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Recommended Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, DeSoto, and Other "Mopar" Materials

Mike Sealey provided us with a "recommended reading" list for Mopars in the US and around the world.

To make life easier for you, we scoured Amazon.com's inventory to try to find any books that were still available. If you click on any of the linked book titles, you will be transported to the relevant Amazon.com page, you will save 5-20% (unless the book is out of print), and we will get a small commission (unless the book is out of print) to help maintain the site. It's a nice deal though we have to figure out a way to get a something back to Mike as well.

70 Years of Chrysler is currently out of print but we expect it to be reprinted soon.

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April 1996 issue of Collectible Automobile, "The Royal Treatment: Australia's Chryslers of 1957-64" by Gavin Farmer. Virtually all of my knowledge of the AP1 Royal, its Plainsman (estate) and Wayfarer (ute) derivatives, and its AP2/AP3 successors, is from this article. (Farmer's article suggests that the Royal was the sole Chrysler offering of its era, replacing the P25 ['54 style] Belvedere and its Kingsway/Diplomat clones with a single model. A couple of Australian readers wrote in mentioning small numbers of imported '58 and '59 Belvederes/Coronets/Firesweeps.

Plymouth 1946-59 by Jim Benjaminson (Motorbooks International?). Substantial detail on Plymouths of this era, including references to export DeSotos/Dodges and the Australian Chrysler Royal. (Also a picture of what claims to be a "1957 Plymouth ute"; it's clearly a P25, which we'd know here as a '54, bearing a "Cranbrook" nameplate as seen on '52/'53 U. S. models.)

The Valiant Book by Tony Davis (Marque Publishing). Probably the definitive history on the Australian Valiant and its relatives. Only gaps in this book's knowledge I was able to find were the occasional Dodge-badged derivatives, such as the Dodge Ute (shown in "The Dodge Story", and clearly a VE Valiant wearing the Dodge name) and the '70s South African Dodge sedan shown in "The Dodge Story", which is clearly Australia's "Chrysler by Chrysler" under another name.

The Dodge Story, by Thomas McPherson (Crestline). Fairly complete Dodge history from early Dodge Bros. business ventures to 1975. Scattering of foreign Dodges included as well, including RHD Plymouth Furies sold in Australia under "Dodge Phoenix" name; late '60s Dodge pickup for Australian market which appears to have '60s International cab and bed; various Rootes products under Dodge name including Brazil's Dodge 1500 (Avenger/Cricket); and what appears to be a derivative of the A-body with '68 Coronet-like styling; it looks like the same car was sold in Argentina as the Polara or Polara R/T, and in Spain as the Dodge 3700. Also covers most years of Canadian Plymouth-based Dodges (with Canadian Plymouth drivetrains) and mentions the Kingsways as nearly identical appearing U. S.-sourced Plymouth-based Dodges with U. S. Plymouth drivetrains. Also includes Dart-based Canadian Valiants and some Fargo trucks. (Cost: $27.97, discount applies)

The Plymouth and DeSoto Story by Don Butler (Crestline). Strong history of both makes through '78 including Diplomats and other export variations. Occasional pix of Fargo and DeSoto trucks including '72 DeSoto line from Turkey. Extensive section on '29-'31 U. S. market Fargo truck line (Butler suggests Fargo would not have been brought to market if W. P. Chrysler had known he'd finally succeed in buying Dodge).

70 Years of Chrysler by George Dammann (Crestline). Primarily history of Chrysler and Imperial makes through '74. Fascinating early stuff on defunct companies which became part of U. S. Motor combine; only survivor of U. S. Motor failure was Maxwell, which went on to become nucleus of Chrysler Corporation, so book treats other U. S. Motor makes as Chrysler ancestors as well. (Out of print)

Cars Of The Rootes Group, by Graham Robson (Motorbooks International?). Nearly every question I would've thought to ask about Rootes; unfortunately, while this book covers models which continued under the Chrysler and Talbot names, detail on Chrysler/Talbot models brought out *after* Rootes became Chrysler UK is insufficient. I didn't know, for example, that the Hillman Minx was marketed in New Zealand as a Humber until I read this book; OTOH, Robson apparently was not aware of the Hillman Hunter's sale in North America as the Sunbeam Arrow (although he does discuss the Cricket and Dodge 1500 at some length in the Avenger section). Great prototype shots including a proposed Capri-market fastback that looks like a baby Australian Charger.

Dodge Pickups History and Restoration Guide 1918-1971 by Don Bunn and Tom Brownell. Extensive detail of each generation of Dodge truck including references to Graham Bros., Fargo and DeSoto. Includes cool prototype shots. One photo shows a '57 Sweptline, but with passenger car quarters (production had station wagon quarters). Another photo shows a '56 or '57 "DeSoto Sweptline" with '56 Plymouth quarters...

The Heavyweight Book of American Light Trucks 1939-1966 by Tom Brownell and Don Bunn. Covers all American light truck makes from this era; noteworthy because the authors, who also wrote the Dodge pickup book listed above, saw fit to write separate chapters for Dodge, Fargo and DeSoto while cramming Chevrolet and GMC into the same chapter despite major mechanical differences during this era. (In other words, my kinda guys!) The Fargo and DeSoto chapters are the best explanations of these two Chrysler makes I have yet seen. The Ford chapter includes references to Canada's Mercury truck line and Meteor Rancheros, but it's clear from whose trucks get the most ink that these guys are MoPar guys and don't care if you have a problem with that. Other tenuous MoPar truck connections in this book include Willys/Jeep, Hudson and Nash (the '48 Nash pickup prototype looks like a cross between a '48-'54 Chevy/GMC and a '48 Nash Ambassador, and would easily have been the most attractive light truck of its era had it been mass-produced...).

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