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Chryco and autopar: Canadian Mopars

by David Zatz

Mopar celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2017, but there was no Mopar in Canada until recently. Why not?

autopar and chryco

For whatever reason, Chrysler Canada didn’t adopt the name “MoPar” when the US-based Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation did; instead, they trademarked CHRYCO (in all caps) in Canada, on March 29, 1939. The trademark was renewed and updated until Chrysler Canada abandoned it in 2014.


When they finally tried to bring Mopar over to Canada during the 1960s, it turned out that “Mopar” was too similar to Canadian Tire Stores’ registered trademark, “Mopower.” At that point, Marketing came up with “autopar,” and filed the name and logo with the Canadian trademark office (January 12, 1965). The first use was likely in March 1969, as that was when Chrysler finally filed a declaration of use and the registration was approved.

chryco waterfall

autoparWhat exactly did the autopar symbol mean? The trademark registration listed “roads, intersections, road forks,” but it also noted “letters or numerals representing ... part of the human body, ... or an animal’s body, a plant, a heavenly body, a natural phenomenon, or an object.” (The object was likely an intersection.) It also included “letters or numerals representing an object,” and “monograms formed of intertwined, overlapping, or otherwise combined letters.”  The company listed a large number of possible uses.

by Canadian company photographer
Lawrence Monkhouse
Products must be in both English and French, so all products had to be re-labelled. This created a whole new industry that removed Mopar labels and replaced them with Autopar. The instructions also had to be printed in French.

chryco rust

I photographed hundreds of Autopar products for brochures and catalogues. I had to recruit attractive young ladies to model and convince their bosses to allow it — a tough job, but someone had to do it.

autopar ignition

[The Autopar trademark was allowed to lapse in 2014.]


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