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September 20, 1979 – Lee Iacocca elected chairman of Chrysler
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September 20, 1979 – Lee Iacocca elected chairman of Chrysler

Industry giant Lido “Lee” Anthony Iacocca was elected chairman of Chrysler on this day in 1979, 10 months after joining the company as president. It was Lee’s career at Ford Motor Company that would lead him to the top of Chrysler. As a vice president at Ford more than a decade prior Iacocca was instrumental in the introduction of the Ford Mustang. From there he forecast the need for fuel efficient, domestically made cars, which led to the development of the Pinto. He became president of Ford in 1970 but Henry Ford II fired him unceremoniously in 1978. He attributed the event to fundamentally different business ideologies than those of Ford II (even though Ford saw a profit of more than $2 billion in Iacocca’s final year). Above: Iacocca leaning on Mustang (NY Times). Top: Iacocca with...
That thing got a hemi? Yep! 1953 Chrysler Town & Country
Cheap Classic Cars

That thing got a hemi? Yep! 1953 Chrysler Town & Country

First introduced as a station wagon in 1941, the Town & Country nameplate from Chrysler has become a sought after badge in the collector world. In it's earliest renditions, the T&C featured wood paneling and luxurious interiors available with seating for either six or nine. Following WWII, the badge could be found on other bodies as well, including woodie sedans and convertibles. Starting in 1951, Town & Country chrome once again found its way onto wagons only. This 1953 Chrysler Town & Country hails from that era and is for sale on Craigslist near Syracuse. It can be yours for $9,995. Did we mention it has a hemi? First generation Hemi V8 Chrysler introduced its first production V8, a 331 cubic inch model, in 1951 in the Town & Country. While marketed a...
August 4, 1928 – DeSoto is founded
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August 4, 1928 – DeSoto is founded

1929 DeSoto On this day in 1928, Walter Chrysler founded DeSoto, which provided Chrysler Corporation a vehicle line aimed at the mid priced auto market. The plan was to pit the brand against Oldsmobile, Willys, Studebaker and other similarly valued automobiles. However, Chrysler acquired Dodge Brothers soon after DeSoto made its 1929 model year debut, giving Chrysler two mid priced brands. Additionally, Chrysler had just announced Plymouth about a month prior, which was to be Chrysler’s entry level vehicle. Chrysler was soon trying different juggling acts to make their entire line up profitable. DeSoto had a strong first year, selling 81,065 cars in 1929. This broke a record for the most vehicles sold for a new model of car in 365 days. Chrysler priced Dodge slightly above DeSoto at...
June 6, 1925 – Chrysler is founded
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June 6, 1925 – Chrysler is founded

On this day in 1925 Walter Chrysler founded Chrysler Corporation when he reorganized the Maxwell Motor Company under the new name. Before doing so, W. Chrysler had been hired by Maxwell-Chalmers, an ailing automobile brand, just a few years before. They had high hopes that Chrysler could save the company, as he had recently had success revitalizing Willys-Overland. Among the first steps Chrysler took was shutting down production of the Chalmers automobile in 1923.  In January of the next year the Chrysler Six was launched under the Maxwell brand. The six-cylinder car was highly engineered, and included such features as a high compression engine and a replaceable oil filter, which were both rare at the time. One of the most integral innovations from Chrysler’s early years was the fi...
April 23,1987 – Chrysler buys Lamborghini
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April 23,1987 – Chrysler buys Lamborghini

On this day 1987 Chrysler Corporation purchased Lamborghini for an estimated cost of $25 million. At the time, the luxury automaker was experiencing financial difficulty under the ownership of the Mimram Brothers. Above: Lamborghini 350 GT, produced 1964 to 1966Top: 1990 Lamborghini Diablo. By Mr.choppers - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 Ferruccio Lamborghini founded the sports car company in 1963 after, as legend has it, he experienced mechanical issues with his Ferrari. To remedy the issues, he made an attempt to meet with Enzo Ferrari, that car company’s founder. After being turned away, Ferruccio, who had already made a fortune in the sale of tractors and air conditioners, set out to build better, faster cars. His efforts led to the development of the first Lamborghini, the 350 GTV,...
Five 1950s project cars for $5,000 or less
Cheap Classic Cars

Five 1950s project cars for $5,000 or less

By Cody Clark Every day, classic cars become more expensive. But for $5,000, can you still drive around in a relic from America’s golden era of motoring? While these project cars for sale on Craigslist may not be the best examples of the height of American manufacturing, they prove that on a budget there are still cars out there that require just a few very long weekends to roar back to life. Great investments start when the car can’t lose any more value, right? 1955 Chrysler for sale This 1955 Chrysler Windsor is available in Long Beach, CA for $3,600. It looks like it still has a few years before it rusts fully into the ground, and the seller states the engine turns. The dash mounted shifter, ‘Power steering’ label on the steering wheel and extremely wide white walls make t...
Escaped New Yorker – Restore-ready 1965 Chrysler New Yorker
Cheap Classic Cars

Escaped New Yorker – Restore-ready 1965 Chrysler New Yorker

By Cody Clark Coming off of his conservative, sleek days at General Motors with the Continental, Elwood Engel had a plan to save the Chrysler New Yorker. He adopted that same less-is-more design language with 1965’s offering and essentially saved the model - Detroit’s red-headed stepchild sold 62% more New Yorkers over the prior year. Available on craigslist in Renton, WA for $4,500, this 1965 Chrysler New Yorker for sale is an example of Engel’s iconic design philosophy without the hefty price tag of the Continental but still brimming with all the retrofuturism your heart desires.  Information is sparse on this example, although the critical parts are at least somewhat visible. The paint looks like a cloudy melange compared to the deep blue this car would have shown in its ...
January 24, 1957 – The 10,000,000th Plymouth
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January 24, 1957 – The 10,000,000th Plymouth

If you wanted a cheap car in 1928, you had quite a few options. Ford's first all new car since 1908, the Model A, could be had that year for around $500. A similar sized Chevrolet could be parked in your driveway for less than $100 more. Or, if you wanted something your neighbor didn't have, you could drive off in a Plymouth for around $675. Chrysler launched Plymouth, one of the first engineered brands, in July of 1928 to compete directly with low priced Fords and Chevys. Though about $175 more than a Ford (roughly $2,500 in 2021), Plymouths did have features its competition didn't, such as hydraulic brakes. Are you sold yet? Above: 1928 Plymouth Model Q. By DougW. Top: The 10 millionth Plymouth When the Great Depression began the next year, it would be Plymouth that would ensu...
January 5, 1924 – The first Chrysler car debuts
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January 5, 1924 – The first Chrysler car debuts

Visitors to the lobby of the Commodore Hotel in New York City on this day in automotive history in 1924 may have been treated to the public unveiling of the first Chrysler car to use the trademarked name. Released under Maxwell as the Chrysler Six during the New York Motor Show, the car had only began rolling off the assembly line on December 20, a few weeks prior. Getting to this point was no easy task for proprietor Walter Chrysler. Maxwell-Chalmers hired Chrysler to head the ailing automobile brand just a year before. They had high hopes that Chrysler could save the company, as he had recent success revitalizing Willys-Overland. Among the first steps Chrysler took to get MC out of the hole: shutting down production of Chalmers in 1923. This left Maxwell on its own. To give the c...
December 10, 1970 – Lee Iacocca elected President of Ford Motor Company
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December 10, 1970 – Lee Iacocca elected President of Ford Motor Company

On this day in 1970 Lido Anthony “Lee” Iacocca became the president of Ford Motor Company. He would serve in the role for nearly eight years before a jealous Henry Ford II kicked him to the curb. His career in the auto industry is the stuff of legend, and it may have never happened if not for getting sick. Due to a childhood illness, Lee was barred from service during WWII. Though this may have saved his life, Lee recalled wanting nothing more than to fly a bomber over Nazi Germany. Unable to join the fight, Lee took the opportunity to study engineering at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He would later attend Princeton before joining Ford’s own educational engineering program. Following his graduation from the Ford institution he became an engineer with the company. He soon found a ...

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