In terms of genesis, Chrysler is almost synonymous with an unwanted premature detonation. Amidst the depression of 1921 and the great collapse of 1929, when most car producers were facing extinction due to drastic decrease in sales, lack of resources and investors, a small company would try to make its way to the auto shows and into the American citizens' garages. Despite the economic meltdown that drove investors away and locked-down companies faster than a second Ice Age, the US auto market was mainly divided among two powers: the ever expanding GM and Ford.
The sum of such horrific conditions would have normally drove away contenders, but Walter P. Chrysler thought otherwise. Determined to get an equally slice of the market share pizza for himself, he exhibited a handsome car at the 1924 New York Auto Show. The automobile was none other than the Chrysler 70, the model that would drag the Chrysler name to he Pantheon of American car builders.
However, Chrysler wasn't born as Chrysler (from the company's standpoint). Facing a rapid and possibly permanent dissolution, the two initial companies held by Walter P., Maxwell and Chambers, merged to form a new entity that would later rub shoulders with its competitors at the time. The 70 model had an instant success that allowed the newly formed corporation to expand freely, unabated by the competition's efforts and much wider rage ofautomobiles.
The Chambers name was dropped, whist Maxwell was re-branded as a Plymouth. By 1931, the Plymouth brand had already become a fierce competitor in the small car segment and was insistently knocking on Ford stronghold's door, yelling to make room or evict the place. Although Ford was basically partying due to the high sales registered by their model A, the more advanced Plymouth did far better. Sporting hydraulic brakes, more flowing body lines and a "floating power”engine, the Plymouth cast an awfully large cloud of doubt over Ford's headquarters.
The improvements brought by the Plymouth became so popular that other producers started using them as well. Citroen would later use Chrysler's patented "floating engine” technology that had the great advantage of reducing engine vibrations through the use of three rubber mounts that separated the engine from having direct contact with the chassis.
Chrysler did so good the following years that by the end of the 30's it had already surpassed Ford and moved to a comfortable second position. Almost unknowingly, Chrysler became a titan. The time to wrestle the no. 1 car manufacturer was near and Chrysler carefully readied its match.