(Reading time: 3 - 6 minutes)
- Published: Sunday, 02 June 2013 13:27
- Written by Ben David T Quirk
The history of Chrysler
1845 - 1870
England born Thomas Jeffery moves to the U.S. and starts producing Rambler bicycles, however decides to sell his bike company and start Kenosha, WI based Rambler automobiles in 1902. Charles W. Nash is born 1864, Buick President hires W. P. Chrysler. Nash buys Jeffery Co. and produces Nash. John Francis Dodge is born in Niles Minnesota forms Dodge Brothers in 1914 with brother Horace. Jonathan Dixon Maxwell is born, co-founder of Maxwell-Briscoe 1903.
1870 - 1900
John N. Willys born in 1873, rescuer of Overland who forms Willys-Overland in 1909. Hugh Chalmers born 1873 acquires control of Thomas-Detroit I and form Chalmers-Detroit, AKA Chalmers 1908. Walter Percy Chrysler born April 2nd 1875 in Wamego, Kansas becoming only major railroad industrialist to succeed in the auto industry, ultimately introducing advanced Chrysler automobile and corporation becoming the second largest car producer behind GM while under his leadership.
Carl Breer born California, LA in 1883, ultimately one of the three engineers who drove Chrysler's early success.
Three Musketeers Fred M. Zeder, Owen M. Skelton and Carl Breer 1886 - ZSB -- Walter Chrysler names trio of genius engineers, brought from Willys-Overland from Studebaker Motors.
1895 Morris & Salom produce four battery operated production model cars. Pope Manufacturing Co., Hartford, CT build an electric car. Riker Electric Motor Co. Brooklyn, New York formed in 1896.
1897Columbia Electric production begins by Pope Manufacturing Co 1897. These vehicles are available throughout the US, England and France. Dodge brothers go to work for Canada based company in Windsor, Ontario in 1898, and go onto create Evans & Dodge bicycle.
1899 The Pope Maunfacturing auto division becomes the Columbia Automobile Co. Riker Electric Motor Co. is moved to Electric Vehicle Co for production.
1900 - 1930
First steam powered engine produced, built by Carl Breer in 1900.
Dodge brother's and E. C. Stearns join National Cycle & Automobile Company in 1900
The industry first front mounted engine the Columbia gasoline goes into production, a left hand drive auto. New Dodge parts factory opens on Beaubien Street 1901, 1903 brings the Dodge brothers cancelling their Olds Motor Works contracts and adding plant machinery to manufacture engines for 10% interest in the Ford Motor company from Henry.
Recession hits in 1907 subsequently Pope empire crumbled, and the Overland Motor Company, lead by John North Willys, chooses to buy the Toledo plant, this now forms the centre of todays Jeep factory.
The XLVI is introduced by Columbia, it utilised a four cylinder petrol to drive a separate electric generator, it featured no gearbox or clutch, however this design did not make it as a car design. Sometime after certain trains started to use the concept mainly General Motors.
Thomas-Detroit is renamed Chalmers-Detroit in 1908. The same year Walter P Chryslers visits Chicago Motor show and buys a Locomobile.
1910 The United States Motor Company is now fully formed, amalgamating 130 firms including Maxwell-Briscoe, Brush, Dayton, Courier, and Columbia. Of these firms, only Brush and Maxwell-Briscoe were profitable. A new plant is opened by the Dodge brothers in Hamtramck. In 1913, the Standard Motor Company joins Maxwell, with a number of plants being sold off.
Dodge Brothers Inc. is formed and the company begins development of new cars. The First Dodge rolls off the production line in 1914. Just in time for the onset of World War I, where the brothers' cars are used in combat as the first ever petrol powered automobile.
1916 Walter P. Chrysler takes over presidency of Buick. Charles W. Nash leaves to purchase and form Nash Motors. Chrysler is invited to join with Nash but decides to stay with Buick.
1917 Dodge Brothers adopts Budd-built all-steel body for touring cars. With Chalmers sales flagging and Maxwell production on the up, a move is made for Maxwell cars to be built in the Chalmers plant, with Chalmers cars being sold through Maxwell dealers. The first Dodge Brothers commercial vehicle built in October and is released as the 1918 model.
1919 Walter P. Chrysler resigns as president of the Buick Motor. Henry Ford buys up the shares of smaller stockholders at this time, including those of John and Horace Dodge in return for $ 9,000,000.
1920 Both John and Horace Elgin Dodge die. To cover the debts, the New Jersey plant is put up for auction. It, and the prototype Chrysler (considered by the Chrysler group later as the model A), are auctioned off to William C. Durant. He uses the plant for production of his Star car whilst using the Chrysler prototype as a basis for his Flint line.