Also see: New technologies • Alternative fuels and such
Chrysler Corporation/Maxwell Motors has been responsible for many more innovations than one would expect, particularly in the early years, when Carl Breer was seeking out and developing new technologies. In the 1970s, many innovations were driven by the rocket scientists at Chrysler Huntsville Electronics.
Meet the early heros of Chrysler Corporation, the “Three Musketeers,” the designers of the first Chrysler car: Fred Zeder, Carl Breer, Owen Skelton.
The Airflow was the first car to use scientific weight distribution and synchronized front and rear springs for an anti-pitch ride. The body provided most of the structural strength. Amola steel was used. (1934)
Former Chrysler owner Daimler claimed to have invented both the car and the truck. While Gottlieb Daimler did create the first car with a working internal combustion engine, he was decades too late to invent the car. Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot did that, in 1769, building numerous self-propelled vehicles with steering and brakes, mostly as trucks, all steam powered. The Encyclopedia Britannica, among other sources, credits Cugnot with inventing the car, though now some call it a “steam tractor” to give Daimler (and therefore Mercedes) the credit. Mercedes also holds claim to the first antilock brakes, only a few years after Chrysler and Jensen had started using them.
RADIO DAYS: CHRYSLER AND AUTOMOTIVE AUDIO
Duane D. Hughes added:
Chrysler briefly popularized digital dashboards on various K-cars. The first appeared on the 1981 Imperial; the one below is from a 1985 Dodge 600ES. The Mitsubishi Conquest used Mitsubishi’s own digital dashboard in 1983; Mitsubishi was part of a keiretsu that included a large electronics division, just as Chrysler leaned on Huntsville.
Russ Shreve wrote that the Valiant was one of the first cars to have its suspension tested for loads and stress by computer. Computers cut development time by testing parts electronically, rather than by hand. Designs not failed by the computer were then built in prototypes.
The Valiant was one of the first vehicles to be tuned for lower noise by computer. An October 1959 magazine said that "the Valiant may well be the quietest small car ever made."
The 1996 Grand Cherokee allowed owners to easily set preferences such as whether the horn honked on locking and the doors locked at a certain speed. Patent application 152968 by Kevin Schwanz, David Pruett, and Tracey Stanyer covers a means of accessing the computer via a standard serial interface (RS-232) to retrieve information and change settings. Chrysler has usually used, from their 1980s fuel injected engines to current models, a system which lets ordinary people access error codes.
BWBill Watson DDH Duane D. Hughes DP Dave Pope
Also see Moving to front wheel drive • New technologies • Alternative fuels and such
What are we missing? Let us know!
More Mopar Car and Truck News
Larry and JD Power on FCA quality • Still stumped by lack of heat in car • Arrow Racing 9.0 L Stage 2 Viper Engine Now...