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Allpar Tenth Anniversary Survey Results

Thank you for participating in the Allpar 10th Anniversary Survey.

Chrysler feedback: in the news

It seems Chrysler folk have been focusing mainly on the upcoming deal with GM (or Nissan, but GM is more likely). Unfortunately, the company that generated insane profits in the 1990s is now reaching the end of the line, according to most readers. 329 readers — a majority of the respondents — gave their opinions on the biggest surprise Chrysler would have for us in the next year. 72% said the surprise would be a merger — 49% with GM, 3% with Nissan, and 20% not mentioning the other party. 5% said the surprise would be closing; 15% said it would be some form of new car; and the remaining 8% said it would be success! That’s a pretty pessimistic group, especially since most of the opinions expressed about this were fairly negative.

Example quotes

Allpar readers are hardly happy with the idea of a GM takeover, with 65% feeling it would destroy Chrysler. That’s even worse than the perceived effects of the Daimler takeover, which readers overwhelmingly thought caused immense damage to Chrysler.

  The GM
takeover would:
  The Daimler
Destroy(ed) Chrysler, leaving a pale imitation 65%   23%
Cause(d) immense damage to Chrysler 25%   58%
Wouldn’t / Didn't hurt much 3%   5%
Help(ed) Chrysler a little 4%   9%
Save(d) Chrysler from death 3%   5%

Moving on to the raison d’être for these companies, we asked readers for their favorite cars — in general, out of the cars they’ve owned, and out of the past ten years. The latter was the smartest question because it didn't involve us going through huge lists of cars and trying to figure out which ones were on top. That said, readers’ favorite cars were by far associated with muscle — and were cars rather than trucks. (By the way, only a very few Challenger citers mentioned “new” or “old.”) We got 375 replies to this question, with dozens of cars showing up, most cited by one to three people.

The favorite cars readers actually owned were generally less iconic. The Ram was no surprise given sales figures; the Neon was a surprise, coming in tied for first place with the Ram. The original Charger was also a surprise, given the low sales figures and how long ago they were made; we guess our demographics are a little different from Autoblog’s. The Dakota was also a surprise. Note that the Daytona is the front-drive version.

Favorite Favorite Owned
Challenger (50)
Original Charger (31)
Road Runner (27)
Viper (21)
Cuda (20)
New Charger (14)
Ram (12)
Neon (21)
Ram (21)
Orig. Charger (19)
Challenger (14)
Dakota (13)
Duster (13)
Barracuda (12)
Daytona (12)

Which vehicle will be the biggest seller for 2009? Here are the answers you gave. One surprise for me was the number of people citing the Challenger, which Dodge hasn’t really given high sales estimates for. Not many thought the Chrysler minivan would take the lead, though the Dodge minivan got a number of votes — our readers seem to have different ideas than Chrysler execs.

Vehicle Cases Percentage
Dodge Ram 130 32.40%
Dodge Challenger 68 17.00%
Dodge Caravan 66 16.50%
New small car (TBA) 44 11.00%
Dodge Charger 21 5.20%
Dodge Journey 19 4.70%
Chrysler Town & Country 17 4.20%
Patriot 15 3.70%
Dodge Avenger 8 2.00%
Chrysler 300 series 7 1.70%
PT Cruiser 3 0.70%
Chrysler Sebring 3 0.70%

We asked for your favorite brand, and we gave you a long list. Plymouth, long dead, was actually given a higher place in our readers’ hearts than Chrysler — hear that, Bob, Jim, and Tom? If you manage to keep the company going, think about a swap... nobody associates Plymouth with buyouts and failures!

Vehicle Cases Percentage
Dodge 202 50.20%
Plymouth (including Valiant) 103 25.60%
Chrysler 50 12.40%
Jeep 19 4.70%
Imperial 12 3.00%

Then we asked for your favorite car (or truck) from the last ten years — allpar’s official reign of existence through 2008. By far, the Dodge Challenger and its LX stablemates held sway. The Neon still showed up, but it was relegated to #5. Three people mentioned the Crossfire as a write-in. Also mentioned were DeSoto (2%), AMC and Hudson (1% each), and, with one respondent per brand, Eagle, Nash, Rambler, and SIMCA. Nobody selected Humber, Hillman, Singer, Sunbeam, Matra, Maxwell, Chalmers, Commer, or Talbot, and we didn’t put in Kaiser-Frazer.

Vehicle Cases Percentage
Dodge Challenger 93 23.10%
LX (300, Charger, etc.,
including SRT8)
54 13.40%
Ram trucks 46 11.40%
Viper 42 10.40%
Neon (including SRT4) 33 8.20%
LH (Intrepid, 300M, etc) 30 7.50%
PT Cruiser 19 4.70%
Minivans 18 4.50%
Prowler 15 3.70%
Dakota 12 3.00%
Jeep Grand Cherokee/
8 2.00%
J-cars (Sebring, Stratus, etc.) 6 1.50%
Chrysler Pacifica 5 1.20%
Jeep Wrangler 5 1.20%
Durango/Aspen 4 1.00%
Jeep Patriot, Compass,
or Dodge Caliber
4 1.00%
Jeep Cherokee 3 0.70%

As for the future, we asked people which vehicle would be produced in 2010. We were told:

Vehicle Cases Percentage
Electric minivan 218 56%
Ecovoyager 82 21%
Electrified Lotus 48 12%
Electric Jeep 41 11%

We asked for your favorite “underground” car — a car that was developed, designed, or introduced with substantial executive resistance. The three choices were the Plymouth Fury — see Curtis Redgap’s insider history to understand why executives were opposed to that car (and punished Plymouth for it); the Plymouth Duster — see Curtis Redgap’s Duster history to see why and how Plymouth was punished for it; and the PT Cruiser (which I still believe was originally to be a Plymouth) — you know what we’re going to say already. The Duster was by far the favorite — and that’s probably no surprise, not just because the Fury is so far back in history, but because its sales made the Fury and PT Cruiser (and for that matter the 300) seem like poor-selling niche vehicles. You know, like the 300F or Dodge Challenger... or any current Chrysler car.

Vehicle Cases Percentage
1970 Plymouth Duster 208 53%
2001 PT Cruiser 123 32%
1956 Plymouth Fury 59 15%

So much for favorite cars — the next question is, which was the most significant? Here we had some surprises. It seems many people found the “saved the company” cars to be most significant in Chrysler’s history.

Vehicle Cases Percentage
Minivans 101 25%
K-cars 81 20%
LH series 28 7%
300 Letter Cars 25 6%
Original Hemi cars 25 6%

Other choices included, in order from most to least popular: the full 1957 line, 1993 Ram, Road Runner, LX series, 1960 Valiant, Jeep Cherokee, first unit-body cars, Jeep CJ, 1970 Plymouth Duster, Neon, Airflow, 2009 Ram, EV, the first ''real'' Plymouth, the 1924 Chrysler, and A-series trucks and vans. Garnering absolutely no votes were 'The Good Maxwell," the Imperial, the SIMCA 1100 (best-selling car in Europe and model for the Volkswagen Rabbit), the Jeep Wagoneer, and the TEVan and EPIC electric minivans.

But what about under the hood? Here are the favorite engines, with few surprises:

Vehicle Percentage
Hemi V8s 40%
318 / 360 (5.2 / 5.9) V8s 14%
2.2 / 2.5 liter four-cylinders 10%
2.0 / 2.4 Neon/PT/minivan engine 9%
Viper V10 6%
3.5 / 4.0 liter V6 family 5%
3.3 / 3.8 liter V6 family 5%
2.5 / 4.0 AMC/Jeep engines 4%
3.7 V6 / 4.7 V8 truck/Jeep engines 3%
2.5 or 3.0 Mitsubishi V6 2%
2.7 liter V6 2%
World Engine (current four-cylinders) 0.5%

Back in the corporate arena, we asked for your favorite person or group from Chrysler history. The results were fairly surprising, though perhaps the #1 choice wasn’t. Here are some of the top picks:

Vehicle Percentage
The Pettys 23%
Lee Iaccoca 17%
Virgil Exner 8%
Sox & Martin 8%
The Ramchargers 6%
The Dodge brothers 5%
Tom Gale 5%
Walter P. Chrysler 4%
Ralph Gilles 3%
Bob Lutz 3%
Elwood Engle 2.5%
John Herlitz 2%
Bob Sheaves 2%
Tom Hoover 2%

Francois CastaingGetting four or fewer votes were Frederick Zeder, Carl Breer, and Owen Skelton; the Golden Commandos; Willem Weertman; Mike Castiglione; Trevor Creed; George Wallace; Lynn A. Townsend; Francis Castaing; Bill "Maverick'' Golden; John North Willys; John Fernandez; Burton Bouwkamp; and Pete Hagenbuch. Getting zero votes were Glenn Gardner, Thomas Stallkamp, Bob McCurry, Tom LaSorda, Jim Press, and Bob Nardelli. But you know we had to put some of them in. We were a bit surprised neither Glenn Gardner nor Tom Stallkamp got any love.


Getting back to Allpar, we asked for the goofiest thing we’ve done over the years. Keep in mind we started out as a pretty much un-named site in 1994, and only got the Allpar name four years later.

Choice Explanation Percentage
Trying to revive Plymouth None really needed 36%
Popup ads Ad money from the Luna Network let me leave my “real” job. Then Luna was bought out and shut down. I needed money — partly to pay for the servers but mainly to pay for my time off from work! Banner ads paid 1¢ to 5¢ (CPM), and popups could pay up to $2 (CPM), while Luna had paid $7.50 (CPM). Then, in came Google, with a fair revenue split and less sleazy advertisers! (DoubleClick allowed their advertisers to install software on viewers’ computers!) I still work part time but I have much more time for Allpar now, can sponsor annual meets, make mugs, etc. 16%
Quote of the week Some of these were controversial. A quote from Stalin was taken as implied support of Stalin. For the record, I have no desire for anyone to follow in Stalin’s footsteps, but as they say, “know thine enemy.” Which I assume means “Understand how they work so you’re not fooled.” 13%
Trying to free Chrysler from Daimler On second thought, maybe we were better off in the frying pan. 12%
Not having our own domain name Why did it take so long for me to pay the $30 to get I mean, four years? Then I finally realized that I never, ever, ever wanted to contact 200 webmasters that linked to an obsolete name to try to get them to update their sites. 10%
Spammy classifieds I actually paid for that awful software. Seemed really nice until I discovered it didn’t support people living outside the United States, and was a gift to scammers. 4%
Behind the Shed Having a place for people to fight turned out to be not as good an idea as we thought. 3%
WebBBS forums These were very popular, but they reached a performance limit at around 10,000 messages because each message was its own file; so old messages had to be archived, and the archiving system was ... mediocre. (It was also very hard to lock out people who abused the system.) I accidentally lost many of the old messages, so though Bob O’Neill wrote a program to rescue the old WebBBS messages, we ended up without much of John Auto Tech’s wisdom. We also lost some users who really liked the chatty nature of WebBBS. I still sometimes see sites using it (updated in 2016)! 2%
UBB forums They were my first attempt at a modern forum; unfortunately UBB’s lead programmer left to found Invisionboard, and they pretty much made it clear that the version of UBB we were using was slated for eventual elimination. I sometimes wish I had gone with VBulletin, but I'm not switching now! Probably very few current readers remember the UBB forums since we only had them for a short time.

''Ad frames'' around content When the ad market started to fall, Luna Network responded by replacing its simple banners with some Javascript that put our pages in the middle of a square block of ads, not unlike the Yahoo portal. We had these for a few months, perhaps a year; and then Luna was gone. 1%

Finally, let’s look at your favorite Allpar sections. We had a huge list of options here, and I'm only showing those which got 10% or more of the votes. People were allowed to pick up to three options apiece. I was happy to see corporate history show up, given how much time that stuff takes.

Choice Cases Percentage
Upcoming vehicles / rumors 140 35%
News briefs 134 33%
Individual car writeups 127 31%
Reviews 78 19%
Engines / transmissions 67 17%
Corporate history 64 16%
Forums 61 15%
Repairs 60 15%
Factory photos 55 14%
Photo galleries 43 11%
Performance tips 41 10%

Then we asked what we should feature more of, and were mainly told — muscle cars, performance tips, and model year changes.

By far, the most popular gift desired by respondents was a T-shirt. Some people wanted memorabilia and we’ll be going through our stockpile soon; others wanted mugs and we’ll mail some of those out soon.

As for what Allpar needs to do now:

We were surprised by the response to the question on people's favorite story or feature at allpar. The largest category, by far, was history — an area where we get relatively few hits. Numerous people mentioned stories by Curtis Redgap; we really have to figure out a better way to feature these after their first two weeks on the site.

Thanks for your participation. We’ll start mailing out some presents to randomly chosen people soon — except for T-shirts, which will have to wait until we print them this summer!

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Former Ram chief engineer Michael J. Cairns

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