S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com CHRYSLER Continuation Page 1 keywords = Chrysler Walter Daimler ChryslerDaimler 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

Updated:   16 Mar 2016; 13:40  ET
[Page created 05 Jan 2001; converted 21 Mar 2011;

  {Restored most missing images 25/27 Dec 02}
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/chryslr1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/chryslr1.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 dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  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



Continuation Page 1

Chrysler Badge

[The original Chrysler pages grew completely out of hand and this had to be added;
please have a look at the preceeding original Chrysler Page and
succeeding Chrysler Continuation Pages 2, 3, and 4

(with the Walter P. Chrysler story).]

These 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 and

  '31-'32-'33 Imperial 8 Major Model Year Differences.
    plus much more on Cont. Page 4.

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

'39 and '41 Photos

JEEP (moved here from Chrysler page 3 on 02 Jul 02).
    with Mini-Jeep coverage.   added (16 Mar 2016)

Chrysler Models.

Model Chryslers.

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

Chrysler Badge     Isn't it nice for us nostalgia buffs that Chrysler has gone back
    to its beautiful 1940s medallion?

    I still use(d) my original '40s key ring for the '49; it has a leather fob with the classic medallion on it.

Here are my old fob and key ring (ca. 1950, sans chrome) with the original alumin(i)um '49 keys and the head of one of the keys (ignition) with the DPCD (DeSoto/Plymouth/Chrysler/Dodge) logo:

  ca. 1950 Chrysler Keychain Fob with 1949 Keys     1949 Ignition Key Head

How many of you even knew of that key image, and the head shapes
(octagonal for ignition, round for glovebox, diamond for trunk),
let alone remembered these details?

1949 Key Heads
[Photos by and © 2001 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

1933 Chrysler Imperial 8 Close-Coupled Sedan

Rummaging through old photos for other material, I ran across these undocumented pictures of a 1933 Chrysler Imperial 8 Close-Coupled Sedan which I believed were taken at a car show at Teddy Roosevelt's Sagamore Hill home (but the background doesn't look right) in or ca. Aug 1982:

1933 Chry Imp CCS  ca. Aug 82

1933 Chry Imp CCS  ca. Aug 82

1933 Chry Imp CCS  ca. Aug 82

1933 Chry Imp CCS  ca. Aug 82

1933 Chry Imp CCS  ca. Aug 82
[Photos ca. Aug 82 by and © 2001 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]
{missing images to be replaced}
(That's my 1977 Dodge Aspen in the background of the last shot.)

Other than hood, radiator, bumper, and trim differences noted below, and paint, this car is virtually identical to my old 1931.  The many added lights, especially the big Trippe fog lights and the spotlight, are add-ons, some even from later generations of after-market products, but the body and trunk are identical.  The '33 has a dark tan body with dark brown two-toning and wire wheels whereas the '31 was (originally) an olive body with dark green two-toning and wooden artillery wheels.  Both had antique (Dulux) gold piping.

Speaking of rummaging, whil(e)(st) doing so on 15 Mar 01, I ran across a copy of my ca. 1965 Christmas card, a custom image drawn for me by the draughtslady at Pall Corporation, the long-late Charlt Jacobi:

Ca. 1965 Chry Imp CCS  Xmas Card
[Photo 13 Mar 01 by and © 2001 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]
(Drawing by Charlt Jacobi, ca. 1965.)

Also, rummaging in old records tranferred to the current owner of my old '31 CG Close-Coupled Sedan turned up a fading photo of Richard S. Sage's '31 CG Le Baron Roadster, probably taken in Connecticut ca. 1960; the spare block* that accompanied the CCS came from Dick Sage's car and this print was sent to Dick by the factory along with specs that have faded to near-illegibility (I will transcribe them).

31 Chry Imp LeB Sage Road
(Ca. 1960 photo from Chrysler Corp. on 23 May 61 and
copied 12 Sep 2003 by S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image]

Another thing that turned up, that I had completely forgotten I (still) had, was a gift from a Chrysler rep. when I was at the Ordnance review with the American Ordnance Asociation at Aberdeen Proving Ground on 19 May 1956, as shown on my Ordnance/Atomic Cannon page, this lapel pin:

[Photo by and © 2005 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

It shows an M48 Patton II tank (Chrysler-built) with the word "Chrysler" superposed where the return rollers should be.  I had already left Aberdeen when the M46 Patton was new and did not get to work on the M48 Patton II.  The pin measures ¾" long, overall.

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

1931 Chry Imp CG CCS ad 1932 Chry Imp CL CCS ad
[Chrysler Imperial 8 Close-Coupled Sedans - 1931 CG and 1932 CL ads shown for reference.]

1*.  1931 and 1932 cars had vertical radiator fronts and elegant double-strip bumpers.  1933 cars had a sloped radiator (projecting forward sightly at the bottom) and heavy, single-strip bumpers.

    [* - Thus the '31 and '32 could use a "woven" wire stone guard, like on a Packard;

has anyone ever seen a curved one on '33s?]

2.   1931 cars had a single tail light and license plate bracket on the left; 1932 and 1933 cars had twin tail lights with the license plate bracket on the left one.

3.*  1931 and early 1932 cars had a short hood with vertical hood louvers in a stamped relief panel; late 1932 and 1933 cars had long hoods that extended over the cowl, with a row of five (5) vertical cooling vent doors, and two holes up topside for the upper cowl vent doors.

4.   1931 and early 1932 cars had no external horn; late 1932 and 1933 cars had a pair of horns, one under (and slightly inboard of) each headlight, and the headlight support brackets had two holes in each for the horns.

5.   1931 and early 1932 cars had headlights with flat faces; late 1932 and 1933 cars had vee-shaped headlights mimicking the grille (even to the slight projection at the bottom).

6*.  1931 and early 1932 cars had cowl lights mimicking the headlights.  Late 1932 and 1933 cars did not have the parking lights at the sides of the hood/cowl; they had (uh-oh - what? - they may have had a parking light bulb inside each headlamp shell).

7*.  1931 cars had the doors hinged front (for the front ones) and rear (for the rear ones), center opening, in other words, while 1932 and 1933 cars had them hinged at the rear only.

8*.  1933 cars had more modern fenders, covering more the front of the front wheels (most of us who love the big Imperial 8s prefer the older, more classic style).

I wondered what else I'd forgotten (or gotten wrong) and was sure I'd hear all about it (eventually).  Well, read on:

[* - I owe an apology to a gentleman who been after a 1932 Imperial Close Coupled Sedan for some time - good luck!)
  and offered corrigenda, emendations, and amendations to the above list back on 13 Aug 2001!
  They are incorporated (10 May 2002).]

Whoops!  look at the '32 CG CCS ad above (repeated here, l.), and now at the '32 CG full sedan here (r.) and you'll see I'm wrong again!  The full sedan has opposed doors, while the CCS has suicide doors front AND rear!

1932 Chry Imp CL CCS ad 1932 Chry Imp CL Sedan ad

There were some other odd model differences; see the L-80/L*80 writeup, below.

  [Something happened to my '33 illustrations so I'll substitute these instead:]

1933 models:   new (16 Dec 2012)

1933 Chry Royal 8 ad 1933 Chry Imp LeBaron ad

Note the slanted, swooped grille, matching slanted headlights with horns, full-length hood (overlapping the cowl), with cowl vents and side vent doors, lack of external parking lights, deeper fenders, and the vee'd single-bar bumper.  Different photos show shallower or deeper bumper vee'ing (see an example at the top of this page), some quite extreme!

Here is an excellent place to insert an explanation for the 32-33 model blur (and a note about some early '34s); a gentleman from Indiana who owns a 1932 CG CC Sedan offered this as "a quick primer":

A.  CG (145" wheelbase) was shipped between 14 Jul 1930 and Dec 1931 and one or two as late as Jun 1932 but the CG cars numbered after 7803243 and during physical 1932 were mostly cars that were renumbered because they didn't sell.

B.  The CH Imperial 8 (135'") and CL Custom Imperial 8 (146") were both shipped starting 16 Dec 1931 through approx 30 Sep 1932.  These cars had Floating Power engine mounting and freewheeling; the closed car windshields were more "vee"ed than the CG models.  The CL had a hood extending to the windshield.  CH-CL used many parts in common including engine, transmission, rear axle, wheels, dash cluster, and head and tail lamps.

C.  The CL* (146") had the one piece bumper and was shipped approx 20 Jan 1933 and Aug 1933 although one car wasn't shipped until Oct 1933.  The CL* was same as 32 CL except for front end sheet metal, bumpers, lamps; most but not all CL* had leaping gazelles in the dash cluster.  Also, the front spring hangers were modified for the new bumper and the automatic radiator shutters were eliminated.

D.  Radiator shells on the CG, CH, and CL were similar but not interchangeable.  They used automatic shutters triggered by the Syphon thermostat.

E.  The CL* had a grille that looked like that on a '34 Plymouth.  Several of the CL* cars were renumbered CL's (the correspondent has one of the nineteen CL* convertible roadsters; his was originally a CL.  They restamped the block, put a new VIN tag on, the dash cluster was changed, and '33 sheet metal added - probably an executive car, it was originally shipped to Memphis, TN, and then was shipped a year later to Tampa, Florida).

note-rt.gif  [SB,III (10 May 2002):  I'd completely forgotten about the asterisked model numbers (pre-computer age)!  There were a small number of 1934 Imperials built that looked very much like 1933s but somehow bulkier, possibly with even lower fronts on the front fenders (or my aging memory is playing tricks on me!).]

Said kind gentleman also sent me this unattributed snapshot (note I left in a smidgen of the left and lower margins just to show that I did NOT crop them away!) of a most-redoubtable lady admiring a 1931 CG Imperial 8 claimed to be a "limousine"; I can't see enough detail to be sure of a partition window in the back of the front seat but I'd guess it's a regular 7-passenger sedan (5 plus two jump or "dickey" seats behind the front seat).  Were it indeed a limo and were she truly a lady, she wouldn't be at the chauffeur's position; HE would!

1931 Imperial 8 'Limo'

[Could that have been Marie Dressler?]

The background could equally be the Long Beach in California or the one on Long Island.  Note also the rather odd tire tread (hardly what I'd want on a front tire - looks more like a truck-tractor traction tire); maybe it's a post-war picture when it was hard to get those 6-ply 7.50x17s and people substituted 7.00x17 8-ply truck tires.

That car looks absolutely ENORMOUS!  Yet it's exactly the same size as my perfectly normal ordinary '49 Highlander 8 Club Coup.

Now, note the small gazelle; this could start a war!  Some of the custom cars and later CG/CL-series seem to have mounted the large gazelle; who knows for sure?

Looking at Langworth and Norbye's book, I note on page 68 that there was a smaller Imperial for 1933, the CQ with a 137" wheelbase.  I was looking (unsuccessfully) for information to confirm my fuzzy recollection that the Imperials switched over to the rubber-bushed, three-point, "Floating Power" engine mounting system with the 1933 models (can anyone knowledgeable clear this up for me?).

Instantly after writing the above, I was told that CG, CH, CL, CQ (and possibly CW) engines will interchange; you may have to strip off the bell housing and the front engine mount to use the '31-32 CG block on the later chassis.  The '33 has a three-point Floating Power front mount and a different bell housing, but the basic block is still the same (I am just reporting, here, NOT verifying).  But see much more on this on Cont. Page 4.

I'll stick this here for the nonce (and link it on page 4) - I was reminded (yet again) on 13 Aug 2012 that there really weren't any 1932 CGs, only left over '31s, as noted above BUT that dual tail lights and external horns were an option offered by Chrysler on the '31s, so there goes THAT certainty - RATS!   new (13 Aug 2012)


From over the pond (England), comes this from Nigel Plant, who has rescued a 1929 Chrsyler Imperial L*80 Convertible Coup from the scrapper/hot-rodder and is obviously putting one heck of a lot of TLC into her:

29 Imp Conv Cp as found 3b 29 Imp Conv Cp reg 3a

29 Imp Conv Cp body as was 7a 29 Imp Conv Cp body as was 7b

29 Imp Conv Cp chas as was 5a 29 Imp Conv Cp bits&pcs 3c 29 Imp Conv Cp chas rew 6b

29 Imp Conv Cp home 4b 29 Imp Conv Cp home 4a

29 Imp Conv Cp body wood 5b 29 Imp Conv Cp body wood 6a

[1929 Chrysler Imperial Convertible Coup photos by N. Plant - all rights reserved.]

These show her as found in a field in 1965, the 1959 registration sticker, at home being stripped, the bare chassis before, the miscellaneous bits and pieces, the chassis after, and the wood bodywork.

This is the predecessor car to my favorite 1931 Imperial 8, the "Big Six" model L-80, or is it?  No, it is an L*80!  Nigel writes that the Instruction book he got from the Chrysler Historical Collection is marked "1929 - CHRYSLER IMPERIAL Model "L*" (Blt 10/28 - 6/30)".  A series of articles published in "Veteran and Vintage" on the Chrysler Imperial by M. D. Hendry (possibly an Australian or New Zealander) states, "The first series L80 continued the styling of the original E80 for 13 months, and then on January 1, 1929 the L*80, completely restyled, in common with other Chrysler models, and popularly known as the 'thin-shell radiator models'."  Nigel thinks that the bore was increased from 3½" to 35/8" at that time.  A 1929 issue of The MoToR shows a picture of the style of his body and calls it a Custom Cabriolet but other references call it as a Convertible Coup; in my opinion (and recollection), a true convertible (wind-up windows and a padded top) has to have external landau irons to justify being called a Cabriolet.

Nigel wants a set of wire wheels to replace the wood spoke wheels (please NO! - SB,III) and needs instruments and a set of cowl lights and rear lights.

Please help!  I can't wait to see pictures of the car when he finishes it!

Chrysler Model Names

This has to do with the names applied to various Chrysler modela, not minature model Chryslers.

The early Chryslers had numbers, such as 60, 77, or 80 (this latter with a letter as noted above); starting in very late 1929, they switched to letter designations that carried through to the present, such as the CG, CH, and CL Imperials or my later C-23 Royal, C-28 Windsor, or C-46 New Yorker but then started using the names alone for advertising and emblems.  In the late 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s, these were the standard names:

    Royal (6, short)     Windsor (6, medium)     Saratoga (8, medium)     New Yorker (8, big)     Imperial (8, biggest)

There were the parade cars and the Newport, with cut out doors, and the Thunderbolt, with a retractable steel top, and others.  Perhaps most notable was the original Town & Country, a "woodie" cross between a sedan and station wagon, with horizontal-opening clamshell doors under the rear window, succeeded by the even more popular '46-'49 coups, closed and convertible, and then bowdlerized in 1950 with fake wood trim and Di-Noc decal panels.  Newport was then re-used for the first "hardtop" ca. 1951 or 52.

The other forgotten special was the Highlander, which was never a separate model but rather a fancy trim package on an otherwise stock Windsor or New Yorker, with Black Watch plaid upholstery and burgundy leather trim; however, the name badges were switched from "New Yorker" to "Highlander" at the factory.  Note that it fits - badges were fitted to holes drilled through the hood in those days!):

A '46 Highlander and my own '49 are shown on Chrysler page 2.

Speaking of parade cars, Chryslers were run as Indy pace cars in 1926 (Imperial 80 - driven by Louis Chevrolet, of all people!), 1933 (CL Imperial 8 convertible coup*), 1941 (Newport Phaeton - the only non-production pace car), 1951 (Chrysler New Yorker V-8 "Hemi"), 1963 (Chrysler 300), 1987 (Chrysler LeBaron), as well as the 1965 Plymouth Sports Fury and the 1954 Dodge Royal, 1971 Dodge Challenger, 1991 Dodge Viper V-10, and 1996 Dodge Viper GTS.   new (29 May 2012)

[* - it was NOT a "Phaeton" as popularly recorded!]


One variant that I could not find noted anywhere, and could not explain, was the 1939 Royal Windsor I saw first in Plattsburgh, New York, ca. 1952-53, when I had my 1939 C-23 Royal, my first car, and so was quite sensitized to the model year.  It could have been faked by adding "Windsor" after "Royal" on the right of the hood, but why would anyone bother to remove the "Royal" name badge from the left hood, reposition it, and add "Windsor"?  Much later, I saw a second such car.  Two fakes?

Yee-hah!  Vindication, at last!  A gentleman of my own age, from Pittsburgh, wrote on 14 Sep 03 that "I saw one frequently when I was a kid. - - - Of course I was too young to imagine that someday I might really want to know what it meant."  Misery loves company, eh?

Better and better!  A gentleman a few years older than I (is that possible?) wrote on 14 Sep 03: "Not fakes -- I recall several 39 ROYAL WINDSORS in Ridgewood, NJ, in 1940 -- the dealer there 'inventoried' them."!  Now, all we need is some offical Chrysler paperwork (catalog, ads, dealer literature) explaining this oddity.


(moved here from Chrysler page 3 on 02 Jul 02)

I always "knew" that the Jeep got its name from the designation, "G. P.", meaning "General Purpose", as in "Truck, ¼-ton, 4x4, GP".  Only one problem with my absolute "knowledge"; that was NOT the original designation.  It seems more than likely that "Jeep" was taken from the funny little character in early cartoon strips of that name, "The Jeep".

The definitive story of the designation "GP" vs. the name "Jeep" is told on my main Ordnance page.   added (16 Mar 2016)

Out visiting my younger daughter in California for her marriage, I noticed (WHAM!) this Jeep opposite her car in the garage:

WWII Jeep r/s WWII Jeep l/s
(04 May 2004 photos by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
{photographed against blazing sunlight}

Meticulously restored, with no less than a Major General's stars on the bumper, this WWII gem gladdened my old heart (there's another, to be restored, and a trailer under the tarp)!

O.K.  How many of you know of the Seep, the ca.-1943 amphibious Jeep 4x4?  Yup, there was a wrap-around hull version created during WWII that was a miniature predecessor of the 6x6 amphib truck, the famed "DUKW".  Only problem was that it sank like a stone if the engine failed; the solution for post-war owners was to install a battery-operated sump pump and, usually, a second battery for that sole purpose.  They're known (today, at least) as "GPA" (General Purpose, Amphibious) and may well have all been Ford-built.

    Here's a good Aussie site on Seeps.  To my surprise, I found there that Dodge built
    a rear-engined amphib 4x4 called the "Aqua Cheetah"!

[I've asked for permission to reproduce photos.]

Never got that, but I did find this one, Chrysler's Dodge Division amphibious 4x4 truck, the Cheetah:

Dodge Cheetah
(photo from Ren Pohl's Schwimmauto pages)
{image restored 16 Dec 2012}

For more on amphibs, see my Automotive page 1 and Ren Pohl's Schwimmauto pages.

Better yet, how about the Peep?  I seem to be on really shaky ground here, but I clearly remember asking four gigantic Coast Guard Shore Patrol men in a tiny Jeep-like vehicle, ca. 1944 at 59th and Lex in Manhattan (on a SE corner facing east, no less!), what they were riding in (on) and being told it was a "Peep"!  Heidi wouldn't lie, would she?  Let's just charitably assume that those monsters were so big they dwarfed a perfectly normal Jeep, but it was really small and low to the ground and a Jeep was fairly tall (compared to me at 10).  ???  Could there have been a mini-Jeep? (rev. 16 Dec 2012)

Well, in fact, there WAS a mini-Jeep - several of 'em, no less!  Lightweights were developed by Ford, Crosley, Kaiser, Chevrolet, Nuffield, and (of course) Willys.  Their story is told by Hemmings (et seq.) and eWillys.  Well and good, but could some of these protoypes have seen service - and in mid-town Manhattan, at that?   added (16 Mar 2016)

Here's a Burma-Shave sign no one but me seems to remember:

            - Burma-Shave

[The original Chrysler pages grew completely out of hand and this had to be added;
please have a look at the preceeding original Chrysler Page and
succeeding Chrysler Continuation Pages 2, 3, and 4
    (with the Walter P. Chrysler story).]

Cyclops fans; see Cyclops on my Automotive page!


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


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

Please visit the main Automotive Page, et seq.

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