Chrysler Cars

Chrysler was founded by Walter Chrysler, a machinist and railroad mechanic who went on to become a successful automotive executive. He found his initial success in the automotive industry as the head of production for Buick. He would eventually go on to head the entire company for a number of years before departing to reverse the fortunes of the struggling Willy-Overland Motor Company. Soon after, Chrysler took over another struggling car company, the Maxwell Motor Company, which he rechristened as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925.

Chrysler was one of the first automakers to diversify its brands. Almost immediately the company added the Plymouth and DeSoto brands to its roster. It also acquired Dodge in 1928. During this same period, Chrysler also financed the construction of New York City’s famous Chrysler Building. As an automobile company, it quickly built a reputation for producing quality vehicles that utilized advanced engineering.

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Chrysler Before World War II

One of the company’s early successes was the original six-cylinder Chrysler, which was initially introduced as the Maxwell Chrysler in 1924. It was affordably priced, well-engineered, and was a big seller, particularly with entry-level drivers. The name Maxwell was dropped altogether in 1925. Over the next few years, Chrysler continued to build on its success by making affordable four- and six-cylinder vehicles, some of which were released as Plymouth and DeSoto vehicles.

One early innovative vehicle introduced by the company was the Airflow, which was released in the mid-1930s. The Airflow was an aerodynamic vehicle powered by an inline-8 and mounted in front. It featured stylish design innovations like swooping lines and a prominent grille. It wasn’t a success with the public, but it came to typify aerodynamic designs that emerged in the 1940s and 1950s.

Chrysler responded to the Great Depression by building more affordable vehicles under the Dodge and Plymouth banners. However, it was during the postwar era that Chrysler really came into its own, eventually emerging as one of the Big Three automakers in the U.S.

Chrysler After World War II

In 1951, Chrysler introduced its iconic “Hemi” V-8 engine. With 180 horsepower, the Hemi was a big step up from previous 135 hp V-8s the company had produced. It ignited a competition among automakers to build cars with more horsepower. This Hemi was also instrumental in helping to launch the production of American-made muscle cars during the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s.

Chrysler preserved its brand reputation on the U.S. market by farming out the cheaper cars to Plymouth, Dodge, and DeSoto. However, marquee models like the Town & Country and the 300C were released under the Chrysler name and sold well with the public, despite having higher price tags.

During the early 1960s, Chrysler dropped the DeSoto brand. In the 1970s, like all American automakers, Chrysler was forced to shuffle the deck during the Middle East oil embargo. However, Chrysler failed to adapt quickly enough to changing conditions in the auto industry at the time. By decade's end, the company was in serious trouble, eventually seeking a government bailout to avoid veering into bankruptcy.

In the early 1980s, Chrysler successfully reinvented itself through the production of the popular K-car. It also launched the first modern minivan to be sold in the U.S, defining a new segment that ostensibly replaced the station wagon as the family hauler of choice. By the end of the 1980s, Chrysler had repaid its debt to the government and succeeded in acquiring American Motors Corporation, which was the parent company of Jeep. Chrysler also entered into a partnership with Mitsubishi around this time.

In 1998, Chrysler merged with German automaker Daimler-Benz to form DaimlerChrysler. That merger produced the popular 300 full-size sedan. However, the merger only lasted until 2007 when Daimler sold the Chrysler Corporation to private equity firm Cerberus.

Repeating history, Chrysler was again forced to seek a government bailout following the financial collapse of 2008. Recently, the company was acquired by Fiat. Currently, Chrysler is busy reinventing itself yet again.

Chrysler Models

Current models of Chrysler include midsize sedans like the Chrysler 200 and the bigger, more luxurious Chrysler 300. The Chrysler Town & Country was originally released in 1941 before being discontinued in 1988. However, it was re-released as a minivan in 1990 and has remained in continuous production ever since. The company only recently ceased production of its innovative retro-looking PT Cruiser and the sporty Crossfire convertible and coupe, which shared its underpinnings with the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class sports car.

Chrysler Products and Technologies

The Chrysler brand was always associated with quality, innovative design, and advanced engineering. Although Chrysler has had to adapt to a competitive, changing marketplace, it's begun creating products consumers crave again following its Fiat-led resurgence. The Town & Country remains a very popular minivan and the Chrysler 300 is one of the most well-regarded American full-size luxury sedans. Currently, auto industry watchers are awaiting the first new vehicles to emerge from Chrysler’s partnership with Fiat, which should soon include smaller, more efficient cars and a next-generation Chrysler 200 sedan based on Italian architecture.

Select a Chrysler Model

Chrysler 200

2017-2011 | Convertible, Midsize, Sedan, Sports

The Chrysler 200 may look like a brand new vehicle introduced for the 2011 model year, but is actually a new nameplate for the Chrysler Sebring midsize that was sold between 1995 and 2010.

Chrysler 300

2019-2005 | Midsize, Sedan

The Chrysler company has used the Chrysler 300 nameplate extensively.

Chrysler 300M

2004-1999 | Luxury, Sedan

Chrysler vehicles can certainly polarize the public and the 300M is certainly part of that tradition.

Chrysler Aspen

2009-2007 | Hybrid, SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Chrysler Aspen is the company’s answer to the luxury sport utility vehicle craze.

Chrysler Cirrus

2000-1995 | Midsize, Sedan

Like many of the vehicles produced by Chrysler, the Chrysler Cirrus gained popularity for its well-constructed frame and engineering under the hood.

Chrysler Concorde

2004-1995 | Luxury, Midsize, Sedan

Like many of the cars in the Chrysler family, the Chrysler Concorde has a history of appealing to the sedan set.

Chrysler Crossfire

2008-2004 | Convertible, Coupe, Sports

The Chrysler Crossfire is known for its unique body design and sporting appearance.

Chrysler Grand Voyager

2000 | Minivan/Van

The Grand Voyager is one in a long line of models created by the Chrysler Corporation, found in 1925 by Walter P.

Chrysler Lebaron

1995 | Convertible, Midsize

In Chrysler history, the Lebaron became one of the longest-running nameplates for the manufacturer.

Chrysler LHS

2001-1999, 1997-1995 | Luxury, Sedan

Born in 1925, Chrysler Corporation was built by Walter P.

Chrysler New Yorker

1996-1995 | Luxury, Sedan

The Chrysler New Yorker has a rich history with many hidden treasures.

Chrysler Pacifica

2019-2017, 2008-2004 | Minivan/Van, Wagon

The Chrysler Pacifica is one of the first midsize crossover wagons to hit the market.

Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in

2019-2017 | Hybrid, Minivan/Van

Chrysler Prowler

2002-2001 | Convertible, Sports

The Chrysler Prowler is a 1930s hot rod reincarnated.

Chrysler PT Cruiser

2010-2001 | Convertible, Midsize, Sports, Wagon

The Chrysler PT Cruiser, a compact four-door hatchback wagon with a design that is reminiscent of panel trucks of the past, was produced for model years 2001 to 2010.

Chrysler Sebring

2010-1995 | Convertible, Coupe, Midsize, Sedan, Sports

Chrysler introduced the Sebring in 1995 as a luxury vehicle in its line of cars.

Chrysler Town & Country

2016-1995 | Minivan/Van

The Chrysler Town & Country, Chrysler’s luxury minivan, was introduced in 1990.

Chrysler Voyager

2003-2000 | Minivan/Van

The Chrysler Voyager minivan began as a Plymouth in the model year 1984.