Chrysler was founded in 1925. It was Walter Chrysler who created the company out of the remnants of the Maxwell Motor Company, and it followed on from the launch of the well-received six-cylinder car that bore his name the previous year. The new company soon became synonymous with good-value products, and flourished during the 1930s in hard times.
The firm was grown along the lines of GM, and soon incorporated Dodge, Plymouth, De Soto, Fargo and – after the war – Valiant and Imperial. But the European operation was an interesting one. Chrysler took over the Rootes Group in 1967 and added Simca to the mix. It didn’t actually use the Chrysler badge on any of its European cars until the 180 of 1970, and it was another six years before the name replaced Hillman.
The Alpine and Horizon were produced in conjunction with Chrysler France, and the Sunbeam was an emergency development of the Avenger, but the Americans soon had enough and sold out to Peugeot in 1978. It in turn applied Talbot badges to most of the range the following year, leaving the final European car to wear a Chrysler badge as the 2-Litre, a development of the Chrysler 180 that had started the game. It was rescued by the Minivan in 1984 and continues to this day - against the odds.