Bill Watson's Chronological History of Chrysler Corporation:
Part II, 1912 - 1919 (Buick days, early Dodge)

1864-19111912-191920-391940-49 1950-63 1964-19711972-801981-921993-97
History By Year • Coming: 1998-2007 (Daimler disaster) • 2007-09 (Cerberus) • 2008-2015 (FCA)

1912 - Walter Chrysler joins Buick

  • Columbia produces a sleeve-valved model, the Columbia-Knight, with 410-cid. Knight engine.
  • Stoddard introduces a 525-cid sleeve-valved Stoddard-Knight.
  • Benjamin Briscoe leaves United States Motor Co. and forms Briscoe Motor Co., Jackson, MI.
  • September 12 - the United States Motor Company is put into receivership.
  • Walter P. Chrysler hired by Charles W. Nash, president of Buick Motor Company, as works manager in Flint, Michigan, at an annual starting salary of $6,000. Chrysler helps to raise production from 20 cars a day to 550.
  • K.T. Keller leaves Maxwell-Briscoe to become the general superintendant of Northway Motors, a subsidiary of General Motors Company.
  • Frederick J. Haynes leaves H.H. Franklin Company for Dodge Brothers.
  • December 31 - Standard Motor Company, a Delaware corporation headed by Walter Flanders (of E.M.F. fame), is incorporated and buys the property and assets of the United States Motor Company and Flanders Motor Company, free of debt except for mortgages on real estate. This name would last nearly a month.

family tree

1913 - Studebaker hires Frederick Zeder

  • The Columbia, Brush, Stoddard, and Courier end production.
  • January 25 - The Standard Motor Company becomes the Maxwell Motor Company, after less than a month as Standard Motor. Its assets are listed as being $47 million. Standard/Maxwell sells its plants in Providence, Rhode Island; Hartford, Connecticut; and Tarrytown, New York. Chevrolet buys the historic Tarrytown plant and will keep it going for many decades.

1913 stoddard-dayton

  • The company produces the Maxwell 35 at the Stoddard plant in Dayton, Ohio. The Maxwell Six is made at the former Flanders plant in Detroit.
  • The new Maxwell 25 entered production in the summer of 1913 as a 1914 model, a design that would last to the end in 1925 and beyond.
  • Fred M. Zeder becomes consulting engineeer for Studebaker Corporation.


1914 - Dodge Brothers created

  • July 17 - Dodge Brothers Inc. is created. On November 14, the first Dodge Brothers car rolls off the line. When asked why the Dodge Brothers wanted to build their own car, John Dodge replied, “Just think of all the Ford owners who will someday want an automobile.” Dodge starts with all-steel Budd bodies (with some Wilson wood-framed tourings because Budd could not meet production needs).
  • Dodge Brothers ends its contract with Ford Motor Company; Ford begins building its own engines.
  • Fred M. Zeder becomes chief engineer for Studebaker Corporation.
  • Carl Breer becomes engineer for Studebaker Corporation.

1916: Walter Chrysler runs Buick; Nash created

  • Graham Brothers Inc. is formed with a plant in Evansville, IN, to build trucks on other companies’ chassis.
  • Charles W. Nash resigns as president of Buick Motor Company and the General Motors Company. He purchases the Thomas B. Jeffery Co. and forms Nash Motors. Nash invites Walter P. Chrysler to join him, but Chrysler stays with Buick.
  • General Motors Company becomes General Motors Corporation, with Buick as its first division.
  • Dodge Brothers adopts an all-steel body (from Budd) for touring cars.
  • Owen R. Skelton joins Studebaker.

1917: Maxwell and Chalmers join forces

  • With Maxwell production soaring and Chalmers production sagging, the companies agree to build Maxwell cars in the Chalmers plant on Jefferson Avenue, and to have Maxwell dealers will sell Chalmers cars.
  • The first Dodge Brothers commercial car is built in October.
  • Walter Chrysler becomes president and general manager of Buick. Under his leadership, Buick becomes GM's biggest money maker.
  • K.T. Keller becomes a master mechanic for Buick Motor Company.

1919: Walter Chrysler leaves Buick and General Motors

  • Henry Ford buys the stock of minority stockholders of Ford Motor Company, including John and Horace Dodge, who collect $19 million.
  • K.T. Keller becomes vice president and general manager of Chevrolet Motor Company of Canada Limited.
  • Herman L. Weckler joins Buick Motor Company.
  • David A. Wallace leaves Buick for John Deere Plow Co. in Waterloo, IA
  • Walter P. Chrysler becomes the first vice president of General Motors Corporation in charge of production, while running Buick; later in the year, he resigns from both positions.

1864-19111912-191920-391940-49 1950-63 1964-19711972-801981-921993-97
History By Year • Coming: 1998-2007 (Daimler disaster) • 2007-09 (Cerberus) • 2008-2015 (FCA)

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