afford to and was determined to (he thought the result would be worth $150K)!  In spite of his projected "monumental act of vandalism" (à la Penn Station), he was reasonable enough to know that the engine, tranny, rear end, wheels, wheel covers, dash board and instruments, and such are valued (treasured) parts and was willing to sell them.  Wonder whatever came of this?


48 Town & Country convertible
1948 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible
Hey!  It's not a classic in the old sense, but it SURE is SEXY!
(even though there is nothing whatsoever sexy, or even pleasant,
about keeping all that woodwork* in shape!
{Sorry; I can't recall from whence I "liberated" this image!}


* - The "bars" were still real wood in those days, although Di-Noc decals replaced mahogany veneer in 1947.  Wood ended in 1950 and "Sportsgrain" simulated wood appeared on the '68s (or possibly earlier).


RIP Plymouth

DaimlerChrysler let it be known ca. 01 Nov 1999 that they were dropping the grand old name PLYMOUTH that year; so much for the car that made the company!

- - - * - - -

Chrysler and Daimler (Mercedes) merged as DaimlerChrysler in 1998
and split back apart in 2007 - two of my most favo(u)rite cars!

A quick chronology of the "un-merger":
    04 Oct 2007 - DaimlerChrysler AG renamed as Daimler AG.
    03 Aug 2007 - transaction completed.
    14 May 2007 - Chrysler interests sold off to Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. by Daimler-Chrysler.
    10 Jun 2009 - Chrysler Group LLC bought by Fiat SpA.

Fiat SpA's Sergio Marchionne announced 10 Jun 2009 that "Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat Group - - - finalized their previously announced global strategic alliance, forming a 'new' Chrysler that has the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete effectively on a global scale" [only time will tell].

Another merger!  Hmm; we shall see.  Buona fortuna, Signore!

Adtranz took DaimlerChrysler into the railroad business and the sale of this activity to Bombardier, announced 04 Aug 2000, apparently takes them right out again!

FIRST I.C. LOCO! - Gottlieb Daimler built an internal-combustion-powered locomotive ca. 1890!  For more information, click HERE!

Chrysler Modelers - see Model Chryslers on Continuation Page 3.

Bad news was that Chrysler changed all their website URLs so my links had to be changed - with Chrysler LLC now having its own website, here are Chrysler's home page and their Heritage page can be accessed through the Chrysler Museum page*, as can the extensive new Chrysler History timeline.

1946-48 Chrysler fans - see Dave Distler's site,
  Post War Heavy Metal - the 1946-48 Chrysler Web Site.

    Dave might even be related to the Ditzler family which made the paint used on old Chryslers!

* - The Master Nitpicker Strikes! - Chrysler messed up big time on their old Heritage pages:

For 1924, they do talk about pioneering 4-wheel hydraulic brakes but they end by mentioning the 1927 Imperial 80 as their first true convertible (as opposed to a roadster) without noting that it was first brought out in 1926 (as the E-80, renamed L-80 in 1928).

For the 1930s, they start with the doomed 1934 Airflow but illustrate it with a 1935 Airflow (with a prow added to suggest a more-familiar radiator and hood); there is no mention whatever of the great 1930 straight 8 and the fabulous 1931 CG Imperial 8 series and its custom-bodied offspring.

For the 1940s, they state that war production included "Pershing tanks and 40mm trailer-mounted anti aircraft guns".  They produced thousands of M3 Grant/Lee and M4 Sherman tanks, which won the war; the Pershing only came along at the very end.  The 40mm towed mount was not trailer-mounted but had integral retractable road gear.

For the 1950s, they claim 1951's Hydraglide as "the industry's first power steering unit"; Pierce-Arrow had that in the 30s and Rolls-Royce shortly after that (besides, Hydraglide was a tranny, NOT a steering gear!).

Beyond that, the heritage series deteriorates into some facts and mostly ad hype.

1963 Chrysler Turbine Car fans should go to the Chrysler's Turbine Car page (but come on back).

More BAD NEWS! - bad news, indeed, for us die-hard Chrysler fan(atic)s - the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, which had been closed on 31 Dec 2012 and was due to reopen in Jun 2016, has now closed permanently as of 18 Dec 2016!  The space will be used instead for offices, with the cars all put in storage.  What about the big A57 Multi-bank Tank Engine they had on display?   new (20 Feb 2017)


I had a 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial 8 Close-Coupled Sedan {see below} and a 1949 Chrysler C-46 Highlander 8 Club Coupé with Gyról Fluid Drive1

and an M-6 Transmission1

.  The '49 is the Silver Anniversary car with an enormous hood and trunk.  While working at Aberdeen Proving Ground in the early '50s, I drove an earlier '49 Sedan; once it was parked directly behind a gun emplacement where I was firing the 120mm AA (antiaircraft) gun.  It was cool and dry (read dusty) so I had the windows shut tight.  After the firing test, I came back to find the car looking like a double-ended, angry alligator!  The shock waves had popped both the hood and the trunk lid (without breaking the locks!) and they stood gaping.

The '49 was to have gone back on the road 03 Dec 1997; it started and died and didn't start until 03 Jan 1998, at which point, with the aid of some starting ether, she fired right up after 8 years and ran like a dream (a bad dream)!  (UH-OH!  I got a speeding ticket the last time it was running)!  Well, no such problem this time but she started to heat up (most unusual for a Chrysler!) and, on returning home, I found the water pump seal had blown out totally!  Happily, I had a brand-new spare; I also needed to replace the clutch (I had a full set of parts) and I got a new left rear tail light lens (a tree limb fell on its predecessor). [GONE - the '49 was sold on eBay 28 Apr 2007.]

NOTES:

1.  Gyròl Fluid Drive was simply a one-to-one hydraulic coupling that allowed slip between the clutch and the drive shaft.  A "full" explanation has been moved to Continuation Page 6.

2.  The M6 Prestomatic semi-automatic transmission was the workhorse of the late-'40s and early-'50s cars.  A "full" explanation of this and the earlier and simliar M4 Vacamatic, both of which shifted with a definite "CLUNK", has been moved to Continuation Page 6.

Speaking of the Silver Anniversary cars, does anyone remember the jingle?

In your beautiful Chrysler,
the Silver Anniversary car,
it is new.
In your beautiful Chrysler,
it's so thrilling to sit at the wheel.
It's got {this and that and the other thing}; it is higher and longer {or whatever, -

who remembers the whole thing and will e-mail me?

}.

It wasn't "Come away with me, Lucille, in my merry Oldsmobile", but it was catchy (hey, I remembered it).

Oh, come on, folks; some other old crock out there must remember the whole ditty.

The '49 was finally sold in 2007 to a gentleman who was supposedly to have it fully restored in time for a Coast-to-Coast trip in the Spring of 2008.


CHRYSLER IMPERIAL 8

Dan Phenicie has posted photos covering these cars on Photopoint at

"http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=947621".

Pride and Joy

I had a 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial 8 Close-Coupled Sedan, as noted above; a 384.8 cu. in. (6.3 liter) straight eight with a totally disintegrated #1 piston.  I needed a replacement engine and found one readily enough, the marine Majestic 8, which was virtually identical.  Oh, yeah, until I found it was from a PT boat stern drive and was reverse-running.  The PT boats had a Rolls-Royce or Packard Merlin for each of the three screws but there was a gearbox on the main shaft with a vee-drive.  Two Majestic 8s were hooked to the vee-drive, one right-hand running and one left.  That meant that the camshaft was ground in reverse on one of the pair and, naturally, that was the one I had located!  Guy Lombardo's famed Tempo speedboats used Majestic 8s in the '40s.

Here she is, my Pride and Joy in a contemporary ad; surely one of the most gorgeous closed 4-door cars ever built! And then there's a photo of her as I found her in Commack, missing a few things (and with the upper bumper bar and bumper retainers inverted!); surely one of the ugliest clunkers ever seen:

 

 

1931 Imperial Close-Coupled Sedan ad 1931 Imperial Close-Coupled Sedan as found

Perhaps only the 2-door Waterhouse Victoria with its top up is sexier as a closed car!

On 14 Jun 2009, I heard from Seattle where my old CG now resides; after two intervening owners, she is now to be properly restored!  In fact, as of Oct 2011, she has been fully "resurrected" and scoons (see Chrysler page 8)!  The current owner called on 02 Mar 2017 and told me he still hasn't repainted her; she's still in the black housepint as I bought her, but he drives her all over the place and loves the amazement and awe she generates.   rev (01 Dec 2011, 09 May 2016, and 032 Mar 2017)

Amazing; on 06 Jun 2008, I just happened to run across a picture I took on 29 Apr 1956 of Jim{?} Groendyk's (ex-Gordon Biehn's) 1933 CG Custom Imperial 8 Waterhouse Victoria with its top up!

1933 Imperial Waterhouse Vict. ex-Biehn/Groendyk
(cropped from 29 Apr 1956 picture by and © 2008 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved}

[Might that be Jim behind what appears to me to be Bob Turnquist's (or Paul Lamb's) Packard convertible?]

The Waterhouse was at the Spring Meet of the fledgling Classic Car Club of America at Philipse Manor in Tarrytown, New York.

[That's quite clearly a 1931 CG - perhaps the custom bodywork wasn't completed until 1933(?).] (01 Dec 2011)

[missing images restored 01 Dec 2011]

  [I had the temerity to cut my HONEYMOON short by a day to attend on our way home!]

Later, I did locate a block with cam and crank shafts and they were from a restored '31 Le Baron CG roadster; when I sold my car, the spare block/crank/cam went with it (like - don't ask me for it!).

[As noted above, I'd located a camshaft earlier but it turned out to be from a Chrysler Majestic 8, one of a contra-rotating pair of marine engines that sat in the stern of a PT boat and drove the center screw from an auxiliary gearbox for maneuvering in port (to save the three big Rolls-Royce or Packard Merlins), and, unfortunately for me, it was from the one that ran left-handed!]

There's quite a story about the '31 Imperial.  One day ca. 1954 or so, I was driving around on Long Island and spotted a 1937{?} Cadillac limo and, on a whim, I followed it home.  That turned out to be in Rockville Centre and the driver (and owner) was a bit put out that I'd been following him.  In those days I was still a Charter Member of the Classic Car Club of America and one thing led to another and he invited me into his turn-of-the-century cottage.  Wow, it had been decorated and furnished by Louis Comfort Tiffany, himself!  In his garage, which was being reroofed by a young German-American carpenter was a 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial 8 Close-Coupled Sedan.  The man was none other than the youngster who had picked the car up new at the factory, John F. Nonenbacher, Jr., for his father, by then the late JFN, Sr.; both were managers of the late José Greco*, the famed flamenco dancer.  Both cars had been used, sequentially, to take Greco to his grand openings; look at theatrical picture books or newsreels from the '30s and early '40s and you'll see them.  Many years later, I heard of an old Chrysler out in Commack, more or less the center of Long Island, and I went out to look for it, at a Gulf station on Commack Road, just south of the Long Island Motor Parkway.  It was love at first sight, a 1931 Imperial 8 Close Coupled Sedan, rough, with one of the six wheels missing, but in running condition!  I put a deposit on it and came back a week later with a Jeep to escort it home.  It ran rather badly, coughing and spitting, so I switched it off and towed it home.  Have you ever towed 17½' of Imperial behind a Jeep with a rigid tow bar?  If the road crowned to the right, the car swerved to the right, which pulled the Jeep to the left, and vice-versa.  We swerved and over-corrected all the way home, some 20 miles.  A ½-mile short of the house, alongside a Coca-Cola warehouse, the right rear tire blew out with an incredible blast echoing off the Coke building.  Well, the tires were old and dried out and it was only a ½-mile to go so I told the Jeep driver to keep going.  All was well until we pulled up in front of my driveway.  The Jeep had to be disconnected so we could push the car up the driveway.  The flat tire seemed awfully hot!  After the Jeep left and I stood there admiring my folly, the tire burst into flames!  Happily, the garden hose was a few feet away and put out the flames and cooled the tire down.  And all this with dried-out wooden spoke artillery wheels, to boot!

Later, I pulled the plugs and looked in; #1 cylinder had no piston crown!

Under the drivers seat, looking for the tool kit that wasn't there, I found a piece of paper with a German name on it; looking in the local telephone book produced nothing; the Suffolk County book had the name.  A quick phone call elicited that he was German-American and a carpenter.  A quick ride out there and immediately inside his house, on the wall, was a signed picture of José Greco.  You got it!  He put me in touch with Nonenbacher, who took me into his cellar, where he showed me the original trunk for the car, still in its original olive paint with antiqued gold trim, with a mint Pilot Beam steering headlamp inside (not from the CG).  He gave me the trunk and wouldn't take any money for it.  He also remembered the gas station to which he had taken the missing wheel to have a flat fixed, but the wheel was long gone from there.

* - 05 Jan 01 - I regret to note that José Greco, called "The World's Greatest Spanish Dancer", died at the age of 82 at his home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, 30 Dec 2000; he was born in Spain but moved to Brooklyn when at age 10 and only retired in the 1960s.  I had the great pleasure of seeing him dance; it was an incredible experience the first time and never failed to continue to be so.

For many years, there was a 1931 CG full-length sedan parked in front of a doctor's or dentist's office in Garden city; it was driven, quite literally, by a little old lady.  Then it ceased to appear there.  It turned up for sale at a time when I really couldn't handle the cost and I regretfully turned it down; although I did get to drive it - it ran effortlessly, smoothly, and quietly, as it had when new.  When the Bird Estate auction of magnificent cars took place at Twin Ponds in Matinecock (west of Oyster Bay) around 1965 or so, there was that CG sedan in the parking area.  I found the owner and rode all the way home with him, which turned out to be in Massapequa on the former site of the Frank Buck Zoo; the Monkey Mountain was still standing then.  Where is it now (the car)?

About this time, there was a CH Imperial around; that's a slightly shorter version of the CG with same huge 385 cu. in. engine.  One day, a horn blared in my driveway and there it was, overflowing with a family.  The driver was a Chrysler fan I'd met around; recently, he turned up again as President of the local Chrysler club.  The fellow I sold my CG to, and that's a great story I'd love to tell if it didn't violate privacy, had an unusual '31 CG.  It is well-documented that only two Waterhouse-bodied '31 Imperial 8 Victorias survive (of six built); my friend has the third of those two!  And it's no fake; his father had it on their farm for many years before he rescued it and brought it home to Long Island.

There's even more about '31 Imperials on Chrysler Continuation Page 6.

help-rwb - speaking of artillery wheels, does anyone have, or have a clue to the whereabouts of,
a 7.50 x 17 wood-spoke artillery wheel for the fellow who now owns my old 1931 CG Imperial 8?

Speaking of "my old 1931 CG Imperial 8". known as "Old Betsey", she scoons!  See her out in Seattle (09 May 2016).


Then there was the time {ca. 1963?} my father had quite a bad time with Chrysler service (unusual) and was so incensed that he wrote a letter directly to Walter P(ercy). Chrysler, himself.  I TOLD him ol' Walt had died years before (1940 to be exact), but he was so furious that he sent the letter anyway!


My every-day car was a sadly-beat-up '85 Plymouth Tourismo, a so-called 3-door coupé or fastback, into which I had a full sliding sunroof grafted.  Because the roof is so very short, and because I didn't want one of those tilt-up-and-back sunroofs, I had an after-market Porsche sunroof mounted; the curvature was ever-so-slightly greater than my roof's, but who'd notice?  In the wee hours of the night after I had picked it up new, while parked on the street, it got slammed by some clown who pushed in the whole left side abaft the door and drove off into the night - GOOD MORNING!.  Then the clutch gave out at only 28,900 miles and I had quite a brannigan with Chrysler over that!  Luckily, I have a long record of extreme high mileage on clutches and had a '70 Duster do the same thing, so Chrysler made an accomodation (good thing!).  That car has been to Hell and back with me, since!  In 1988, I had a seminar to run in Cleveland, many weeks vacation saved, and a yen to see where the Vikings landed and lived in l'Anse-aux-Meadows in northeastern Newfoundland, so I took a slight detour over the U. S. Labor Day weekend and then some.  Like a slight 6,000 miles!  I drove up through the Maritimes, took the ferry (an ocean-going ship) across to Argentia@ (the old U. S. Navy base), then drove over bare black lava countryside to St. John's, on a Saturday, where I had been assured there was a bank open; it wasn't!  There was an ATM working out at the airport, so off I went there; it turned out to be Gander, the old World War II transoceanic ferry flight departure point for the airbases in Scotland (Gatwick, Prestwick?)!  Who'd have ever thought I'd DRIVE to Gander?  But I've got a photo@ of the little Tourismo sitting in front of the terminal at Gander!  On the way up along the St. Lawrence coast, I'd noticed that the ferry to Labrador was still running, so on the way back to the ferry to Sydney, New Brunswick, I took the Labrador ferry across and drove the 24 miles northeast along the St. Lawrence toward the end of the road, as far northeast as you can drive on the continent.  I had to ford a runoff@ at a construction zone and ran off the end of the pavement, where I hit 100,000 miles@ and where it got so muddy I couldn't proceed.  By then the light was failing so I turned back, having to jockey the poor beast in its own length in hub-deep mud; by the time I slogged back to the runoff, it had turned into a torrent and I barely got across without being washed into the river!  I have pictures of all this@; such fun!  I then drove to St. Charles, Illinois, and hit 250,000 miles on the way past Akron, Ohio.  Too bad I wasn't able to stretch the clutch life past 278,900 miles, which would have given me 250,000 on one clutch; it finally gave out at some 230,000 miles or so total, which is still not bad on a single clutch, and that on a 5-speed tranny!  Then I topped 258,000 miles on the car; it wasn't worth a new clutch, but I put one in anyway because I enjoyed driving the car so much.  On 04 May 199?, it finally got a third new water pump (the first let go around 40,000 miles).  I hated to part with her but she had been rapidly parting with me; the oil rings were finally going, using a quart of oil every 200 miles or so.  So, she had to go, even though she was going strong (well, maybe not SO strong towards the end); goodbye, old friend!

Final Mileage:  280,512 miles (on 02 Mar 99)!

That '85 Tourismo had all those miles on an original engine and 5-speed tranny!
And much of that in traffic; can you even imagine how many shifts?

The replacement was a 1999 Dodge Neon 5-speed coupé with quite a bit more oomph
    (not that the '85 didn't have plenty of that, itself):

Final Mileage - as of 29 Nov 2011 :

187,828

.

Obviously, I'm slowing down.

The big 100 got away from me, ca. 01 Aug 2004 or so, on a trip from New York to California and Seattle, and I hit 116,000 in early Jul 2005, driving back from Texas.  I drove down to the Carolinas in mid-Aug 2006 and then, in Jun-Jul 2007, I drove out to Portland, Oregon, and Seattle again, and back via many National Parks for 9,617 miles (155,000).

With bags of urge and hard, flat cornering, those first Goodyear Eagles "only" lasted 59,500 miles!

Chrysler stopped making Neon coupés for the 2000 model year and I had to settle for an already-built car brought in from another dealership and graft a 20" x 33" Webasto (it was supposed to be an American) sunroof into it.

For further comments on the Neon and other Chrysler cars and engineering, see the Chrysler Continuation Page 2.

Pictures of some of the items noted @ are on Chrysler continuation page 4.


Well, I revised the above narrative to the past tense because, on 29 Nov 2011, I traded the poor ol' 1999 Neon in on a brand new 2012 FIAT 500 Pop, Grigio con Rosso/Grigio.  (30 Nov 2011)

Starting Mileage - as of 29 Nov 2011 - 5.

Current Mileage - as of 01 Mar 2017 :

~38,000 .

Slowing down at long last, plus two cars, plus taking
the train (or plane) for long trips nowadays*,
PLUS open heart surgery (23 Jan 2015).

[* - much as I hate to admit it.]

"Grigio con Rosso/Grigio" translates to Gray with Red and Gray interior.  She's another 5-speed stick with a huge (factory) sliding sunroof and NO OTHER EXTRAS!  It was a tough fight, Ma, but we won - the car had to be custom ordered NOT to come with aluminum wheels and a Bose "Premium Audio System" for some $1,500 extra!  Happily, it came in almost a month sooner than expected.  Being so small, things are a wee bit tight inside but she's a delight to drive.

Chrysler no longer offers a small two-door hatchback so this FIAT (Fabricca Italiana Automobili Torino - Italian Automobile Factory in Turin) is about as close as I can come since FIAT now owns Chrysler*.

My cellphone camera decided to go even more on the fritz than usual so here are hideous shots of the two cars at the dealer and the FIAT at home after a torrential downpour made me awfully glad I'd remembered to close the sunroof!  That last shot of the interior is weirder than the others but you can get a hint of the Rosso/Red on the far door:

99Neon/12FIAT500x

2012FIAT500ax 2012FIAT500bx

2012FIAT500cx 2012FIAT500d

The car has so many extras built in as to be frightening, many quite unnecessary, but why, as long as they were loading it, didn't they think to add a rain sensor to automatically close the sunroof?  I must have filled the Tourismo and the Neon a dozen or more times each by leaving those huge sunroofs wide open just before the heavens descended!

[Well, it POURED cats and dogs yesterday and (you guessed!) I left the 500's sunroof ajar, not fully open but up in the moonroof position, and not a single drop entered!  Pretty good design work, I'd say.] (19 Jul 2012)

Another very-much-appreciated feature is that the seating is surprisingly high, so that I no longer have to fall down into my car (shades of the '49 Hudsons!).

* - now that I've perused the manuals and such, it turns out that it's all from "Chrysler Group LLC" AND the parts are from "Mopar"!  Not only that but the Mopar site now features FIAT.  [Of such are Chrysler fanatics carried forward!]  (01 Dec 2011)

Actually, only the design is Italian; I forgot to note here that the body/chassis was made at the Chrysler plant in Toluca, Mexico, and the engine/tranny in Detroit!   added (07 Dec 2015)

The speedometer reads to 140MPH!  Optimistic?  You couldn't prove it by me (not without a crash helmet and racing suit and roll bar and such) but, on several certain isolated, die-straight, un-named empty Interstate highways, on certain unstated times, at certain un-noted locations, a certain unspecified FIAT 500 Pop just might very well have been spotted cruising (however briefly) quite effortlessly at speeds which might possibly have been at well in excess of 100MPH.  Perhaps even more amazing is how quickly and easily the car might have gotten up there from 60 (IF its driver had EVER done any such foolish thing).   added (09 May 2016)

Also impressive might have been how nicely the brakes might have pulled the speed back to 60MPH in test applications, ever so quickly and smoothly.  Yes, that could have been most impressive, indeed.  [Ouch - I just bit my tongue!]

- - - * - - -

A friend asked about a FIAT 500 Limousine (I think he really meant the supposedly-forthcoming stretched 500 on a 600 chassis) so I had the Berlinerwerke Art Dept. look into such and, sure enough, there really is one (27 Jul 2012):

FIAT500Limo
29 Jul 2012 photo of FIAT 500 Limo by and © 2012 Berlinerwerke Art Dept.

[If you buy this, you don't know much about the Berlinerwerke Art Dept.,
but you could check it out.]


CHRYSLER HERITAGE

Chrysler's contorted and convoluted (and un-navigable) site had a fair historical section (actually, two different unrelated ones!), by decade, if you could find them!

I'd done it for you, but it became emasculated (nothing on the 1931-era Imperials, for instance); now it is virtually useless - click here: CHRYSLER HERITAGE.   rev (20 Feb 2017)


I hope to get something on Willys-Overland; I have a bit on the old WWII JEEP.  And let's not forget FARGO trucks (bet you did)!

For those of you who can't find a way to contact the reclusive Chrysler Corporation (funny, Daimler goes all out to be accessible to its customers!); here is the mailing address and phone number:

    Chrysler Motors Customer Center
    P. O. Box 21-8004
    Auburn Hills, Michigan 48321-8004

    800-992-1997


02 Jul 02 - I finally found a back-up of the missing Chrysler material in another format; after I painstakingly convert it, I'll add it as I can.


[This page grew out of hand, with MORE CHRYSLER APOCRYPHA, and more,
moved to Chrysler Continuation Page 1, Page 2, and Page 3 (the latter has the Walter P. Chrysler story).]


Cyclops fans; see Cyclops on my Automotive page!




LEGACY

  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.

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