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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 1934 Airflow was the first car to use scientific weight distribution and synchronized front and rear springs for an anti-pitch ride. The Amola-steel body provided most of the structural strength.
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 self-propelled vehicles with steering and brakes, mostly as trucks, all steam powered. The Encyclopedia Britannica and other sources credit Cugnot with inventing the car. (Mercedes also holds claim to the first antilock brakes, only a few years after Chrysler and Jensen had started using them.)
Chrysler started using one-piece flat windshields with their 1925s, as did Chevrolet and Studebaker; none scored a “first” and Chrysler went back to split windshields a few years later.
RADIO DAYS: CHRYSLER AND AUTOMOTIVE AUDIO
Duane D. Hughes added:
Chrysler popularized digital dashboards, starting with the 1981 Imperial; the one above is from a 1985 Dodge 600ES.
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
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