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Chrysler- A Brand Rooted in History

Aug 15, 2008
What a great tool the internet is. It seems whatever childhood memory you may possess you can simply punch it in to Google and a huge number of references will appear before your very eyes in the fraction of a second. In this case it was the Grand Pier at Weston-Super-Mare.

Like it or not I am not as young as I used to be and was just thinking of all the happy times myself and generations of other kids had on the pier at Weston-Super-Mare which sadly was destroyed by fire this week. I can remember the joy of winning a pocket full of loose change on the "coin waterfall" machines only to lose it straight back again or worse still drop it and tearfully watch the coins disappear down the gaps in the wooden deck to be consumed by the mud below.

The journeys to and from Weston were always memorable too. On the way you would have all the euphoria of reaching your journey's end with the promise of candy floss and donkey rides and such like tinged with the anxiety of are we actually going to make it there? Back then it was only my Grandparents who had a car and my Grandad was a slave to his British cars. I recall he had a Morris Oxford which was a bit notorious for overheating and although we lived in Bristol which is about 20 miles from Weston you could pretty much guarantee we would only make it as far as the Clifton Suspension Bridge before clouds of steam would emanate from under the bonnet.

Anticipating this eventuality I would always carry my I-Spy books with me. I was right into cars so it would usually be I-Spy cars. I would sit there for hours happily car spotting. Upon sighting of a Chrysler Sunbeam my sister and I would annoyingly sing the advert theme tune "Put a Chrysler Sunbeam in your life" sung by Petula Clark which was being sang in playgrounds up and down the land.

Shortly after the demise of the Morris Oxford my Grandad bought a brand new Chrysler Alpine which was light years ahead of the Oxford which had it's origins in the sixties. The Alpine was cutting edge and ensured we had many trouble free trips to Weston and even beyond!

Chrysler had bought the troubled British car maker the Rootes Group and I discovered that our beloved Alpine was built at the Ryton car plant which was just down the road from where I now live until it's recent closure and subsequent demolition. Chrysler had bought a liability with the Rootes Group which although gave us many much loved vehicles was not sustainable and pretty much bankrupted Chrysler Europe who wisely off- loaded Rootes to PSA (Peugeot Citroen). My Grandad who was so pleased with his Alpine stayed loyal and went on to own a Solara which was actually a Talbot but he didn't mind!

Chrysler which has recently severed its ties with Daimler and put the financial worries of the past behind it now has a solid range of vehicles to choose from. The Dodge and Jeep brands are also incorporated under the Chrysler Group of companies.

There are a few crossover vehicles in the ranges such as the Dodge Nitro but the heritage of each brand has been maintained and the latest offerings from Chrysler are arousing significant interest. The new SRT designed 300c SRT-8 is an awesome beast of a car with a 6.1 litre V8 engine, definitely not for the feint hearted! The Voyager and Grand Voyager has staked a claim as being the most popular MPV on the market and when you drive one you can see why. Sales of the retro PT cruiser continue to be buoyant.

Chrysler has made its mark in automotive history and thanks to Petula Clark we will always remember the Sunbeam!
About the Author
Jon Barlow recalls Chrysler of yesteryear but your Chrysler Dealer should be able to hook you up with a modern alternative
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