Advanced design

Chrysler now much maligned… stared many advanced inovations …Geared starters, torsion bars, altenators instead of DC genertors,straight exahus…tsort of safety dash. Anybody know what else…

I’m (Was) A Chrysler Fan, But When I Was At The Chrysler Dealer Once, They Had Modified A Mopar Moto, “There Is No Sustitute For Quality . . . We Ought To Know, We’ve Tried Everything Else.”

Don’t forget “cab forward”.

Let me wipe a tear. Wow, do I miss that 97 Intrepid 3.5L. Roomy car. That was probably the best car I’ve ever owned. Bullet proof. Trouble free. %#@* Rust finally took her to her final owner.



Push-button automatic transmission.

Was a good idea, but was problematic with the technology of the day. But today it would easily work. Why have a shift lever with an automatic?


They also took credit for having created the wheels all the way out to the corners to improve passenger space and stability.

While Chrysler didn’t actually invent many of the things they’re credited with, they did make the consumer largely aware of them, and I give them credit for that. The original Mini put the wheels out to the corners for cabin space and stability. VW had minivan many many years before Chrysler. Modern starter systems were invented in 1911 by Charles Kettering. It was introduced in the 1912 Cadillac.

Chrysler is largely regarded as having produced the first mass manufactured streamlined car, the 1934 Chrysler Airflow.

Personally, I’ve always loved those “bullet” taillight and headlight assemblies of the late '50s - early '60s.

Tester, I wholeheartedly agree, and have made this comment numerous times. A row of buttons on the dash makes so much more sense than a shifter with today’s technology and computer controlled trannys.

Some Chrysler ideas did not work very well; 1) the handbrake activating the propellor shaft right behind the transmission. Many a Plymouth/Dodge driver who pulled it hard promptly snapped the propellor shaft and the car polevaulted, conpletely out of control. 2) the dash mouted rear view mirror on a long stalk similar to Bob Barker’s mike in “The Price is Right”. It behaved more like a tuning fork and the blurred picture was useless.

A good idea, but discontinued, was the “run flat” wheel rim, which had a wide edge and would not chew up your tire if it went flat. The left and right hand threads on the wheels was a good idea, but over the head of most drivers, who ruined the left hand threads on the left front and rear wheels.

Who Could Ever Forget The “Chrysler Sno-Runner” ?
$900 new in 1979 w/Kioritz (now called Echo) - 80 engine


Cup Holders ! (Modern Cup Holder - 1983). And Check Out This List !

Cool list. And with all these great inventions, who gets his picture in the contents…the inventer of the cupholder!

The hemispherical combusion chamber V-8 was quite advanced for the time when introduced in the 1951 Chrysler. A smaller displacement version appeared the following year in the DeSoto Firedome. The three speed Torqueflite automatic transmission that began being offered in the 1957 models was really the state of the art for its time.

It seems to me that Chrysler was one of the first, if not the first manufacturer to adopt hydraulic brakes throughout the entire line. The 1934 Chrysler Airflow had all steel construction. Many cars of that time period had a wood frame under the steel panels. Tye Airflow had the rear seat ahead of the rear axle. The streamlined design of the Airflow was ahead of its time.

Chrysler did introduce a few features that were losers. The “lift and clunk” semi-automatic transmission was not the greatest transmission ever built. In some models back in the early 1950’s, the torque converter shared the same oil with the engine. This was true in the 1953 Plymouth Hydrive and the 1953 Dodge with “GyroTorque”. This arrangement led to some problems.

The hemi-V8 was advanced when Chrysler introduced it to the US market, but it was far from new, groundbreaking technology!

The hemispherical combustion chamber was pioneered by a Swiss engineer named Ernest Henry, and was first introduced on Peugeot engines in 1912. In fact, those regular production Peugeot engines also featured dual overhead cams, making them far more advanced in overall design than the Chrysler hemis that were introduced 40 years later.

In addition to the “tuning fork” effect of Chrysler’s dash mounted rear-view mirrors of the late '50s–early '60s, those mirrors were mounted so low that the presence of a middle passenger in the front seat made them useless. Since I can recall quite a few instances of carrying 6 passengers in our cars back in those days, there were many instances when that mirror was useless.

Some of Chrysler’s different features seemed to be different…“just because”.
These features were not better, they were just…different.

I will acknowledge that their Torqueflite transmission was really, really good.
Their cars did handle better than the competition back in the '60s, due to torsion bar suspension, but the overall effect was sometimes negated by defectively manufactured torsion bars that snapped under stress. And, then we have the horrendous build quality and lack of quality control of the '57-'59 models.

And, let us not forget Chrysler’s problems with their automatic chokes, circa 1960-68. While GM, Ford, AMC, and Studebaker products would start reliably and run reliably until fully warmed-up, it was all too typical of Chrysler products of that era to start with difficulty on cold days and to stall at every traffic light until fully warmed up!

Back in the '50s & '60s, we were a “Chrysler family”, as was my uncle’s family. The cars had their good points, but they also had some really bad points. Too often when we recall the past, we tend to forget the negatives and dwell only on a few good points.

Better yet, it would take up very little space and make the cabin significantly roomier than any center console shifter.

And, let us not forget Chrysler’s problems with their automatic chokes, circa 1960-68.

I guess by this time Chrysler had abandoned its electrically controlled automatic choke. My 1948 Dodge had the electrically contolled choke and it worked beautifully.

My institution had a fleet of the Chrysler K cars (Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries) that it purchased in 1981-82. I drove one to teach an extension class about 70 miles away once a week. At the time, I thought they were pretty good cars. I don’t remember having the problem of insufficient leg room that I have in the Honda Civic Hybrids that are presently in our fleet.

Mr Kettering Invented the first ELECTRIC… starter. But I think Chyrsler applied the first GEARED started. We kids would make fun of the “funny” sound they made.

In my wonderful Plymouth Valiant SW. My 6 year daughter leaned over the seat and told her mother,“I can drive this wagon,all you have to do is push a button.” Although reliable the mechanizm was a mechanical nightmare…!!!

No worries. Fiat will improve their quality…

How about the “leaned over” six cylinder engines? I don’t recall a domestic manufacture going this route. Lowered the hood line but made replacing points a bit of a chore.

On the side of “wish they had not” those darn spring type hose clamps that required a special tool to make it easier to work with them, then GM did it and they did it many degrees bettwr (or worse)

Slant Sixes. I remember those. Was that Chrysler?

Yup, the Slant Six was indeed a Chrysler innovation.
It had a relatively long stroke, but it was durable.

The only thing that ever went wrong with the one that we had in my father’s '63 Plymouth was a stripped distributor drive gear. The drive gear was made of nylon and when we were vacationing in Gatlinburg TN, circa 1965, the car wouldn’t start one morning.

In retrospect, I think that there may have been a small backfire that caused the gear to strip. That kept us in Gatlinburg for an extra day, until the part arrived on the 3:00 PM Greyhound bus from Knoxville–or as the mechanic referred to it, “The afternoon hound”. I wonder if Clabo’s Shell station is still in business in Gatlinburg.

1963 Chrysler Turbine

And again, view the list at in CSAs link above. It’s quite informative and interesting.