1966 Chrysler boats (with prices)
In 1964, Chrysler had been making marine engines for nearly four decades; their engines ranged from 110 to 325 horsepower, including diesel engines. By 1965, Chrysler had 29% of the U.S. marine engine market. Chrysler sponsored several racing boats, including the Miss Chrysler Crew, a hydroplane powered by dual, supercharged 426 cubic-inch “Hemi” head V8 engines built by the legendary Keith Black, each putting out an estimated 1,000 horsepower; owner and pilot Bill Sterett took the boat to victory in the World Championship race in Detroit, with an average speed of over 100 mph. (For complete information on the Miss Chrysler Crew, see this article from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum by American Powerboat Racing Association Unlimited historian Fred Farley.)
In May 1965, Chrysler bought Lonestar Boat, a company which had, in roughly ten years, established a positive reputation; but sales shot up immediately when Chrysler changed the name to Chrysler Lone Star. In 1966, the boats were probably still all designed by the former Lonestar; and the practice of naming the boats after Chrysler Corporation had not yet begun.
Owners got a surprisingly good warranty from “Chrysler Lone Star.” The aluminum boats in non-commercial usage got a lifetime (of the original owner) warranty against skin punctures and popped rivets; all the boats and trailers were warranted for one year. Boats were warranted against trailer damage if transported on factory specified trailers. Engines were warranted by the engine supplier, not the new Chrysler Boat Corporation.
Most fiberglass boats got Foam-Pac, an exclusive hull construction process where deck and hull sections were both riveted and sealed; surfaces were given gelcoat and ultraviolet absorbing agents; and a specially formulated, rigid polyurethane foam was put in between the floor and hull. This foam was impervious to fuel and oil, and stronger than ordinary foam; it increased the boat strength, reduced noise, and made the boats virtually unsinkable.
Aluminum boats got Armor-Hull; hull and deck sections were formed on a 1,000 ton hydro-press, with strippet-punching equipment mating parts and heli-arc welders producing smooth seams. Paint was heat-treated to remain corrosion resistant. Again, polyurethane foam was pured in to fill the space between the floor and hull and make the boats quieter, stronger, and harder to sink even in case of punctures.
We now present a scanned copy of Chrysler’s 1966 boat brochure, with prices inked in by a dealer (new cars ran around $2,000 - $3,000 at this time). We also have details from the 1969 boat line.
We also have details from the 1969 boat line.