Chrysler Corporation was formed in 1925, years after both Ford and General Motors. The company was begun by Walter Percy Chrysler in June of that year. Chrysler operated as an independent automaker all the way until 1998 when the comany was taken over by Daimler-Benz.
Walter Chrysler began Chrysler Corporation after spending over a decade in the automobile business and prior to that in the railroad business. He first went up the ladder at Buick while GM was controlled by the bankers. When General Motors was later controlled again by William Durant who had originally started the company, Chrysler was persuaded to stay aboard at Buick and given an enormous salary for the era.
Eventually, Walter Chrysler parted with GM and tried to help the bankers by running the Willys-Overland Motor Company which was in deep trouble. Chrysler was never able to take total control from John Willys and eventually resigned and bought controlling interest in Maxwell Motors. After the Maxwell brand was phased out the Chrysler Corporation grew by the acquisition of Dodge and by adding the Plymouth and Desoto marques.
Later in it’s history, Chrysler Corporation would make large investments to it’s Canadian plants.
Walter Chrysler began phasing himself out of the Chrysler Corporation during the late 1930′s with operation responsibility handed off to other executives. After suffering a stroke in 1938, Walter Chrysler died two years later in 1940. He was sixty-five years of age.
The 1953 Chrysler Windsor Design
The 1953 Chrysler Windsor like the one shown in this article was a full sized automobile that sold in the 1940′s and 1950′s.
The 1953 Chrysler line was totally new from front to back including dozens of new mechanical changes. As an example of the significant changes with the 1953 models, they included improvements in the windshield wipers, heater, chassis frame, carburetor, rear axle, suspension, fuel tank and drive train.
Just about any part of the automobile you could think of was changed by Chrysler that year. Designs were similar to both Dodge and Plymouth in 1953 but Desoto stayed relatively unchanged.
An interesting note is that after World War Two Chrysler was in second place among American automakers only to lose it quickly to a more competitive Ford Motor Company. During the early 1950′s Chrysler was a profitable company with a combination of passenger automobile sales and a large military contract. This was the period of the Korean War which did hamper some civilian car production.
Another interesting note is that Chrysler Corporation’s production hit a record in 1953. Those numbers would not be surpassed until 1965.
The photo at the bottom of this article gives you an idea of how the Chrysler Windsor changed styling yet again with the 1956 Windsor Newport model.
1953 Chrysler Windsor Specs
The 1953 Chrysler Windsor came with the option of a three speed manual transmission or a three speed automatic. This was a new option introduced in 1953. The 1953 model also was powered with a 264.5 cid V-8 engine producing 119 horsepower. Both the displacement and horsepower were increased over the 1952 models.
An interesting note is that Chrysler engineering was pushing hard in developing their V-8′s since the late 1940′s. Many believe it was Chrysler’s success with more powerful V-8′s that started the horsepower was between the major automakers. That war would last all the way to the 1970′s. Chrysler would add more power with each new series of vehicles and Ford and General Motors would have no alternative other than to follow suit.
The wheelbase was 125 inches and the Chrysler Windsor’s length was 211 inches which would be increased to 215.6 inches in 1954. The car’s width was 76.8 inches and had a height of 62.5 inches. As a comparison, the 1953 Plymouth had a 114 inch wheelbase.
Links to three additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you’ll enjoy include…
Power Flite, Chrysler’s first fully automatic transmission, was put into production and appeared in June, 1953. The one-piece curved glass windshield which had been initially introduced and used only on the Airflow Custom Imperial, CW, of 1934-35, now became a feature attraction of the Windsor model.
(1953 Chrysler photos from author’s private collection. 1954 Chrysler Windsor Newport is from the public domain)