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Chrysler

  Name: Date Entered:  
 Chrysler

08/28/2001

The year was 1924, and in the lobby of New York City's Hotel Commodore, the public welcomed the first vehicle to bear the Chrysler name -- the Chrysler Six. For Walter P. Chrysler, this was perhaps the proudest moment of his life. One that showcased both his technical ability and marketing savvy. One account of the story reports that Chrysler actually wanted his vehicle to participate in the New York Automobile Show, but because the car was not yet in production, organizers denied him entry. Chrysler's solution was to park the car in the Commodore's lobby, where many investors and exhibitors passed through every day. Eventually, his strategy paid off when a Chase Securities banker underwrote a $5-million issue of Maxwell Motor Corp. (the company of which Walter Chrysler was chairman) debenture bonds to finance future plans.

In the end, however, this was truly the culmination of years of hands-on engineering experience, and a belief that the consumer was the most important link in the design process. The 1924 Chrysler Six succeeded in achieving the goal of being the first affordable car to incorporate four-wheel hydraulic brakes and a high-compression six-cylinder engine that dispensed more power than all other comparable engines.

A year later, Chrysler purchased the company he chaired and established Chrysler Corporation on June 6, 1925. The new corporation expanded rapidly, with 3,800 dealers in the U.S. alone by year's end, and an impressive $17-million profit. Chrysler Corporation prosperity continued throughout the decade with a number of successful vehicle launches, including the 1927 Imperial 80. Not only was the Imperial 80 Chrysler's first true convertible, but it was the first Chrysler automobile to be featured in a color ad campaign.

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